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  • As travel resumes following the novel coronavirus, many travelers are looking for easy escapes within driving distance.
  • Private vacation rentals such as Airbnb also remove interactions with other guests, which experts say promotes social distancing and can be safer than hotels.
  • For East Coasters, Cape Cod offers an appealing coastal getaway just one hour from Boston and four hours from New York.
  • While summer on the cape is lovely, visiting off-season means cheaper prices, fewer crowds, and cooler, more comfortable weather.
  • We found highly rated, affordable listings across the Cape that include new cleaning policies to offer additional peace of mind.
  • Read more: Are Airbnbs safe? We spoke to experts, a company representative, and an Airbnb host to share everything you should know before booking someone’s home.

As states reopen following the novel coronavirus, many travelers are planning getaways within driving distance to resume travels a bit more cautiously.

For many East Coasters, that makes Cape Cod appealing, given that it’s just an hour from Boston and only about a four-hour drive from New York. With over 500 miles of coastline, the Cape offers a wide range of towns and attractions to suit travelers’ needs. 

Towns like Falmouth and Sandwich are close to Boston for shorter travel times, while Dennis, Yarmouth, and Chatham are well-situated in the middle of the Cape and are close to Hyannis, where you may catch a ferry to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard.

Meanwhile, while it takes longer to access the Outer-Cape, that’s where you’ll find some of the best beaches, the legendary Provincetown party scene, as well as more remote areas like Wellfleet. 

For fewer crowds (an important point when considering safe travel during COVID) and better deals, look to shoulder seasons like fall when the nightly average for an Airbnb home rental is $282, and often, far cheaper. In the summer, that quickly jumps into the $300 to $400 range for a modern, well-located home.

And if you’re wondering if travel is safe, experts consider private vacation homes, such as those on Airbnb, as one of the safer places to stay, especially when compared to hotels. This is because you are often booking an entire home protected from interaction with others.

Airbnb also announced rigorous new procedures including the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, which includes guidelines on personal protective equipment, disinfectants, and mandatory waiting periods between previous guests and cleanings.

Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It’s crucial to follow guidelines from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk, and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection. Finally, be sure to check state restrictions at the time of booking, as some New England states are prohibiting visitors from hotspot areas.

With that said, we sorted through hundreds of Airbnb listings and carefully selected a range of homes throughout the area based on the following criteria:

  1. All listings are in private homes, cottages, or stand-alone apartments.
  2. All are highly rated with an overall score of at least a 4.5 out of 5. 
  3. The home is priced between $79 and $350 per night to start and is available to book as of publishing time. 
  4. All properties have desirable amenities, whether it’s impeccable decor, stunning waterfront views, or access to private beaches.

Additional costs such as cleaning, facility, or building fees, are at the discretion of the property’s host. Note that some facilities may be impacted by COVID and many homes require minimum night stays and strict cancellation policies. If you’re unsure about travel plans, you may want to look for a listing with a flexible policy or check across multiple booking platforms to ensure you’re getting the best deal. 

Fees aside, we recognize that safety is of the utmost concern when booking your next Airbnb. We also broke down each property’s cleaning procedures, and encourage you to contact the host for more information before booking your stay.

Looking for more East Coast beach getaways?

These are the best Airbnbs in Cape Cod, sorted by price from low to high.