Interested in living a nomadic lifestyle? Now’s your chance.
Airbnb is choosing a dozen people to live 10 months remotely in its short-term rentals as part of its new “Live Anywhere on Airbnb” program. Participants will be able to travel between listings from September to July 2022, with the short-term rental platform covering the cost of accommodations and providing a transportation allowance.
“The number one thing people miss is travel,” Chris Lehane, head of policy and communications at Airbnb, told USA TODAY. “People are really looking to live their lives on a platform like Airbnb, where they’re able to spend time in different parts of world and different communities.”
Those interested can apply online at www.airbnb.com/liveanywhere. Applications are open through the end of the month, and participants will be selected in July.
Tracking the long-term booking trend
According to a May report from Airbnb, the percentage of Airbnb stays lasting at least 28 nights almost doubled from 14% of nights booked in 2019 to 24% of nights booked in the first quarter of 2021. One in 10 of the long-term bookers in 2021 reported living a nomadic lifestyle, and 5% said they planned to give up their primary residence for Airbnbs.
“What we’re seeing on our platform is living, working, travel, all really beginning to blur together into one thing,” Lehane said. “Among the most interesting manifestations … that we have seen is this idea of a digital nomad life.”
Lehane said he’s seen two main types of nomadic travelers emerge over the course of the pandemic: 18-to-24-year-olds who could travel while doing college remotely, and people over the age of 60, many of whom are retired.
“Those are folks who are looking to explore the world in an odd way the pandemic sort of opened up,” he said.
Lehane added that the nomadic lifestyle trend, which has been around long before the start of the pandemic, has picked up in recent months.
One long-time Airbnb user, Debbie Campbell, sold her house in July 2013 with her husband, Michael Campbell, to live full-time in short-term rentals. Eight years later, the couple has lived in more than 270 Airbnbs across 85 countries. Their blog, The Senior Nomads, documents their travels.
“The experience of living on Airbnb has been truly transformational for us,” Debbie Campbell said in an emailed statement. “Whether you’re retired and embarking on your next great adventure, a budding author looking for a scenic nook to write your novel from, an entrepreneur in search of the next great thing, or just have a case of wanderlust, the live anywhere trend is perfect for you.”
Airbnb is looking for a diverse set of participants, from young families, to remote workers, to empty nesters and more.
Participants can travel to any Airbnb across the globe through the program, as long as they abide by local COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Those participating in the program will be able to provide insight to Airbnb to aid in future platform features and services.
Each participant must be 18 or older and can bring up to three companions. The credit allocation from Airbnb was determined by the average cost of long-term stays on the platform and will vary based on group size.