Airbnb Considers Option for Payment That Could Put Your Dream Trip in Reach

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Vacations can be a magical way to recharge from the stresses of work and everyday life. That is, however, if the cost of the vacation doesn’t bring on a panic attack.

It seems like Airbnb is looking at a way to alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with booking travel.

The booking site quietly began testing a flexible payment feature that allows some users to pay just a portion of the rental cost upfront and fork over the balance closer to the check-in date.

An official for Airbnb told Fast Company that the partial-payment option is part of a small test the company is running. Only select users will have access to this function while the company conducts the trial run.

Airbnb spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt remained pretty mum, telling Fast Company, “We’re always looking for ways to make booking with and paying for Airbnb listings easier for guests, but have nothing to announce at this time.”

How Airbnb Payments Could Become Easier on Your Wallet

Fast Company writer Ruth Reader discovered the flexible-payment option while planning her honeymoon in Italy.

“Plotting out my destination, I was nosing through Airbnb and salivating over a darling house embedded in the rocky hills of Conca dei Marini, complete with a cracked concrete stairway that leads directly down to the surrounding cerulean waters,” she wrote. “The price was agreeable, but I was still nervous about putting down my cash on this insanely beautiful property for a weeklong stay in July.

The listing allowed me to put a deposit on the property for half the total cost of the apartment. I’ll pay the remaining balance two weeks before we arrive… Not putting down the full amount up front felt like less of a commitment.”

Airbnb’s current policy requires guests pay the entire amount upon placing their reservations.

Breaking up payments for an Airbnb rental can allow users to save up for the remainder of the purchase over time.

Reader said she and her fiance will each collect four paychecks between making the down payment on their Italian rental and when their remaining balance is due, keeping them from feeling stretched thin.

This payment flexibility may convince Airbnb users to extend their stays or choose a pricier rental since they won’t have to hand over all the money all at once.

Your Turn: Would you like the option of breaking up payments the next time you book a rental on Airbnb?

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.