How to Find the Perfect Apartment Rental for Your Vacation


How to Find the Perfect Apartment on Sites Like Airbnb
Last Updated: 4/16/24 | April sixteenth, 2024

I used to hate renting flats from web sites like Airbnb or VRBO. As a solo traveler, I most popular the social environment of hostels. You acquired to satisfy individuals, they ran actions, hosted occasions, and have been the place you have been “supposed to stay” as a backpacker.

When I did need one thing aside from a hostel, I used a hospitality community appreciated Couchsurfing or just stayed with buddies.

But, after a decade of life as a nomad, there are occasions once I like my privateness (and typically I additionally want additional area for work). While I could not use condo leases on a regular basis, I keep in them usually. I’ve discovered that they supply good worth (particularly in the event you’re touring with a number of individuals), privateness, area, and an important home-like atmosphere.

While Airbnb does contribute to overtourism, there are nonetheless numerous nice hosts on the platform who present budget-friendly lodging to vacationers in search of a substitute for hostels that gained’t break the financial institution.

After utilizing condo leases repeatedly for years, I wished to create an in depth information about how they work, easy methods to decide the right condo, and easy methods to not get cheated.


How Do Apartment Rentals Work?

How to Find the Perfect Apartment on Sites Like Airbnb
Apartment rental websites permit locals to hire out a person room, shared area (corresponding to a sofa in a lounge), or complete house/condo. The host lists their place on-line, posts pictures, writes an outline, hits publish, and, presto, they’ll begin to make more money with the unused area.

The reserving course of is like reserving every other sort of lodging on-line. You search the database, discover a place you want, create an account, and request a reserving. When the proprietor accepts, you might be despatched a affirmation.

Additionally, many web sites permit house owners to record their place with an instantaneous reserving possibility, which implies you don’t even have to attend for the proprietor to answer. You’re immediately booked in your lodging (much like if you ebook a lodge).

You’ll additionally be capable to learn critiques concerning the host and the condo and see precisely what facilities are included. For instance, you possibly can see if there’s a kitchen (so you possibly can prepare dinner your individual meals to economize) or if there are restrictions on noise, smoking, and pets. Maybe you want entry to a washer and dryer or quick Wi-Fi. You can discover all of that out within the host’s profile (or within the critiques).

Most lodging rental websites additionally embrace a map so you possibly can see the place you’ll be positioned. That approach, you possibly can decide an condo near the sights you wish to go to, or, select one additional afield so you possibly can have a quieter keep and get a really feel for native life past the vacationer crowds.

Who is that this for?
Apartment leases characterize the area between hostels and lodges. If you might be touring on enterprise and wish the comforts of house, you in all probability aren’t going to remain in a hostel. But lodges could also be too costly or too impersonal for you. A rented condo is an ideal compromise.

Or perhaps, like me, you like the hostel scene however sometimes want more room and privateness. An condo rental will likely be lots quieter and extra enjoyable than a hostel because you gained’t have to be round as many individuals (or as a lot noise). You’ll additionally be capable to prepare dinner your individual meals, serving to hold prices down in your journey.

Traveling with buddies or a giant group? This is certainly the choice for you. Squeezing a bunch of individuals right into a rental house/condo will likely be less expensive per particular person than a room in a hostel or lodge. Plus, you get area to unfold out and loosen up. Dorm rooms and cramped lodges don’t provide you with lots of “me” time.

Moreover, Airbnb has a brand new characteristic referred to as “Rooms” which helps you to seek for listings in individuals’s properties or visitor homes. It’s like how Airbnb was once — individuals renting out additional rooms or visitor homes for added money. You all the time get your individual room and, typically, a personal entrance. You’ll additionally get to work together along with your host, who can present numerous insider suggestions and perception to your vacation spot.

I’ve used Rooms lots within the final couple of years — in LA, Rome, Paris, Nice — and, to me, as a solo traveler, it’s a a lot better option to journey. I extremely suggest doing this as a option to fight the destructive results of those platforms (extra on that beneath).

How to Pick the Right Airbnb

How to Find the Perfect Apartment on Sites Like Airbnb
Unfortunately, as lodging leases have exploded into the mainstream, it’s grow to be tougher and tougher to search out nice hosts. Lots of hosts now personal a number of properties and reside elsewhere. That means you usually take care of property managers and by no means get to work together with the precise proprietor.

Additionally, lots of flats aren’t fairly as good in actuality as they seem within the pictures (my crew needed to get a refund on an condo in Boston as a result of it was soiled and falling aside).

In order to search out appropriate lodging, I exploit the next standards when in search of a spot to remain on these platforms:

  1. Do they’ve constructive critiques? – If different individuals stayed there, had fun, and located the condo as marketed, you in all probability will too.
  2. Do they’ve a number of listings? – This is essential as a result of many individuals use these websites to be property managers. They purchase a bunch of flats after which re-rent them on Airbnb. I attempt to keep away from these locations as a result of they trigger lots of issues for the native rental market and lack the non-public contact that comes when hosts hire out their very own flats.
  3. Do they’ve correct pictures? – Any itemizing that doesn’t embrace lots of (high quality) pictures might be hiding one thing (or on the very least misrepresenting the lodging).
  4. Are they an lively person or Superhost? – Active customers are good customers, so see once they final logged on. If it’s been some time, your question would possibly go unanswered.
  5. Is their calendar up to date? – While listings solely present up in a search if they’re out there, hosts don’t all the time replace their calendar. If somebody hasn’t up to date their calendar in 30 days, I are likely to skip it. There’s nothing worse than going to ebook a spot, just for them to cancel and say, “Whoops, sorry, it’s not available!”
  6. Are they verified? – Verified accounts are much less more likely to be individuals of suspicious high quality, because the itemizing web site has no less than discovered some background info on them.
  7. Have they been another person’s visitor earlier than? – If they have been somebody’s visitor and that went effectively, it’s possible that they are going to be dependable.

