Every remote worker knows that finding a monthly accommodation is a pain in the ass in most countries and cities. Except perhaps Chiang Mai in Thailand, which is digital nomad heaven, most other countries make monthly rentals less than six months extremely hard to come by and above all, expensive.
During our travels, we learned by trial and error and loads of research. I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help digital nomads (or long-term travelers) finding monthly accommodation rentals!
(Note: this guide is based on our experience traveling in Southeast Asia, so it might not necessarily always apply to other continents.)
Always Research First
Obviously, the most important thing before arriving at a new destination is to research the city you’re going to and in which area you would like to stay. Read blog posts from other remote workers who have stayed there and see how they managed to find an apartment.
For example, all the resources online on finding an apartment in Chiang Mai helped us tremendously and enabled us to find a really nice and affordable apartment on our first day.
Therefore, research as much as you can, Google will definitely be your new best friend 😉
Also, have a look at my Checklist for Digital Nomads When Arriving at a New Destination.
Andrea made this awesome platform for digital nomads called Belooga, where you can find and share monthly accommodation rental around the world. Check it out here: Belooga.co.
The website is geared towards monthly rentals, and you will find contact details, pictures and wifi speed info about different accommodations around the world.
Of course, I can’t exclude Airbnb from this list, as it’s the biggest accommodation platform out there. Even though I find most monthly rentals to be pretty expensive on Airbnb, it’s still possible to find decent accommodations once in a while. Luckily, owners can offer a monthly discount as well.
A good tip also is to message Airbnb hosts and ask them personally if they can offer any (further) monthly discount. It doesn’t always work, but look at it from the hosts’ perspective: if they can get someone to rent their place for a month, that would be a pretty sweet deal for them as well! So it definitely doesn’t hurt to try it.
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Go to apartment buildings and ask what’s available
This is only an option is some countries such as Thailand, because in many other countries it’s not possible, simply because they have a minimum rental period of 6 months. If you’re a digital nomad looking to stay six months or longer in a particular destination, then lucky you! You can get a pretty nice apartment for very cheap.
But many remote workers don’t stay longer than three months in a certain area, so a monthly rental is the only option. A good tactic is to go to different apartment buildings in the area you want to live and ask if they have any apartments available for monthly rental. This is how we found our apartment in Chiang Mai. For more information, read this blog post on Apartment Hunting in Chiang Mai.
Another good place to find apartment rentals are Facebook groups. Join a group like ‘Digital Nomads in [Enter your destination]’ and have a look if anyone shared any specific posts about accommodation rentals.
This is actually how we found our amazing apartment in Bali. We saw that someone posted the accommodation on this Facebook group called ‘Sanur community’ and we contacted them and it was love at first sight!
Try your luck with Hotels
In some places, such as Koh Lanta in Thailand, hotels are your best option as there aren’t many other accommodation options around. In this case, you can go to the hotels and ask what the monthly price would be for a room, and then negotiate. Sometimes, you can also message the hotel owner/manager and ask them in advance how much the monthly price would be.
Do you have any other tips on apartment hunting for digital nomads? Let me know in the comment section below!