Airbnb has launched Pay Less Up Front, a new feature that allows guests to spread the cost of their holiday booking over two instalments.
In order to secure their reservation, guests are now able to pay part of the cost of their accommodation expense on the day of booking, with the remaining amount payable closer to the time of check-in.
Recent research found that January is the month in which Brits say they most need to book a holiday, but almost a third can’t afford to do so.
Of these cash-strapped Brits, 67 per cent attribute this problem to the expense of Christmas putting pressure on their wallets.
The research also found that holidaymakers are so desperate to get holiday booked in January that one in ten dip into their overdraft to fund the trip, whilst 34 per cent put the bill on their credit card.
Previously, guests on Airbnb were required to pay the full cost of their reservation upfront, but this new feature affords more flexible payment options, enabling guests who would otherwise struggle to pay upfront to secure their booking.
James McClure, general manager for UK & Ireland at Airbnb, said: “We understand it can be difficult to pay for all of your holiday upfront, especially in January when the purse-strings have to be held particularly tight.
“That’s why we’ve introduced our new feature which allows you to get holidays booked in advance – to make sure you don’t lose out when it comes to annual leave – then make the main payment for your holiday closer to your actual trip.”
The new feature could prove beneficial to hosts too, as guests are likely to book their trips with more notice if they are able to stagger their payment, argues Airbnb.
This announcement follows the launch of Airbnb Split Payments in November, a feature that allows accommodation expenses to be split among friends and family.
Pay Less Up Front will be available to most guests via the payment page when making their booking.
To be eligible for the feature, guests need to spend a total of at least $250 total on an Airbnb Home and the booking must be made at least 14 days prior to check-in.
Since the cancellation policies vary per host on the platform the date of the final payment will be different for every booking and clearly displayed in guests’ confirmation email.