For those staying abroad for lengthy periods, the debate is usually whether or not to rent an apartment or rather stay in hostels or hotels.
Each side has its merits. Here are the pros and cons every traveller should read when deciding on what to look for in their choice of rental while on their next adventure.
Of course, the first and obvious pro of renting an apartment while abroad is the feeling of home that comes with an apartment.
Whether you furnish the apartment yourself or rent from one already furnished, an apartment invariably has a better sense of home than sharing a bunk room with eight other people, as you’re likely to find in a hostel.
That home has its advantages: a private bathroom (a large pro for many); a private kitchen; usually a living area; control over your own cleanliness or lack-there-of; and last but not least, the ability to control the level of peace and quiet in your temporary lodging.
There is also the added security that comes with renting an apartment versus staying in a hostel.
There is a sense of community and cultural inclusion that comes with staying in an apartment instead of a hotel or hostel.
An apartment puts you into the shoes of the city’s life, giving you a chance to really get to know the place you’re in and easily a better understanding of your destination than most other tourists who chose the other option.
There are, certainly, some drawbacks to renting an apartment abroad. The first is that renting usually comes with more litigious and financial baggage than in renting a hotel.
Contracts can be messy and can turn ugly, which can be an even bigger problem in another country. There are also the particulars of the financial arrangements; some apartment rentals abroad are through Craig’s List posts, verbal contracts instead of written ones, or done with people who are simply opening their home for a brief period of time.
These off-the-book transactions can be suspect no matter where you are and have often resulted in people getting burned on both ends.
Vetting landlords can become a little harder abroad, as well.
And for rentals that are through contracts, year leases are not uncommon and other options might be difficult to match with your travelling schedule.
Month-to-month leases are absolute treasures for those looking to rent abroad but can be hard to come by.
As much as apartments can make you feel a part of the city, they can also bring a sense of detachment—from the exhilaration of travelling abroad with other tourists, or from the sense of connection to your home they can sometimes arouse; but they are usually more expensive for those looking to do long-term stays.
The choice is entirely a personal one and one that varies upon the wishes of every traveller.
You’ve got to decide what you want out of your experience and match that with what you can afford, financially and comfortably.
About the author: Mark Russell writes for Apartment Guys’ website. When Mark isn’t buying, blogging or reviewing apartment rentals, he spends his free time eating out with his girlfriend and going on vacation to exotic places.