Yes, getting settled into new digs can be a bit intimidating at first. But, keep in mind that getting a furnished accommodation (bungalow, shared flat/apartment, hut or home), is not a continental-leap from that of acquiring one at home. Certainly you are not going to stay as long as a regular tenant or as temporary as a guest, and the process of locating a place is not as familiar as opening up your hometown newspaper (especially if you don’t read and speak the local language), but getting a non-hotel place to call (temporary) home for cheap and within your terms is as doable as scoring good travel insurance.
Sharpen your focus to the private party rental opportunities (e.g.: spare room to let, shared housing, cottage rentals, et cetera) as opposed to longer-term apartment and housing rentals or the hotel option. Such finds can be found within expat classifieds for a particular area (Visit www.expats.cz if you’re setting your sights on Czech Republic) or Google “shared housing” or “rooms to rent” for your destination. There are also emerging services specifically for those location-independent working professionals, such as locusworkspace.com.
One of the most important resource is the nomad/ex-pat connection. Try to make relationships with those who just left the destination you’re considering. These folks are often a wealth of information, who can be found on various web chat rooms, forums and through blog posts. One of the most popular information forums for you to know about is Lonely Planet’s “Thorn Tree” forum. (Climb straight to the “Long Haul” branch). Engage in forums about where to live, prices, how to buy groceries, et cetera. These connections are often invaluable for those unfamiliar with an area.
If you’ve missed out on the opportunity to connect with nomad/ex-pats before arriving in your new destination, don’t sweat it. But you’ll want to head for the thick of the expat community ASAP. You know these haunts: cafes, restaurants and bars, and second-hand books stores. These are the people who know where many of the suitable, inexpensive, really interesting places are.
People that provide goods and services to the traveler community are a first-level resource. Local market operators, café servers, counter-people, local travel guides, are often very helpful in connecting their regular customer’s with potential new ones. These folks may know of someone with an extra room, flat, or apartment to let. Oh, and don’t forget to scour the bulletin boards—both web and traditional. Some of the best finds are tacked-up in small stores, coffee-houses, cafes and local universities.
Yes, when all else fails, go to the professionals. No doubt they’ll show you the more expensive accommodations and their commission will be a factor in the cost, but they may be very helpful for those who require long-term housing and/or who are traveling with several people and additional rooms are needed. But keep in mind that these sorts of places may require contractual commitments and riff with small-print. That said, be sure to get someone to explain the rules of real estate for your area and what should be expected in such a rental.
About the Author
Written by temporary resident of Thailand, the Nu Nomad Richard (Ricardo) Hamel, who believes that there are fewer and fewer reason to stay put at home just because you have a well-paying job. Why not take your job with you whilst traveling and living abroad. Ricardo, and co-founder Carmen Bolaños (whose temporary residence is Mexico), are providing a place for other modern working nomads to come together & connect over at NuNomad.com, NuNomad.com/blog or on Twitter.
What's your experience of 'settling down' somewhere as a traveller? How did you find your own home?
Interested in a working holiday in New Zealand? Find out about the working holiday visa scheme and how to get a visa before you go.