Renting a house or apartment is one of the best ways to save money while traveling. I have rented in places like Rio, Panama, Puerto Rico, Mexico, France and many others and its a great way to live like a local and get a great deal. I love the search for the perfect rental and it has made for some amazing trips.
Renting a house or apartment can save you a lot of money when compared to the costs of the nightly rate at a hotel or resort. It is an upgrade from a hostel and if you are in a large group can save you even more. You can bring your nightly rate down significantly. It also allows you to live as a local would and immerses you in the culture.
Where to Look
There are countless sites to find house rentals but my favorite is VRBO, which stands for vacation rental by owner, allows you to deal directly with the owner will allow room to make a deal and travel hack your way to serious savings. I have never paid asking price from an owner and never will. They will always negotiate.
My favorite sites to start my search:
High Season vs Low Season
Holidays can make renting a bit tricky. Every country will have their own holidays so what may seem like a regular weekend to you can be the most popular day of the year for them. For example, if you wanted to rent a place in Amsterdam on April 30th you would be paying premium prices since it is Queen’s Day there. Simply avoid holidays unless they are the reason for your travel. A little research can help you avoid this.
Short Stays vs Long Stays
Short Stays aren’t as readily available on sites such as VRBO. Many have 3 day minimums and a lot have 1 week minimums. If you are the type who is always on the move then check out AirBnB. AirBnB is great for short stays and you will have options to rent just a room or a whole apartment. I have read great reviews from renters but there have been stories of renters trashing the owners apartment. Good news for you is that you are a renter and not an owner so don’t worry but please be respectful.
- Go low on your offer
- Be firm with your budget
- Ask for dates that fit your schedule
- Determine which type of rental is best for you
- READ REVIEWS! Can’t stress this enough
- Be confident in your payment method
- Write a review after you have a positive experience to help others make the right decision
Bonus TripHackr Tip