- Airbnb is selecting 12 people to travel for a year and live in Airbnbs for free.
- Participants will share their experience with Airbnb to inform future product decisions.
- Anyone interested in being selected can apply online. The program begins this July.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Airbnb wants to pay 12 people to live the life of a nomad for one year.
The home-sharing company announced Wednesday a new program called “Live Anywhere on Airbnb.” It will choose a dozen people to live in Airbnb listings for free for a year – in exchange, guests will share their experience with Airbnb to help inform the company’s future product decisions around nomadic living.
Airbnb’s program will officially kick off in July, and those who are selected will spend a total of 10 months traveling, beginning in September. Guests will be allowed to bring up to three companions when they travel.
Airbnb will grant participants anywhere from $12,000 to $24,000 Airbnb credits for the first five months, depending on how many guests they want to travel with. If participants opt to stick with the program, they’ll receive another chunk of Airbnb credits for an additional five months of travel.
Participants will also receive a transportation stipend of up to $12,000, depending on the number of travel companions.
An Airbnb spokesperson told Insider that participants will be able to travel anywhere in the world – depending on local COVID restrictions – and that “the goal of the program is to inform the future of living, not just traveling on Airbnb.” To that end, participants will be encouraged to design their own travel and choose their own locations and durations of stay.
Airbnb will accept applications for the program from Wednesday through June 30. For those interested in living anywhere for a year, here’s how the selection process works:
1. Hopeful participants can apply on Airbnb’s website.
Applicants will have to fill out a series of questions and complete essay prompts about why they’re excited to live nomadically and how they’re currently exploring new ways of living and working.
2. A panel of reviewers will evaluate the applications.
The panel will select the top 20 finalists based on criteria like passion for the program, creativity and individuality, and excitement for sharing their experience during the program, plus thorough examples of how they’d document their experience.
Finalists will be notified they’ve been selected by July 5.
3. Finalists will submit a two-minute video.
The video will need to explain why applicants want to live in Airbnbs for a year and what excites them most about helping to inform the future of Airbnb.
The video must be submitted by July 9. Finalists must also consent to a background check.
4. Finalists will be interviewed by Airbnb’s review panel.
They’ll be asked about their application and the program itself, and the interviews and submitted videos will be scored by the review panel.
5. Winners will be selected by July 19.
Winners will have to consent to taking part in publicity surrounding the program and will have to participate in information sessions in July and August where they’ll learn more about Airbnb’s expectations, learn from travel experts, and walk through their own travel plans.
The program is open to anyone age 18 and over from a select group of countries. Entrants must have a passport that’s valid until February 2023 and must be able to speak conversational English.
Airbnb’s new program comes after long-term stays increased during the pandemic. According to the company’s travel report, published in May, long-term stays jumped 10% in the first quarter compared 2019, with 11% of those guests reporting that they live a “nomadic lifestyle.”
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said last year that the company wants to continue to carve out a piece of the longer-term rental market, despite its roots as a short-term rental company. Going forward, people will plan more stays that last weeks on end, which Chesky told Skift CEO Rafat Ali he sees as distinct from the travel market.
“I think one thing you’re going to see is that a huge percentage of the accommodations business going forward will not be limited to travel,” Chesky said.
Airbnb went public last December. The company beat Wall Street expectations for its first-quarter earnings, an early sign that the travel industry could skyrocket post-pandemic.