Airbnb’s “Go Near” Initiative: How to Find Great Vacation Rentals Nearby

States across the country have begun to reopen after months of strict stay-at-home mandates. But even if you feel comfortable attending a socially distanced happy hour, that doesn’t necessarily translate to the same ease with theft – germs, enclosed space, etc. Airbnb gets that, but doesn’t want you to sacrifice all summer travel as a result.

Instead, the homestay service is pushing customers to take nearby trips with a new set of initiatives. Thursday, the company announced a new campaign promote domestic travel and local economic growth.

“While the travel industry, including Airbnb, has been hit hard by COVID-19 and there will continue to be enormous uncertainty, our booking data shows travel is starting to rebound and a new survey has identified a series of trends that will shape travel in the weeks and months to come,” Airbnb said in a statement posted on its website.

The platform works with a number of government and tourism agencies, such as Visit Florida, the National Park Foundation, and Visit North Carolina, in response to user needs. According to a survey conducted by Airbnb, nearly half of US respondents said they would prefer a quick car trip after lockdown mandates.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the percentage of bookings made on Airbnb within 200 miles, a round trip that travelers can typically make on a single tank of gas, has increased from one-third of all bookings in February to more than half in May,” the ad reads. noted.

As such, Airbnb has updated its app and homepage to feature travel destinations that won’t require you to stray too far from home. the “Go Near” Initiative includes local destination ideas, nearby venues with flexible cancellation policies, as well as a focus on the company’s new online experiences.

However, the CDC warns that travel continues to pose a health risk as the pandemic lingers. The federal health agency says staying home is the best way to protect yourself, but if you plan to travel, read CDC guidelines to do it.

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Megan Schaltegger is a writer at Thrillist.

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