Pay Less Up Front allows Airbnb guests to pay less up front by spreading the cost of their holiday booking over two installments. Picture: Supplied.

 Airbnb launched Pay Less Up Front, a new feature that allows guests to spread the cost of their holiday booking over two installments. In order to secure their reservation, guests are now able to pay part of the cost of their accommodation expense on the day of booking, with the remaining amount payable closer to the time of check-in.

Many would-be travellers get back to work in January and almost immediately want to book that next holiday, but find that January is the month in which they can least afford to do so. This is, in part, the result of Christmas and the summer holiday season putting pressure on the wallets.

In a statement, Airbnb said that they understood the difficulty to pay for a holiday upfront, especially in January when the purse-strings have to be held particularly tight. They said the introduction of the new feature will allow guests to book their holidays in advance so they do not have to lose out on their annual leave. 

 The new feature will prove beneficial to hosts too, as guests are likely to book their trips with more notice if they are able to stagger their payment.This announcement follows the launch of Airbnb Split Payments in November, a feature that allows accommodation expenses to be easily split among friends and family.

Pay Less Up Front will be available to most guests via the payment page when making their booking. To be eligible for the feature, guests need to spend a total of at least R3000 on an Airbnb home and the booking must be made at least 14 days prior to check-in. Since the cancellation policies vary per host on the platform the date of the final payment will be different for every booking and clearly displayed in guests’ confirmation email.