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How we find a Home

How we find a Home

Here is how we find ourselves a new habitat during our travels.

 

 

 

 

 

Great sites to find a place to stay for weeks not just days. Live like a local, not a tourist. Have your own flat and don’t change hotels all the time.

You have to get in contact in advance though or you will end up at booking.com when making enquiries last minute. Yeah, I know you wouldn’t do that anyway. Truthfully, that is just a reminder for us.

So far, renting worked out well in Athens, Budapest and Vilnius.

 

Choose a city, your budget range and get loads of hotel offers with detailed descriptions and customer reviews. I love this site for the awesome flash-deals you can get if you spent time searching for hotel accommodation. It also works very well for last minute bookings.

As with all sites, we find it very helpful to read the reviews to get a better picture of the hotel.

There is a similar site called Agoda, but we’ve never used it for booking.

 

It is so much more than having a bed for the night, because it is not about money. It is an amazing community of open minded folks all over the world that will share their personal home with you.

We had great experiences as couchsurfers in India, on Cuba and Malta. It is free, so do not expect high standard.

 

  • House-sitting

We came across this page and liked the houses to look after: www.mindmyhouse.com

We have not given it a try as a lot of times you will have to look after pets as well. As much as we love animals, we found it to be a big 24h commitment.

The houses, sometimes looking more like mansions can be rather remote and really require a car.

 

  • Modified Lonely Planet strategy (worked well for us in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Japan)

Look up an area that has many hostels or hotels and take a walk/taxi ride around without making a prior booking. You will find that there are more places too choose from that have not been mentioned in the guidebook. If you are lucky they will have appealingly competitive service, rooms and prices.

The lonely planet guidebook has a very strong influence on travelers’ decision making when it comes to picking places. This in turn often causes the absurd situation that mentioned hotels turn service down and prices up. We found many ‘Lonely Planet hotels’ not as good as their competition next door.

We try to check out any place before booking. This leaves us in the comfortable position to leave if we don’t like the room. If you like to stay longer it is also the opportunity to bargain and get a good deal.

 

  • Home-stay

If you do get the opportunity to spend some time in a private home, you will be rewarded with an experience not to forget. I am still thrilled when thinking about our home stay in Japan.

We also came across many ‘private’ overnight opportunities on Cuba, where people rent one to two rooms at their house for a small fee. Definitely worth the money. The owners care about their guests and made us feel very at home. We stumbled upon many ‘home-stay’ opportunities when the listed accommodation (Lonely Planet) was full and owners recommended friends. Cuba is the country where this works in an awesome way.

 

  • Family and friends!

Think of all the people you know that are scattered around the planet. There are numerous places we explored while visiting family and friends.

 

Dasza’s world of wisdom: We try to avoid hotel chains and all-inclusive packages, as they seem to magically be a magnet for annoying hotel noises (generator/air-con…), unmotivated staff and unnecessary high bills for food&drinks which cost half around the corner.

Unless you can afford five star hotels of course, but then you wouldn’t be looking at this site, right?

Here are some useful tips on what to look after/avoid when booking a hotel.

Good luck searching for a home and please let us know if you can add to the list!

 

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