No matter how spontaneous or impulsive we think ourselves to be, our wallets can’t always be as flexible as we are when it comes to traveling. Ever stop yourself from hitting “book” simply because you don’t have the funds to back it up right then and there? Airbnb—now bigger than the top five hotel brands combined—is hoping to eliminate booking hesitation and frustration once and for all, thanks to their latest payment feature: Pay Less Up Front.
Instead of requiring guests to pay 100 percent of the cost of a trip at the time of booking, the home rental hub’s new payment option allows you to pay approximately half of the cost up front—and the rest closer to the check-in date. But there’s a catch: According to The Verge, the rental has to be over $250, and must be booked two weeks in advance in order to be able to take advantage of the budget-friendly plan. In most cases, the upfront payment will be a 50 percent deposit.
Despite some of its limitations, the new payment feature serves as a convenient solution for cash flow-sensitive guests who have long considered booking pricier accommodations—like this large lakeside retreat or this spacious Costa Rican cottage – but considered the upfront cost a bit of a stretch. Now, travelers who are tight on cash don’t have worry about whether or not their dream getaway will drain their entire bank account in one fell swoop.
In their recent testing, Airbnb found that when given the option to “pay less up front,” the 40 percent of guests who opted to do so chose higher-value rentals, and booked their stays further in advance. With National Plan for Vacation Day (January 30) just around the corner, there seems to be no better time (or way) to get your calendar in order. According to a recent report from Project: Time Off, over half of American workers leave a total of 662 million vacation days unused. Our advice? Don’t be one of them.
But in case you still need that extra push, on January 30, Airbnb will be rewarding one globetrotting guest who books a trip using Pay Less Up Front with a significant travel coupon that will go toward an upcoming trip.
While Pay Less Up Front makes financing and planning trips more convenient for guests, the feature will also make securing and managing bookings easier for hosts, too. Now that Airbnb users have the ability to pay for their stay in installments and plan their trips in advance, hosts won’t be losing business from guests who don’t feel comfortable paying the entire amount up front.
Pay Less Up Front—which launched globally today—isn’t the company’s first move toward making booking trips more convenient, either. Just last November, Airbnb made it a lot simpler for large groups to divide up their bills, thanks to Split Payments. Never let your cash flow woes get in the way of your dream vacation again.
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