Short term rental advantage
Travelling is a lot about making yourself at home in foreign countries. A major part of perpetual travel is logistics. Finding appropriate accommodation takes up some time, but renting an apartment can be a lot cheaper and more rewarding than staying at a hotel.
Short term rental provides many benefits of a ‘real’ home and has a lot of advantages that hotels don’t offer.
Renting worked very well for us in Budapest. Here is why:
Apartments are usually a lot bigger than hotel rooms. Ours had around 45m2, huge windows, a high ceiling, wooden floor, spacious bathroom, working desk and office corner, a big table and open kitchen. The flat was located in Buda, the quiet side of Budapest, in an old residential area which offered privacy – yet we were close to all amenities.
What I like about new homes, is that each apartment will have something to discover. We were lucky to have a host with an extensive music and DVD collection with great alternative CDs and movies.
Bedding is always provided by the host.
Tomek at work.
Renting is by far cheaper than living in a hotel. Our flat was 20 Euros per night. Try to get a hotel room in Budapest for that price. Okay, in some case it may be more expensive for a single person than a hotel room but it will certainly save money for a party sharing.
Laundry will be very cheap as you will have your own washing machine. Letting the hotel do your laundry will take more out of your pockets than buying washing powder.
Cleaning. Yes you will have to do that yourself, just like at home. On the up side, you will know it as clean as you like it to be. Sometimes you can have cleaning arranged with the host. A small cleaning fee often applies after check out.
To further save on travel costs and leg-work we look for flats that are in or close to the city centre.
It pays to be close to public transport if you don’t have a car.
Our airport shuttle. Oh, no, wrong one!
We were living in walking distance to Széll Kálmán tér which is one of the city’s busiest transport interchanges in Buda with tram, bus and metro at hand. It is a common meeting place and always busy. Buda Castle was accessible by foot. Pest was only a few tramm or metro stations away. Perfect.
Before booking we checked descriptions and map locations to find out about shopping opportunities. I like to be close to the hub of things. We were very near to the centre of Buda with several stores around it, including the huge Mammut Mall.
And most importantly there were greengrocers, many little convenience stores and one 24h supermarket, so that we could buy fresh bread every morning (or when coming home at night). Renting a flat does allow you to get the experience of living like a local, visiting the markets and local shops to purchase your food.
On our last day, our favourite greengrocer had closed down. There was so much competition just next door that we were wondering how they all survive. As in most cities, the era of small grocers is coming to an end.
Getting breakfast served at the hotel can get pretty monotonous after a while and tricky, if you like to keep a certain diet.
This is probably one of the greatest things about renting a flat: a fully equipped kitchen. Pans and pots, a fridge and everything you need to make a delicious (vegetarian) meal.
Simple dishes are fun to prepare and tasty.
“How about hummus, grapes, sprats and mozzarella-tomato salad for breakfast and spaghetti soy-bolognese for dinner?”
“And a hot cuppa lemon tea!”
“Or I’ll just have some cheesy Hungarian fun.”
The oven surprise. I didn’t put a lid on the green pepper dish which came out of the oven sprinkled with ash. Luckily I had another one prepared. The Pompeii-effect of the oven was just a small thing.
If there is no time to do some homework on the city stick to where all the main sights, shops and restaurants are. We are not very concerned about safety but we try to stay close to public transport and the city centre which I think is a ‘safe’ choice.
You will have to get through bars and pass multiple doors before entering a flat in Budapest.
We use Airbnb and 9flats to find apartments that suit our needs and are within our budget. We try to give the pictures a good look, check descriptions and mentioned amenities (washing machine!) and get in contact with the host before booking to enquire out about internet.
Internet can be a spoiler. We try to make sure that the connection is reliable. It’s always good to double check before booking. Sometimes we book for a few nights first (in agreement with the host) and if everything is grand we prolong our stay.
So far we have had four great experiences through those sites, such as our first rented apartment in Budapest and a spontaneous room rental in Barcelona.
We are renting a nice flat in Athens right now, where we decided to stay another month (despite the crisis but in favour of the weather).
The only drawback is that you have to plan well in advance and in the beginning of our perpetual travel journey that didn’t work out, so we were stuck with booking.com which did a very good job as well.
We have managed to ALREADY book ourselves a big flat right in the centre of Vilnius in Lithuania for December!
You will find a summary of all our rental strategies here.
Through short term rentals you will get in touch with at least one local: your host who might give you useful infos about the area and city. Thanks to our first host, we visited two exclusive places in Budapest and received this sweet present.
After nine months on the road I think I can say that being a nomad does not mean being homeless!