These guidelines are useful pointers, however on the finish of the day, you need to go along with your intestine. I don’t want a list to satisfy each level. I as soon as had a bunch who hit solely a few these factors and she or he turned out to be my favourite host! And typically, in locations with out many hosts, you might need to be a little bit unfastened with this record.

But the extra factors a spot meets, the safer I really feel.

A Note on Gentrification/Legal Issues
Over the years, Airbnb and different condo rental web sites have dramatically raised the worth of rents and pushed out the locals you wish to work together with as individuals have began to purchase a number of properties in an effort to hire them out to vacationers. It’s a giant downside.

In many locations, like Lisbon and Venice, most locals can’t afford the worth of hire anymore. And it’s not simply cities. Rural areas are actually changing into affected too.

There have been robust protests towards Airbnb (and related websites) in Barcelona. Throughout Europe you usually see “Airbnb go home!” graffiti. Japan cracked down on Airbnb. NYC has strict legal guidelines towards it now too.

Given native pushback and the problems with over tourism and the housing market, I strongly encourage you to solely use Airbnb in case you are renting a room in somebody’s home in the event you can. As I discussed above, Airbnb has a brand new characteristic referred to as “Rooms” which lets you simply seek for rooms in individuals’s homes the place they really reside. They are verified listings and a a lot better approach to make use of the platform. It’s like how Airbnb was once earlier than it grew so huge — individuals renting out additional rooms or visitor homes for added money. I extremely suggest it.

However, in the event you can’t, strive as arduous as you possibly can to guarantee that the place you might be renting is both a licensed B&B (if it’s solely used for vacationers) or somebody’s home that they really reside in. This approach you gained’t add to any native housing points!

Help finish overtourism. You have the facility. Don’t displace the individuals you wish to go to!

Are These Sites Safe?

How to Find the Perfect Apartment on Sites Like Airbnb
These websites run on belief. All these firms attempt to confirm each purchaser and vendor to make sure nobody finally ends up robbing anybody else, however you typically hear experiences of intercourse events, robberies, or creepy hosts.

However, condo rental firms do present a window that lets you get your a reimbursement in the event you get a spot that’s not as marketed. Just name their 24-hour hotline and they’re going to set you up some other place (you can too attain out on social media to get the dialog began). They additionally maintain your cash in escrow in order that if the place isn’t as marketed, you’ll get your a reimbursement. You by no means hand it over on to the host.

All sorts of lodging have dangers (cleaners can steal from lodge rooms, dorm mates can take garments from hostels, Couchsurfing hosts can get creepy), which is why these guidelines are essential. I don’t suppose condo leases are any much less protected than your different choices, and the advantages enormously outweigh the perceived hazard.

Moreover, hosts depend on critiques rather more so than conventional lodging. That means, as a visitor, you may have lots of energy ought to there be an issue.

The Best Sites to Find a Rental Apartment

While Airbnb reigns supreme, there are literally a number of web sites you should use to search out rental lodging when you journey:

Another possibility for long-term vacationers is home sitting and pet sitting. In trade for taking care of somebody’s property or pet whereas they journey, you get entry to free lodging. It’s an important possibility for sluggish/long-term vacationers trying to keep in a single location for longer intervals of time. Check out this submit to be taught extra about it!


If I’m touring on my own, I have a tendency to remain in a hostel dorm or use lodge factors, however I exploit Airbnb just about each time I journey with buddies.

And most of the hosts have actually made a distinction. There was the host in Curaçao who picked me up from the airport (and drove me across the island), the host in Galway who took me out for drinks (he turned out to be a reader!), and the French hosts who left me a cute hand-drawn map and a bottle of wine. You gained’t discover such private service at lodges.

Apartment leases, when completed proper, are protected, inexpensive, and assist you may have a extra genuine expertise. Use the information above and check out one in your subsequent journey. You’ll lower your expenses, get away from the vacationers, and have a greater journey!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find an affordable flight through the use of Skyscanner. It’s my favourite search engine as a result of it searches web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can ebook your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use because it persistently returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and lodges.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes unsuitable. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions prior to now. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

Want to Travel for Free?
Travel bank cards can help you earn factors that may be redeemed without cost flights and lodging — all with none additional spending. Check out my information to choosing the right card and my present favorites to get began and see the newest finest offers.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip?
Get Your Guide is a big on-line market the place you could find cool strolling excursions, enjoyable excursions, skip-the-line tickets, personal guides, and extra.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of if you journey. I record all those I exploit once I journey. They are the perfect at school and you may’t go unsuitable utilizing them in your journey.


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