The landscape of short-term rentals has undergone rapid evolution in recent years. Airbnb, which pioneered the concept of home sharing as an alternative to traditional hotels, has seen meteoric growth since its founding in 2008. Today, Airbnb offers well over 6 million listings across more than 100,000 cities worldwide. With the rising popularity of short-term rentals, the market has also become increasingly competitive. New hosting platforms crop up regularly, and individual hosts must work harder than ever to make their spaces stand out.

The good news is that small tweaks and adjustments in line with current trends can make a big difference in an Airbnb’s success and profitability. This guide will explore some of the top AirBnb trends to embrace and outdated practices to avoid when running an Airbnb in today’s market. By aligning your hosting approach with these tips, you can elevate your property and deliver the five-star experience that keeps guests coming back year after year.

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Photo: Road Affair

Related Post: 14 Helpful AirBnb Ideas To Make Your Property Stand Out And Get More Bookings

Minimalist, Functional Design

The minimalist aesthetic is not only timeless but also practical for Airbnb spaces. Guests appreciate uncluttered and neatly organized spaces that maximize functionality without sacrificing style.

Minimalism focuses on stripping away the non-essential to highlight the essential. This creates rooms that feel soothingly simple rather than chaotic or cluttered. By sticking to clean lines, neutral colors, and thoughtful organization, hosts can design Airbnbs that are calming retreats for travelers.

At the same time, minimalist design is highly functional. Multi-purpose furniture, hidden storage, streamlined layouts, and clutter-free surfaces allow guests to easily navigate and fully utilize the space. The minimalist look aligns perfectly with the Airbnb ethos of affordable, efficient housing.

Additionally, minimalism has an enduring aesthetic appeal. Unlike bold patterns or heavily themed spaces, minimalism is unlikely to feel dated or trendy. Focusing on high-quality, natural materials and timeless silhouettes ensures the space will continue looking fresh and inviting for years to come.

Photo: Elle Decor

Local Art and Decor

Incorporating local art and decor items not only supports local artists but also adds a unique, authentic touch to your Airbnb. Displaying art, photos, textiles, and other items made by local craftspeople and artisans is an excellent way to showcase the culture and flavor of your area. When guests are surrounded by original creations from local talents, it provides a deeper, more immersive experience of the destination. The art and decor act as windows into the region’s heritage, stories, values, and aesthetics.

The sense of place provided by local art and decor also delivers marketing value for hosts. Guests are increasingly searching for accommodations that offer authentic cultural immersion and unique character over generic corporate hospitality. Local artisan creations lend a distinctive vibe that global hotel chains cannot easily replicate. Listings that feature local art and decor convey to potential guests that they can expect a one-of-a-kind experience rooted in the essence of that location.

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Photo: EverLine Art

Eco-Friendly Options: The Sustainability Trend

Sustainability is a top priority for many travelers these days. Airbnb hosts who make eco-friendly updates to their rentals can attract these sustainability-minded guests.

Simple changes like installing low-flow showerheads, providing reusable bottles instead of plastic ones, and supplying non-toxic cleaning products show you care about reducing waste. Energy-efficient appliances like washers, dryers, and air conditioners also make a difference. Smart thermostats that optimize heating and cooling save both energy and money.

Other eco-friendly features like electric vehicle charging stations, composting bins, and recycling clearly demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Listing these green amenities in your Airbnb description highlights that you share guests’ values. It makes your rental stand out as an environmentally responsible choice.

Going green extends beyond just daily operations too. Using eco-friendly and ethically sourced materials when renovating or decorating also matters. Opt for sustainable wood floors or countertops over less eco-friendly alternatives. Seek out organic cotton linens and wool rugs versus synthetic fibers. Support environmental causes or offsets by purchasing carbon credits to counterbalance the emissions from guest stays.

With climate change and sustainability top of mind for people worldwide, eco-friendly Airbnbs meet travelers’ evolving preferences. Implementing green features and touting your commitment to the environment in your listing helps attract conscientious guests seeking rentals aligned with their values. It’s a win-win for travelers and hosts alike.

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Photo: AirBnb

Related Post: Modern Home Makeover: 15+ Aesthetic Recycling Projects for Eco-Friendly Decor

Smart Home Features: Convenience and Comfort

Smart home technology has rapidly gained popularity among Airbnb hosts for its ability to provide convenience and comfort to guests. Installing smart home features like smart locks, smart thermostats, and streaming devices can significantly enhance the guest experience.

Smart locks allow for seamless self check-in, avoiding the hassle of having to coordinate key pick-up/drop-off. Guests appreciate the flexibility of being able to arrive whenever is convenient for them. Smart locks also enable hosts to remotely lock or unlock the doors at any time, adding an extra layer of security.

Also, providing streaming devices like Roku or Chromecast allows guests to easily access their own streaming accounts on the TV for entertainment. This small addition makes a space feel more like home.

By integrating these smart conveniences, Airbnb hosts demonstrate their commitment to guest satisfaction through technology. The tech-savvy travelers of today expect and appreciate these types of smart home features when selecting Airbnb accommodations.

