BLOG | WE SHARE OUR THOUGHTS ALONG THE WAY

Every long-term traveler we've met or follow thinks differently about how they spend their hard-earned travel-funds. Some want to eat at fancy restaurants, but will skip hiring a guide to show them the city. Others will stay in a premier hotel, but won't buy souvenirs. Many have different financial priorities during different parts of their trips. (We wrote about our point of view here.)

 

Lodging can be one of the most expensive parts of a long-term trip, but we've read about people who spend hardly anything in this category; they house-sit, couch-surf, and trade-work-for-lodging. For our family of five we rarely scrimped here, but we also couldn't afford hotels. Our prio...

August 1, 2015

Navigating the sea of rental properties on vrbo.com, Airbnb.com, homeaway.com, and flipkey.com can be a daunting task for many travelers, yet the rewards you’ll get from renting locally are well worth the effort. As a family of five traveling the world for a year, we knew that we could save money by avoiding hotels and we also could get a deeper cultural understanding of the locale.

 

We developed five core criteria to help us choose short-term rentals. Simply put, these are: cost, comfort, location, amenities and a communicative and friendly host or hostess.

 

  • Cost: if you are considering staying anywhere for more than 3 nights, renting an apartment or home can save you hundreds of dollars, particul...

We love the experience of temporarily living like locals that we get by renting homes through VRBO.com, Homeaway and Airbnb. We double-love how easy it has become over the past 10 years to find and pay for rental online. With the exception of one apartment – I’m looking at you, Santiago! – most of the homes we’ve rented have been great. But invariably there has been one or two things amiss, so we’d like to share our thoughts with current and future owners of short-term rentals.

First and foremost, have enough stuff. If you list your house as “sleeping 6”, then, you need to have six spoons, six cups, six plates, six towels, six pillows, etc. Several years ago we rented an apartment “for 8” in the histo...

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