After spending so much time either alone, or cooped up with other members of our household during the pandemic, people are enthusiastically returning to travel — and many are hitting the road solo.
The is a trend Airbnb spotted in their internal data: 26 per cent of all nights booked in 2021, and more than 50 per cent of nights booked for long-term stays during the first quarter of 2022 were for people travelling solo. In response, the company recently launched a new feature to help solo travellers stay safe. Here’s what to know.
What to know about the new Airbnb safety feature
When solo travellers book a private or shared room, Airbnb will activate the new in-app features. In addition to providing the usual information — check in/out times, directions to the rental, and a way to contact the host — it also gives users expert tips for staying safe when travelling alone.
Travellers will also have the ability to easily share their Airbnb reservation with a friend, family member, or other trusted person so they can be reached in case of an emergency during the stay. The information includes the listing address, reservation code, and the traveller’s check in and out dates.
At this point, all Airbnb users — travelling solo or with others — have the option of adding one emergency contact to their profile, in the event that the company has to reach someone on their behalf. The information can be added in Account Settings in the Personal Info tab towards the bottom of the page, and is only visible to Airbnb.
Finally, after receiving confirmation of their reservation, the traveller will see automated prompts with questions they might want to ask the host about the listing and surrounding neighbourhood.
For now, the new feature is only available in English on bookings made by solo travellers for private rooms or shared spaces, but Airbnb plans to roll it out in other languages and to include entire home listings in the coming year.