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Photo: Turno

Related Post: The Top Smart Home Trends, Plus 14 Devices To Optimize Your Life

Updated Guidebooks

Gone are the days of generic guidebooks that every guest finds in their Airbnb. Today’s travelers are looking for a more personalized, curated experience when they arrive at their rental.

As a host, you can make a great impression by providing guests with a customized guidebook that offers a thoughtful mix of popular tourist attractions and local hidden gems. Tailor your recommendations to the interests of typical guests who book your listing. For example, if you frequently host families, your guide could feature kid-friendly activities. For a listing near wineries, include your favorite vineyard tours and tasting rooms.

Get creative with the format – a printed book, email, or QR codes linking to digital content can all work. Consider including maps, photos, videos, and hyperlinks to websites to make your guide interactive and engaging. Seek out lesser-known spots like hole-in-the-wall restaurants, indie shops, scenic hiking trails, and more to give guests an insider’s perspective on your city.

With this personalized touch, you’ll not only help travelers experience the destination like a local, but also showcase your hosting style and attention to detail. A customized guidebook demonstrates you care about providing an exceptional, one-of-a-kind stay.

Pro Tip: Personalize a welcome sign or write a short greeting card with the guests’ names to make them instantly feel welcome and special.

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Photo: Etsy

Pricing/Policy Transparency Builds Trust

Clear and upfront communication about pricing, fees, and policies is one of the biggest trends for successful Airbnbs. In the past, some hosts may have omitted information about extra charges or had vague cancellation policies. But today’s guests expect and appreciate full transparency from the start.

Listing nightly rates accurately, noting any additional taxes and fees, and explaining cleaning charges or security deposits helps travelers budget appropriately. Providing a detailed breakdown of costs rather than one lump sum price builds trust in potential guests.

Similarly, stating house rules, check-in/check-out times, and cancellation policies explicitly in the listing prevents misunderstandings down the road. Some savvy hosts even include a FAQ section to proactively address common questions or concerns.

While full transparency requires more upfront effort from the host, it pays off through higher guest satisfaction. Travelers feel more confident booking when they have all relevant details. A smooth, seamless rental experience also leads to positive reviews and repeat visits.

As the Airbnb landscape grows increasingly competitive, hosts who prioritize transparency gain a key advantage. Listings with clear pricing and policies stand out for their professionalism and reliability. Focusing on open communication makes guests feel valued, setting the stage for a five-star stay.

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Photo: AirBnb

Unique Experiences Set Your Airbnb Apart

Offering unique experiences is one of the best ways to make your Airbnb listing stand out in a crowded market. With so many cookie-cutter rentals available, experiences give guests a reason to choose your space over others. They transform a standard stay into a memorable one.

Experiences also enable you to showcase special skills, passions, or knowledge you may have. For example, an Airbnb near the beach could offer surf lessons with the host. A listing on a vineyard could include a private wine tasting. Or a city condo could come with a customized walking tour of hidden local gems.

Getting creative with experiences allows you to turn your Airbnb into more than just a place to stay – it becomes an opportunity for guests to try something new and make lasting memories. Keeping experiences small and intimate enhances the feeling of exclusivity.

Market research indicates that travelers increasingly desire authentic, personalized adventures when booking Airbnbs. Unique experiences give them just that. They provide an immersive way for guests to engage with the culture, cuisine, and community around your rental.

So brainstorm experiences that showcase the very best of your area and what makes your space unique. The experiences don’t need to be elaborate or expensive to plan. The key is choosing ideas you genuinely enjoy hosting. This passion will shine through and make the experiences more rewarding for your guests.

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Photo: AirBnb

Overly Themed Decor Can Feel Tacky Now

In the past, Airbnb hosts may have leaned into highly themed decor to make their spaces feel novel and unique for guests. Examples include tropical-themed bedrooms with painted palm trees, surfboards, and fake parrots or a Lord of the Rings-inspired basement with maps of Middle Earth on the walls and cardboard swords as decor.

While at one time, these overly themed rooms were seen as quirky and fun, guests’ tastes have shifted. These types of strong themes can now come off as tacky, overdone, and even cheap-looking rather than clever. Instead of appreciating the novelty, guests may find them to be distracting or in poor taste.

Additionally, strong themes limit the versatility and timelessness of a space. They can feel dated quickly, whereas a more neutral palette with subtle personality allows hosts to switch up accent pieces seasonally.

Rather than intensely themed spaces, most guests now prefer rooms decorated in a way that subtly reflects local culture or nature. This creates a sense of place without going overboard. For example, an Airbnb in Napa Valley could feature wine country photography, neutral tones inspired by the scenery, and locally-made pottery accents. The goal is to avoid overly themed rooms that guests might find garish or tacky.

