New Flexible Destinations feature now live to more easily find unique stays

Planning trips around unique places to stay like yurts or treehouses just got a whole lot easier with the global release of Flexible Destinations. Announced several weeks ago as part of a major update to our service, this feature joins a suite of new ‘flexible’ product innovations designed to completely transform the browsing and booking experience on Airbnb. 

Flexible Destinations is a new way to plan trips when finding a unique place to stay is more important than traveling to a specific destination. Clicking on ‘I’m Flexible’ will reveal unique listing categories – from boats to tiny homes to domes to A-frames and even private islands – with the nearest to the guest’s location at the top of the list. Guests can also see the search results displayed on a map, and simply enter the dates they want to travel or search with flexible dates (i.e. a weekend, week or month) to easily book a trip to a one-of-a-kind property. 

iPhone display of Flexible Destinations feature showing a treehouse for a user on the I'm Flexible feature.

Airbnb has over 170,000 of these kinds of properties to choose from, a 30 percent increase over May 2019. The number of searches for unique listings has grown 94 percent so far in 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.

Flexible Destinations will help to spread travel with many unique listings located outside of popular tourist destinations. It will also help to surface and drive demand to unique listings Hosts who have collectively earned more than $300 million globally since the start of the pandemic.

Flexibility is a key trend emerging from the pandemic as people become less tethered and the lines blur between travel, living and working. Flexible Destinations joins Flexible Dates, which was rolled out in February, and Flexible Matching, which will go live in the coming weeks. These innovations represent a new paradigm in travel booking and planning, moving away from the traditional approach of planning trips around a fixed destination with fixed dates. 

Shepherd's hut situated in the middle of a lush green forest with tall trees surrounding it.

And, allowing guests to flexibly search can lead to more bookings for Hosts of unique properties. In last month’s announcement, we shared that travelers are turning to unique abodes like cabins, tiny homes, and treehouses to break up the monotony of the past year, with the type of stay, not the exact location, becoming the destination. According to the Airbnb Report on Travel & Living, nearly 70 percent of respondents to our recent survey want to be able to filter for unique stays when finding trip accommodations.

This fascination with unique stays is universal, with 55 percent of our 100 most wishlisted homes in the last year falling into unique categories. Searches for certain types of unique homes – such as yurts, huts and farm stays – have exploded by 10x compared to just two years ago: 

  • Yurts (1,701%)
  • Islands (1,668%)
  • Huts (1,379%)
  • Earth houses (1,285%)
  • Barns (1,068%)
  • Farm stays (1,055%)
  • Houseboats (1,015%)
  • Tiny homes (791%) 
Glamping white canvas yurt with a wraparound balcony situated on a hillside.

Based on US guest bookings, stays with access to the great outdoors and state parks are also trending up from 2019, with the top trending destinations this summer within a short driving distance of a state or national park. As travelers flock to these treasured places, it’s imperative to be safe and thoughtful about how to enjoy and experience them. That’s why we are teaming up with the National Park Foundation to encourage people to recreate responsibly in national parks this summer. We will be sharing some simple tips on how to stay healthy and preserve natural and historical areas for the enjoyment of all during your next visit. From avoiding overcrowding to minimizing waste through reusable containers and refillable water bottles, learn how to get out and connect with nature and history sustainably when planning your next trip.

For those interested in hosting their unique stays, we expect a travel rebound unlike anything we have seen before, and we’ve made it easy for anyone who wants to host and take advantage of the coming travel surge. Half of new listings that were both activated and booked in early 2021 got a reservation request within four days, and the average annual earnings per Host who had welcomed at least one guest was $9,600. In fact, many of our highest earning unique stay Hosts in the last year are based near parks. From an underground earth house dwelling near Washington’s Daroga State Park, to a treehouse situated in the heart of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, here are some extraordinary getaways hosted by the highest earning unique stays Hosts in the US:

