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Airbnb will now let you search for barns, caves, castles, windmills, and more

There's something for everyone now.
By Christianna Silva  on 
A house fitted for everything you need to live off the grid
Airbnb, show me cabins. Credit: Ian Moore / Mashable

Have you ever wanted to disappear into a cave for a few weeks, but you just couldn't care less where that cave is located? Now you can!

On Wednesday, Airbnb launched three huge changes to its service, including a new way to search on the site that makes it easier for you to find wacky stays — like, say, in a cave.

"The way people travel has changed forever. That’s why we’re introducing the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade," Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, said in a press release. "First, people are more flexible about where they live and work, so we’ve designed a new way to search with Airbnb Categories. Second, people are taking longer trips, so we created Split Stays to give you more options by splitting your trip between two homes. And third, we’re introducing AirCover for guests, giving you the confidence to book knowing that Airbnb’s got your back."

The most exciting change is Airbnb Categories. Before today, you'd have to search a location on Airbnb and then narrow it down to the special stays you're looking for. But now, you can search through one of 56 categories that organize stays based on their style, location, or proximity to an activity — like A-frame homes, barns, boats, cabins, caves, castles, treehouses, or windmills. You can also search for something like "golfing," "arctic," "vineyards," or "desert." And if you want your stay to have a specific feature, you can search for that, too — like "amazing pools" or "grand pianos" or "ski-in/out." You can also search "national park," and see what kind of nature-oriented stays you can get into.

Split Stays, another new feature from Airbnb, lets you split your trip between two homes, since, according to the company, "nearly half of nights booked on Airbnb were for trips of a week or more." Split stays are intended to "inspire you to stay in two destinations as part of a longer trip." It's ideal for folks who can work remotely and want to stretch out their trip.

Finally, Airbnb is offering AirCover, which includes free travel protection in case a host needs to cancel your booking, a guarantee for checking in, a 24-hour safety line, and a "Get-What-You-Booked Guarantee" just in case your listing doesn't quite match up with what is advertised.

This update is available starting today in the U.S. Take a peek during your lunch break, we won't tell.

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