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Photo: EverLine Art

Putting Guests To Work

There’s a big movement of people booking hotels again because AirBnb owners are literally putting them to work. People go on vacation to relax, and that should be priority for your AirBnb. If you have a long list of chores guests have to complete at the end of their stay, that will automatically give them a bad taste in their mouth (and you probably won’t get 5-star reviews). It’s crucial these days that guests aren’t made to take out the garbage, strip the beds, clean the toilets – and pay a $100 cleaning fee on top of that! If you charge a cleaning fee, the cleaning should be taken care of.

Recently, AirBnb hosts have gotten a bit carried away with their fees and their expectations, which is why many travelers started booking hotels instead. With hotels, they barely have to lift a finger, there’s instant service, and they don’t have to work. Which is why if you want a successful AirBnb, you have to make it as easy as possible for guests to enjoy themselves. Charge a fee for cleaning; that’s 100% valid and expected (but be transparent about it and don’t charge an exorbitant amount). But definitely do not include a long list of tasks that guests need to complete at the end of their stay.

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Photo: Pinterest

Other AirBnb Trends To Consider

6 More AirBnb Trends That Are In

  1. Pet-Friendly Packages: Offering a pet-friendly option with added amenities for furry friends – like pet beds, bowls, and treats – can significantly widen your market. Tailoring your space to be pet-friendly, perhaps with a small pet play area, can be a major draw for travelers who prefer or need to bring their pets along.
  2. Welcome Food or Cocktail Kit: Providing your guests a food or cocktail kits with instructions can offer a unique in-house experience for guests. I stayed in an AirBnb that provided a welcome basket with chips, salsa, and a local beer. You better believe I gave them 5-stars! Great way to start my stay.
  3. Wellness Corners: Creating a wellness space with meditation cushions, yoga mats, and ambient sound machines can appeal to guests looking for relaxation and rejuvenation during their travels. Offering this dedicated space can set your listing apart.
  4. Instagrammable Spots: Speaking of corners – create a visually striking area or feature in your Airbnb that guests will be excited to share on social media. It could be a themed corner, a mural by a local artist, or an unusual piece of furniture. Make sure it’s IG-worthy to encourage guests to tag your property, enhancing online visibility.
  5. Personalized Relaxation Amenities: Offer individualized relaxation amenities, like a selection of essential oils for aromatherapy, a range of herbal teas, or a ‘create your own spa’ basket complete with face masks and bath bombs. It gives guests a tailored approach to relaxation.
  6. Providing Conditioner: This is a personal trend that I would love to see hosts implement more. There’s nothing worse than taking a shower with long hair and not having any conditioner. It’s the little things that can make a huge difference – you’ll make a lot of long-haired guests happy if you provide conditioner with your shampoo and soap!

7 More AirBnb Trends That Are Out

  1. Ignoring Feedback: In the past, some hosts may have overlooked the importance of guest feedback. Today, actively seeking, acknowledging, and acting on feedback is key to improvement and success. People will literally determine if they’re going to book your stay or not based on your replies (to the good & the bad reviews). If you get a negative review, be kind and consider what they have to say. Show future guests that you care about making your stay the best it can be.
  2. Over-communication: While staying in touch is crucial, excessive communication can overwhelm guests. Aim for a balance: be available but not intrusive. Also try to avoid showing up unexpectedly (or at all). Guests don’t want to be on edge wondering if the host is going to stop by.
  3. Impersonal Service: Automated messages and lack of personal touches are increasingly frowned upon. Personalized welcome notes, local snacks, or a quick check-in message can make a big difference in guest satisfaction.
  4. Personal Decor: Having family photos on the wall, or personal items throughout the space can bring a sense of awkwardness. Guests want to feel like they’re on vacation – not crashing someone else’s home.
  5. Rigid Check-in/Check-out Times: Flexibility, when possible, regarding check-in and check-out times can greatly enhance the appeal of your listing, as more travelers look for personalized experiences and convenience.
  6. Single-Use Amenities: The days of tiny plastic shampoo bottles and individually wrapped soaps are fading. More guests are looking for eco-friendly, refillable options in Airbnb bathrooms.

AirBnb Trends For 5-Star Reviews & A Booked Calendar

Staying on trend is critical for success as an Airbnb host in today’s competitive short-term rental market. With new platforms and alternative lodging options emerging, hosts have to work harder than ever to stand out and attract bookings. By embracing the latest trends in design, amenities, technology, and hospitality, Airbnb hosts can elevate their listings and provide the kind of memorable, five-star experiences that lead to stellar reviews and repeat visits.

On the flip side, sticking with outdated practices like cluttered decor, rigid policies, and impersonal service is a sure way to turn off modern travelers who now expect highly personalized, Instagram-worthy stays. The trends outlined here reflect how guest expectations and preferences continue to evolve. Airbnb hosts who stay nimble and keep their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot can readily adapt their offerings to match these trends. Doing so not only helps them keep up with the competition but also fosters the type of unique, on-trend stays that get guests buzzing. By implementing these on-trend best practices, hosts can feel confident they are providing exactly the kind of Airbnb experience today’s guests crave.

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Photo: CN Traveler