A-frame cabin elevated on stilts in the middle of a coniferous forest.
“Being 30 minutes from Glacier National Park and minutes from Whitefish Mountain Resort makes our property an ideal location to get away for our guests to make unique and lasting memories.”
– Kati, Host of Raven’s Nest Treehouse at MT Treehouse Retreat in Columbia Falls, MT near Glacier National Park
Queen sized bed with green bedding in front of a circular doorway with a rolling hillside outside.
“The thing I love the most about hosting Underground Hygge is that most of the guests that visit are surprising their loved one with a trip. I’m really drawn to the building and design challenges of unique spaces. I love that you can be as creative as you want!”
– Kristie, Host of Underground Hygge in Orondo, WA near Daroga State Park
Modern treehouse with three wings elevated amongst bare trees on a hillside.
“The best part of hosting is seeing your guests happy. When hosting a unique stay, it seems the “happy part” just comes a little easier. I can promise you that it never gets old seeing a child’s eyes light up as they see the houses for the first time, or assisting a guest for a surprise proposal.”
– Caroline and Mike, Hosts of Sanctuary, Treehouses of Serenity in Asheville, NC near Dupont State Recreational Forest
Wood cabin entryway with a hammock hanging from the walls.
“We have a unique property looking over the strait of Juan De Fuca and built a treehouse for my son – once he moved out we decided to test out Airbnb and see if it would be profitable. It was – way more than we expected. I love sharing what I’ve created and having people have an experience that they will cherish.”
– Beverly, Host of Treehouse on the Water -Eagles Nest in Port Angeles, WA near Olympic National Park
Traditional log cabin treehouse situated in the woods.
“For years we dreamed of creating a special and unique place where people can escape, relax, unplug and renew. We love hearing from our guests that our goal was accomplished; that they don’t want to leave and are already planning their return visit. Oh, and we’re less than five miles from Hot Springs National Park and famous Bath House Row.”
– Susan, Host of Whispering Pines Treehouse in Hot Springs, AR near Hot Springs National Park
Long hallway view of earthship house with green walls constructed of green earthen material and recycled bottles.
“This Simple Survival Earthship grows plenty of fruit and vegetables, it catches and stores rainwater and uses the energy of the sun to power your wifi and provide a beautiful hot shower.”
– Michael, Host of Newest Simple Survival Earthship Studio in Taos County, NM near Carson National Forest
Wood shingled treehouse with staircase leading up to entry door in evening light and a glowing light coming from the window.
“We are a rare find in the area located on private land just walking distance to great nearby hiking trails! This treehouse receives high reviews due to its unique build and amenities such as a swing, a separate bedroom called “the nest”, and a handmade stone fireplace with ambient lighting.”
– Allison, Host of Eagles Nest Treehouse ~ Hike/ Relax / Climb! in Stanton, KY near Red River Gorge and National Bridge Park
Floating white house with an extended dock and patio crossover with a fire pit in the foreground.
“We have lived in Oregon for over 50 years and haven’t begun to see it all. From natural wonders to city sights, Portland and the Pacific Northwest offers something for everyone. Visit the city or explore the great outdoors during your vacation.”
– Bob and Joyce, Hosts of Floating Vacation Home in Oregon City, OR near Bonnie Lure State Recreation Area
Bed with white sheets and blue pillows situated in a treehouse loft set-up.
“Offering unique stays has not only given our team the opportunity to exercise great creativity, but has enhanced our guest’s experience. From design elements, to materials, to setting and amenities, a getaway should feel special, exhilarating, and unforgettable.”
– Debra, Host of Daybreak- Designer Treehouse with Amazing Views in Dahlonega, GA near Don Carter State Park
Dome house with swimming pool in the foreground and desert landscape in the background.
“The Serenity Dome Oasis is a hi-desert experience that we always wanted to share with others. Who doesn’t love a dome with a pool and desert view?”
– Stephanie, Host of Serenity Dome Oasis at Joshua Tree -AC/Pool/Hottub in Landers, CA near Mt. San Jacinto State Park

*Based on Airbnb internal data of unique stay searches as of April 30, 2021.

About Us

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 900 million guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer one-of-a-kind stays and unique Experiences that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.