It’s one of the trickiest things to do when moving abroad. How do you organise where to live? It’s hard enough to find a new place in your own country, let alone when you need to find somewhere over the other side of the world in a country where you don’t even speak the language.
Here are a few suggestions to help you in your quest to find the perfect place to live when you decide to work abroad.
Research Your Destination
The first place to head is online to carry out some research on your chosen destination to try to find out what the market is like for tourists. In larger towns and cities you may find dedicated estate agents set up for tourists who can provide an apartment on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. These are the most convenient option because everything is normally taken care of and you simply have to pay the rent.
If there are no dedicated companies, there may be individuals renting out their apartments to tourists, and you can normally find these online as well.
The search engines are a good place to start. Look for lots of different variations of keywords such as ‘apartments in destination’, ‘rentals in destination’, ‘living in destination’ and others, and see what these bring up.
You may also want to try out Craigslist to see what you can find for your destination. This can be a bit hit-and-miss because some cities have very active communities whereas others do not. If you are lucky then you may be able to find apartment rentals and room rentals at a range of budgets.
Expats: An Excellent Resource
Expats are the best source of information you can find, so try to find some expat communities online. Again, larger towns and cities may have a more active expat community, so try to find websites geared towards the expat scene.
Look on social media as well. Why not carry out a search on Twitter or head to Yahoo! Answers and ask a question about your destination?
Forums are particularly good places to post questions, and if you are lucky enough to find an active expat forum then this can be a great place to start.
Also contact people running blogs from your destination. You’ll be surprised how many people there are living and running blogs from any destination in the world, and they may be able to provide you with an excellent source of current information on finding an apartment.
Organising Your Accommodation
Once you have found accommodation that you like the look of, you’ll need to book it to ensure that you have somewhere to stay when you arrive in the country.
With a company geared towards tourist rentals, you will often need to make a deposit to secure your apartment, which is normally carried out either by bank transfer or Western Union.
However, before handing over any money, carry out some research. A quick online search can reveal whether anyone has had problems with the company in the past and whether they have a good reputation or not.
With private individuals, be even more careful. They may ask for a deposit in cash, and if so then make sure that you are handing your money over to someone who you trust. Again, your best bet is to do some of your own research on the person or company before agreeing to anything.
Make sure you know what the final cost will be for the time you are staying in your new home. You may be quoted a price for the rent only to find that you need to pay monthly expenses on top of that, so always ask what will be the total amount you will need to pay to avoid any problems.
Have a Backup in Mind
Even when you find and book a place to stay when you arrive, make sure that you also know of a few good hotels or hostels in your destination town or city which you could use as a backup.
With international rentals, nothing is ever set in stone, and things can fall through at the last minute. If you have somewhere else in mind where you can book a few nights when you arrive then you won’t have to cancel your flight and you can simply work out your new accommodation upon arrival.
Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Amongst our growing FREE member resources, we recommended our favourite places to find great accommodation deals across the world.