In an effort to appeal to newly minted digital nomads, Airbnb is offering a dozen individuals the opportunity to travel the world for a year starting next month.
The company announced its Live Anywhere program this week, billing it as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the world your home for a year.”
Twelve people, each allowed to bring three travel companions, will receive a year’s worth of free living accommodations and transportation allowance between $5,000 - $12,000 — depending on the number of companions — from Airbnb.
In exchange for the award that is roughly valued at $45,000, Airbnb is looking for participants who will share their experiences that could “help shape the future of travel and living on Airbnb,” according to the company website.
Beginning in July and running through July 2022, what you do and where you go is up to you. The company website offers suggestions like “Zoom meetings by the beach,” or taking your family on the “ultimate road trip,” or “[learning] a new language in a favorite city.”
Since the pandemic has empowered workers with the ability to work remotely and live outside of where they once physically worked, the popularity of long-term stays has soared.
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Reservations 28 days or longer on Airbnb increased 10% from 2019 to the first quarter of 2021, according to a survey from Airbnb’s Report on Travel & Living. Nearly three-quarters of users across the world expressed interest in “living some place other than where their employer is based after the pandemic is over.”
Based on the appetite for long-term stays and remote work opportunities, Airbnb said the “trend is here to stay” and wants to “help shape the future of flexible living.” Here’s what to know about the promotion.
Who can apply?
The application criteria is fairly open. Basic requirements include being 18 or over, having a valid passport from a list of 33 countries including the United States, and having at least a conversational command of English.
Airbnb is looking for a wide variety of people from remote workers to creatives, empty nesters to young families, and staycationers and digital nomads.
The selection process includes multiple rounds and reviewers will score each applicant according to a weighted scale until 20 finalists are determined. Hopefuls will be largely assessed by their “passion for the program” and “genuine interest in exploring the blending of living and working lifestyle and potential for their experience to help shape future updates to Airbnb platform and products.”
Other criteria include personality, creativity, and storytelling capabilities, and willingness to share their experiences using the platform as a long-term living option.
Where do I sign up?
Aside from the standard questions like name, contact information, age, and citizenship, there’s a brief questionnaire that assesses an applicant's experience with alternative forms of travel and in multi-cultural environments.
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Hopefuls can plan according to this timeline: Online applications must be in by June 30; Finalists will be contacted no later than July 5 and tasked with submitting a two-minute video answering given prompts by July 9. Finalist interviews will take place by July 16, and offers to the chosen 12 participants will be made by July 21 who will have one day to confirm or reject the invitation.