|More than once you could find me in this pose!|
In fact, it is one of the reasons we chose to slow down our travel, but finding a 6-month rental house has proven to be just as challenging as finding a decent hotel or vacation home while on the fly. And the pressure to get it right seems more vital since we'll be there longer than "normal", for us anyway.
It's one thing to go to a not-so-great hotel in a bad location with crappy Internet and pillows that guarantee headaches but which you can leave after a night or two. It's quite another thing to be stuck somewhere for 6 months or longer.
Our recent challenges to find housing while traveling in Hawaii and the exhausting task of getting affordable family lodging on the road motivated me to put together this list of considerations for fellow travelers:
5 Challenges for Finding Good Lodging
However, we've also gotten a taste of some extreme luxury along the way as well which has spoiled our taste for roughing it. But some of the house-sitting gigs we had were TOO nice! We were constantly worried about our rowdy offspring damaging something expensive.
Ultimately we prefer something in between a vermin-free dwelling with working plumbing, and a climate-controlled comfortably furnished mid size house. What's clear, though, is that we desire more comfort the longer our stay is.
Cost is always a primary concern. Our total house budget including utilities is around $1500.
While we were able to breeze into nearly any hotel in Southeast Asia knowing we could afford it for a month if needed, that's not the case in most of the world. In fact, fast traveling can be very expensive just about everywhere outside of Asia or Central America. On our budget we are forced to slow down our travel in first-world countries.
In Hawaii it's proving to be most cost effective to rent an unfurnished house since second hand furniture is so easy to buy and resell with Craigslist. The furnished vacation homes here tend to cost double what the unfurnished homes cost. It is still a tough decision since we don't like to be tied down to things. We plan to go minimal and not spend too much on any one item.
|All 5 of us stayed in this room!|
Location of lodging is crucial while traveling especially due to the cost of available transportation. There's a reason hotels near the tourist strip of restaurants and attractions are more costly because most travelers don't have vehicles.
Location is still very important for mid-to-long term stays. We've found that springing for a vacation rental home for a month to check out an area before committing to something more permanent is wise. There's only so much one can learn by researching areas on the Internet. You have to experience it and surrounding spots to get the feel for it.
Curiously, most advertisements on the Internet do not showcase the neighbor's cock fighting farm right outside YOUR window. And yes we have actually encountered that, we passed on and walked away extremely grateful that we hadn't booked it sight unseen!
Booking hotels is fairly straightforward, as is booking a vacation rental. Logistics are mostly taken care of by the website that facilitates the rental. Yet, concerns over security deposits for vacation rentals in foreign countries can be challenging. There's not much recourse if the property managers decide to keep it for whatever reason. It's best to get clarification upfront about what is covered and what's not in the security deposit.
Shorter-term rentals are significantly easier to deal with than longer-term. Usually there's no credit check or hefty deposit required. In America, for a 6-month lease, they do a background check, income verification, credit check and then make you sign a ream of documents.
No matter the type of property or length of stay, finding the right one can be a daunting task. There's no getting around the research that needs to be done to find comfort. So, in the end, we're happy to not have to think about finding new housing for a little bit. Yet hopefully these considerations will help you when measuring your options.