Accommodation fit for digital nomads

Finding short-term accommodation in a city you’re unfamiliar with, when you’re a digital nomad can be a nightmare. Where do you start? Who do you ask? Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and websites that can aid you in your search for the perfect accommodation.

Here are a few of my favourite and most effective methods of finding short-term accommodation in new cities and countries. All these methods have been tried and tested with successful outcomes.

Airbnb

The Airbnb website is a great and easy tool for finding short-term accommodation. It literally lists a whole bunch of potential landlords for short-term accommodation in the city or town you’re in. The site also gives you the option to look for entire houses or apartments, as well as shared housing.

If you can’t find anything within your budget, contact hosts directly and ask them whether they would negotiate a cheaper price. You’ll find that most hosts will be willing to slash prices by more than 50% if you can commit to at least a few months. The benefit to them is guaranteed full occupancy for the duration of your stay, plus less cleaning, no changing sheets, no waiting to meet and greet new guests and less time managing the property.

Once you find your place you can discuss the logistics with your host or landlord. Paying through Airbnb for the entire duration of the stay may mean both you and the landlord paying unnecessary fees. Try and see whether the host will be happy for you to pay month by month, with the first month being paid through the site, then all future months being paid in cash. This will save you both some money.

Craig’s List/ Gumtree/ Kijiji

These are all similar websites, popular in different parts of the global. They are all basically online notice boards. This option may involve sifting through a lot of rubbish, but if you look hard enough you’re bound to find some good accommodation options. Whatever you do, don’t pay any money in advance of seeing the property. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there.

Housesitting

This is the ideal outcome! Housesitting for a few months usually means, free accommodation n exchange for looking after someone’s property while they are on holiday. In some cases you can even land a gig that involves being paid.

There are lots of housesitting websites out there, so pick the one that fits best for the country you are travelling to.

Easy Room Mate and Spare Room websites

There are plenty of shared accommodation sites, such as easyroommate and spareroom. They are great for finding short term, cheap accommodation in places all over the global. Just like browsing for a hostel or hotel room, easyroommate and spareroom (and websites alike), allow you to search through different short to long term shared accommodation.

Local newspapers

Not everything is done online. If you’re looking to set up in a smaller town then checking out the local newspaper might be your best beat in finding some short-term accommodation.

Ads on notice boards in hostels/ shopping malls/ universities

Looking at ads on notice boards is still a great way to find accommodation, especially in small towns and villages. Expats looking for roommates tend to advertise in hostels, rather than online. If your hostel doesn’t have a notice board, sometimes just asking around can generate results. This is how we found our shared apartment in Xela, Guatemala.

Other things to consider:

The time of year can be a huge factor when looking for short-term accommodation.

If you’re visiting a place in the low season, try Airbnb. This is when hosts are unlikely to get many bookings, so are more willing to accept longer stays for less money.

If you are travelling in Canada or the USA during winter, this is a good time to try and find a housesitting opportunity, as many people head to warmer countries for the winter months.

If you are visiting in school holidays, this is when students are looking to sublease their room or apartment for a few months. Best places to find these opportunities are on sites like Gumtree, and on university notice boards.

These are just a few of the effective ways to find short-term accommodation on your travels. Did we miss any of your favourite methods? Let us know in the comment section below, so we can add it to our list.

Happy travels!

Leave a Reply