How To Live Like A Local: A Guide To Short Term Apartment Rentals Around The World

Short Term Apartment Rentals

These days there seems to be more people than ever wanting to escape the rat race and take off on a 3, 6 or 12 month sabbatical, and to take it one step further others like myself want to quit the corporate life forever to have the freedom to work from anywhere, travel the world, and feel the wind in your hair a little more than a 9-5 existence allows. Naturally, If you’re taking off on a long term adventure then accommodation is going to be one of your biggest costs, but what if you could find a way to rent an apartment anywhere in the world for less than the price of a hotel (and some hostels) and have the opportunity to live like a local for the length of your stay? Enter: Short terms apartment rentals. It’s not a new concept, but certainly one that’s become a lot more accessible the last few years thanks to the internet, and the hugely popular 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Most people assume that short term apartments are expensive or difficult to find, and this may have been true in the past, but not anymore – if you know how to go about finding them that is! With a little internet digging you can easily find a cheap apartment to rent anywhere you desire, for as long as you desire. Here’s how you do it:

Conduct A Search

There are a number of ways you can search for short term leases around the world, but generally there will be websites that focus on a particular country or continent. A few of the good ones include:

  • 9Flats – Short term/holiday rentals on every continent, with lots of great European apartments listed.
  • AirBNB – Worldwide coverage, this is where you might find those less popular destinations.
  • Pure Holiday Homes – Short term/holiday rentals from around the world, with a focus on the USA and Europe.
  • SellMyTimeshareNowSearch for timeshare rentals all around the world.
  • Home Away – Short term/holiday rentals from around the world – this is best site I have seen for South American properties.
  • Cottages 4 You – Short term/holiday rentals in the UK.
  • Capestay – Short term/holiday rentals in South African.
  • Stayz – Short term/holiday rentals in Australia, great for beach apartments.
  • Vacation Rentals by Owner – Short term/holiday rentals from around the world – Please note that these properties tend to me more expensive than other sites.

Short Term Apartment Rentals

Create A Shortlist Of Potential Apartments

Once you have determined the city or area you would like to stay in, create a list of your favourites for you to look at in further detail. Depending on your requirements you will want to find out about the following:

  • Security of apartment
  • Amenities available, such as laundry, internet, furniture/bedding and cleaning
  • Access to local shops/transport
  • Local area – is it the kind of place you see yourself staying?

Once you have looked at all of these criteria you should now have 1-3 properties that you are interested in.

Final Checks

Once you have one or two apartments in mind as your first choice then you may want to reach out to the owner/agent dealing with the lease. This may only be necessary if there isn’t a lot of information available online, or if you unsure about any details. Also, never underestimate the power of bargaining – make sure you ask if there is any kind of discount for 1,2,4 week stays – if you don’t ask, you don’t get! The websites listed above should all list reviews and the apartments features in detail, so this may help you to make your final decision. You can also check review websites like Trip Advisor to see if there has been any feedbackon this accommodation.

Book It!

Once you are happy with all the details and have confirmed your dates then it’s time to book! Depending on the website or service you use you will most likely have to pay either a deposit or the whole amount up front. Otherwise the amount will be fully payable when you arrive, however this is not common. Once your booked it’s time to start researching your new ‘home’ and to get excited about your impending adventure. Enjoy! Photo Credit - Thanks to striatic (Attribution License) Previous Post – 6 Ways To Save Money When You Travel Next Post – Photo Of The Week – The Auschwitz Death Wall

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    I am departing on a year or long trip in Feb ’12, but will be stopping to work a few times on my journey. This could actually be a real plausible thing for me to do in those 2-3 spots. thanks for the tips!

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Cheers Scott, definitely give it a go, theres some awesome apartments out there!

  2. Liv says:

    Hi Nicole – what a handy post for travelers! I bet lots of people would never have realised short term rentals were an option.

  3. Thanks for that great list of websites. It’s nice to know where to start in the search. This is definitely something I hope to do one day =).

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Thanks Lori, glad you found it useful! : )

  4. Claire says:

    Great advice, it’s something I’m considering but didn’t even know where to start researching.

  5. Julie says:

    Hi, thanks for the post.
    I too am soon (but not soon enough) quitting the corporate life to live as a successful vegabond.
    I’m surprised to see you didn’t mention http://www.airbnb.com
    This is the best website I’ve ever found for short or long term vacation rentals. And the best part is, it covers the entire world!
    I highly recommend it.

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hi Julie, Thanks – I actually need to update the post with Air BNB as I wrote this post before I discovered the site – thanks for the reminder! All the best with your new life and travel plans!

  6. Nicci says:

    Do you know if there are sites available for Hong Kong? We usually go there for 2 weeks every year in Nov/Dec. Hotels have become waaay expensive! We would love to stay in an apartment as I love to cook and all the local ingredients available at the markets have me itching to get behind the stove! Thanks.

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hi Nicci, Give AirBNB, 9Flats and ExpatFlats a go – all three list for HK. Enjoy!

  7. Jeff says:

    For some larger cities, don’t overlook Craigslist. Also, even though CouchSurfing is generally for short-term stays, some cities have a flat rental group. Even for those without however, you can generally post a message saying you are looking for something and often members from that area will know of something or at least give you other local resources to try.

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hi Jeff, thanks for the tip – I would never have guessed that for short trips. Thank you! : )

  8. Yves says:

    Excellent list that I will use to research accommodations for an extended stay in southern France which is number one on my bucket list. I also would love to spend winters in southern spain

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hi Yves, glad it will be useful – have a great time in France and Spain!

  9. hannah says:

    Try workaway.info – pretty cool for working vacations! Cheers, Hannah

  10. Hi!
    Beautiful bed :) It’s nice to know where to start in the search. This is definitely something I hope to do one day =).

  11. Vrujci Banja says:

    Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was
    extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for rookie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hey Vrujci, thanks so much! Its a steep learning curve but I would recommend reading Nomadic Matts ebook on blogging – it pretty much tells you everything you need to know! You should be able to find a link to it in my sidebar. Best of luck!

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