Airbnb chief strategy officer Nate Blecharczyk told FOX Business that "a lot of employers are coming out with hybrid work from home policies and the impact that that has on travel is twofold."
For one, it means people can travel longer, and they have "a lot more flexibility about when they can spontaneously travel," the executive and co-founder of the homeshare company said.
With so many people working from home it becomes less of a question about when to go and rather "it's more a question of, am I inspired to do something? What can I do?" Blecharczyk said.
"So long as there's hybrid options available to people, I think people are going to take advantage of that," he added.
As of the end of April 2022, the company already had 30% more nights booked for the summer travel season compared to the same time in 2019.
Domestic travel represents more than half of the nights booked in the first three months of the year for summer stays, even outpacing pre-pandemic levels, according to Airbnb. Meanwhile, international travel has already reached pre-pandemic levels "and continues to grow, with more nights booked for international summer stays" compared to the first three months of 2021.
Half of the nights booked this summer are at listings within three miles of the coast. However, nights booked at inland listings, over 62 miles from the coast, have also grown over 40% in the first three months of the year compared to pre-pandemic times.
Active users are traveling farther and staying longer at each stay, and many are planning on traveling with their family this summer, according to Airbnb. A majority of users are also seeking an "adventure."
Ultimately what travelers value "are experiences," Blecharczyk said. "So that's very much what we're focused on as a company, making sure that when you travel, it's not just about where you go, but it's about what you discover… really helping to create an experience out of it."
In fact, users are actively seeking out more unique experiences. Nights booked for summer travel to unique homes have already grown 80% in the first three months of the year compared to 2019.
Interest in tiny homes grew 173% while interest in barns grew 160%. At the same time, an interest in domes and tree houses increased 134% and 116%, respectively, according to Airbnb.
As travel continues to surge, Airbnb has made it easier for users to seek out those unusual spots. The company redesigned its search, allowing users to pick from 56 categories of homes based on their style, location or proximity to a travel activity.
When a user opens the app, they'll "be immediately confronted with all kinds of Airbnb homes that you can book before you even enter a destination, before you enter dates," Blecharczyk said.
If you wanted to stay in a national park, for instance, "we can show you all the national parks that are available throughout the United States," he said.
For the first time, users can also split their stays between two different homes during a trip. The company's search algorithm "will automatically surface those possibilities to you," according to Blecharczyk.
On average, a user will see 40% more choices with the new feature.
No matter where users say, they will also be given free travel protection through AirCover. If guests can't check into a home or if a host cancels a booking within 30 days, the company pledged to find another spot for the impacted guest, or refund them entirely.
If the home isn't as advertised, the guest will also have three days to report the issue and get either a refund or a new spot to stay.