Finding accommodation as a digital nomad is one of the first things you need to think about before you even set a foot onto the foreign soil of your choosing. Depending on your planned activities (long-term stay, just passing by), there are different options to consider.
Let’s take a look!
1. Things Are Becoming Easier
First of all, with digital nomadism seemingly becoming every remote worker’s dream, new opportunities keep popping up. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find various companies offering accommodations.
Still, for many digital nomads (especially those who aren’t rich), going to apartment owners is usually the first choice.
Expat communities are quite active on social media, so you can join the target group and discuss the matter with the members. There are also many groups where the locals offer their apartments for rent.
However, keep in mind that it is always a better option to actually go to the apartment in person before deciding on a long-term rental. Hence, staying at a hotel or hostel upon arrival may be the first step to undertake.
Also, make sure to use the foreign housing inclusion (decreases the tax liability by allowing certain housing expenses to be deducted from taxable income) where applicable.
2. Short-Term Rentals
Short-term accommodations are advantageous in that they allow you to live a life of your own making without any long-term commitments. If you’re traveling often, this is usually the best option.
There are many short-term accommodation types available, depending on the location. Hostels and hotels are one option, but there are also people sub-letting their apartments from time to time. If you’re planning to stay at a place for just a couple of days, there are also options charged on a daily basis. Note that the latter are, as a rule, way more expensive than monthly rentals.
3. Long-Term Rentals
The main advantage of long-term rentals is that they offer a sense of security. If you choose a year-long lease, you won’t have to worry about moving out any time soon.
Make sure to commit to a long-term rental only when you’ve found a perfect apartment, though.
The good thing about long-term rentals is that you’ll have plenty of apartments to choose from. Many homeowners actually prefer this type of arrangement, as it is easier for them, too. Long-term tenants are usually well-behaved and mean business, so the owners won’t have to worry about unpaid bills or damage to the property.
The only disadvantage of long-term rentals is that you won’t be able to leave at a short notice. If you’re planning to establish a base in one country, you shouldn’t worry about this.
Long-term rentals are advertised far and wide, from local newspapers and portals to social media expat groups to expats themselves. You just need to do research and compare offers before deciding on the best accommodation.
4. Serviced Apartments
Here’s a catch: if you’re planning to settle somewhere and are looking for a long-term rental, pay attention to additional expenses. On top of utility and Wi-Fi bills, there may also be other expenditures to consider.
Normally, there are unfurnished, partially furnished, and fully furnished apartments to choose from. Some rentals have certain added benefits, which may include appliances, personal belongings (bed sheets, towels, cutlery, etc.), and the internet.
Unless you’re among rare digital nomads that are buying a house, you’ll do well to look into these offers. Buying merely house appliances poses a considerable cost.
Serviced apartments are fully furnished and include necessary appliances and personal belongings so the only thing you need to think about is — moving in. These rentals are also easier to move out from once you decide to change locations as you won’t have to carry bulky cardboard boxes and heavy appliances.
Serviced apartments are a bit more expensive, but they always pay off as there won’t be any additional expenses you’d normally have to shoulder with unfurnished and no-appliance apartments.
5. Co-Living Spaces
If you’re a budget traveler or just out for some fun, you’ll need to look into cheaper options. Co-living spaces are one good example of modern accommodation that has sprung out due to the need to outgrow traditional ways of living.
A co-living space is a space where a group of people lives and may or may not work together. Normally, people with shared interests would look for this option. The good thing is that a great many places worldwide pertaining to becoming digital nomad hubs offer this kind of accommodation.
Co-living spaces are often considered creative hubs and are certain to grow in popularity in the future as people start relying on remote work more and more.
Hostels are usually the first place newcomers who don’t know where to start looking for accommodation pick. They are cheaper than hotels and are a good choice for budget travelers.
On top of that, hostels are popular, because they are hubs where different people meet and get to hang out.
With digital nomadism growing ever stronger, there are nowadays hostels that target digital nomads alone. They offer free internet access and a number of amenities typically needed by digital nomads, so make sure to look them up.
Hotels offer traditional accommodation of which prices may vary greatly. Naturally, more exclusive hotels charge more and offer luxuries of hotel life. They are, however, rarely a good fit for a typical digital nomad because they are far more expensive than hostels and co-shared spaces.
Couchsurfing has gotten a whole new dimension with the rise of digital nomadism. Originally, people used to welcome foreign travelers to their homes merely for the sake of meeting new international friends.
Nowadays, the trend has revamped to include a slew of digital nomads looking for local guides and free or nearly-free accommodations. In return, they expect to meet new friends and maybe stay at their place if they plan to visit their country sometime in the future.
People opening their homes to complete strangers are friendly and open-minded, so couchsurfing may just be the option a merry world traveler is looking for. Good couchsurfers repay the hosts with potential friendship and lots of fun times together, which is, for many people, a win-win situation.
Not to mention that couchsurfing offers a novel experience digital nomads can hardly hope to witness any other away, notably:
- A peek behind the scenes of the usual tourist offer
- A better understanding of the local culture and habits
- Access to hotspots popular among the locals that tourists rarely find on their own
- Access to best deals — insider discounts and less-known activities
- Knowledge on how to avoid scams (yes, there are scammers everywhere, so you’ll need to ask around)
- Access to all home amenities (kitchen, toilette, bathroom, etc.) and all amenities
- Ability to prepare and enjoy home-made meals and even enjoy local delicacies prepared by the host
- Possibility for new friendships
Note that couchsurfing isn’t fit only for solo travelers. Families can easily find accommodations with people with shared interests, so if you’re looking for insider info, make sure to give couchsurfing a go.
Overall, there are plenty of opportunities suitable for every pocket, so do your research before setting out!