Isn’t it amazing to have the freedom to travel around the world? It sure is something to be glad about because not everyone is physically and financially capable of doing it. When you live out of a suitcase, you’re essentially sacrificing stability for adventure. And while that is enticing at first, you’ll find yourself sooner or later yearning for a sense of belonging.

To satisfy this craving for a home, travelers often decide to stay longer in one place or the other. That way, they can experience the place, the people and the culture more vividly. So if you want to form a deeper connection with the foreign country you’re visiting, plan for a longer trip. Instead of staying there for three days, make it fifteen or thirty or even longer. Trust me, even a fortnight won’t be enough if you want full immersion. You’ll only get the tip of the iceberg at best, but that will do if you have limited time and financial resources.

Needless to say, a hotel reservation is out of the question if you plan to stay for more than three days. You don’t want to burn all your money for a fancy accommodation abroad. Be wise with your expenditures and go for a short-term rental instead. It’ll be fun because you’ll get to live like a local for a week or so. It will also present a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and adjust with the locals. It’s okay if you haven’t tried short-term renting before. You will surely find many tips on how to score a short-term rental space in a foreign land. In the meantime, while you’re still preparing, here are five questions to ask yourself before renting a short-term in a foreign country.

Being nomadic is awesome, but at some point you'll want to settle down at least for a bit. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before renting in a foreign country.

1) First of all, where do you plan to stay?

Location is one of the most important things you need to consider when scouting for apartment or condo rentals. Do you want a place in the city or would you rather spend your vacation in the suburbs? Maybe the rustic beauty of the province is more appealing to you. Is there a specific place you need to be close to? Your company’s headquarters perhaps? Living in the vicinity of your office will save you time, money and the hassle of commuting. Choose an area that is near important establishments like grocery stores, coffee shops, bakeries and cultural institution. Since you’ll only be staying for a short while, it’ll be a huge waste to spend a third of your time going from one place to another to get your essentials. Before you search any further, decide on the location first. You can use Google maps for this purpose.

Being nomadic is awesome, but at some point you'll want to settle down at least for a bit. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before renting in a foreign country.

2) To narrow down your search, you need to ask yourself a few more questions. What perks do you want from your rental?

It’s ideal to look for fully-furnished spaces since it doesn’t necessarily make sense to furnish the place you’re going to rent. Check the appliances that come with your rental. Is there a refrigerator, television, a stove and a washing machine? Is the place equipped with Internet connection? Make sure that you’ll have everything you need. Condos usually have great amenities like a swimming pool, fitness gym and a lounge area. Consider these things, too, to maximize your stay. Just be careful about getting too comfortable. Remember, you’re in a foreign place to experience its sunny skies and cool breeze. Although a television might serve as good company when you can’t sleep at night, it shouldn’t keep you from exploring the great wonders outside. Also, if you plan to rent a car, make sure that a parking space is included in your rental. Bring up all your concerns before you make a final decision.

Being nomadic is awesome, but at some point you'll want to settle down at least for a bit. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before renting in a foreign country.

3) Sometimes, no matter how good a place seems, you shouldn’t take it until you’ve inquired enough. Is it a safe place endorsed by a reputable source?

If you found the place from a social site, it won’t do you any harm to check the pictures and verify the legitimacy of the advertiser. Are the photos as good as the description? Can you find photographs of past guests who have been to the place? Reviews will be helpful, too. Were former occupants delighted with their stay? Was it everything they expected it to be? It’s not paranoia to be critical about these things. It’s just a way of getting ahead of yourself to avoid too many disappointments. Remember, rent only from a reputable source that has proper accreditations.

Being nomadic is awesome, but at some point you'll want to settle down at least for a bit. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before renting in a foreign country.

4) Now that you’re all set on the place, it’s time to meet the people you’re going to interact with. Who is your host?

Everybody wants an engaging host. When you post an inquiry, you want it to be answered within a reasonable timeframe. When you make appointments, you want immediate and encouraging responses. It’s not unfair to expect all these things especially when you’re traveling to a place that attracts a huge number of tourists every year. Still, you shouldn’t let your biases about timid hosts get in the way of choosing the best deal. There really are some people who won’t engage you at first but turn out to be great hosts. Who knows, this may present a chance for you to get to know an introvert host or neighbor.

Being nomadic is awesome, but at some point you'll want to settle down at least for a bit. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before renting in a foreign country.

5) Finally, review the documents concerning the apartment or condo rental. What papers do you need to provide?

Depending on the country where you’ll be renting, processing paperwork could either be a hassle or a breeze. Countries like France or Germany are strict about their rental policies so expect a lot of paperwork. Your landlord may ask for reference letters, recent bank statements and even pay stubs. Other countries like the Philippines don’t require as much documentation. Sometimes, you will need the help of a legal professional when you don’t fully understand the rental agreement. If you’re staying in a country that doesn’t speak your language, you will really need a lawyer to review the agreement and discuss the clauses with you. This is to ensure that both you and your host or landlord are satisfied with the agreement.

There’s no excuse for not planning your trip thoroughly. Why settle for a fancy and extravagant hotel that will leave you broke if you can get a comfortable and convenient short-term rental? Remember, accommodation is just one aspect of your trip. The memorable experiences you’ll make will always happen outdoors.


This is a guest post by Jeanette Anzon.

unnamed Jeanette is a graduate of Architecture in UP Diliman. She enjoys photography, sketching, arts, film and continuous education. Currently, she works as a broker and as a home stylist, accommodating clients mostly in North America. Her exposure to the market has initiated a deeper learning to real estate, marketing communication and home design.