No matter what city you are in, digital nomads all encounter the same problem time and time again – where should I stay? The accommodation options for digital nomads are varied. It all comes down to your budget and what type of living space you prefer.
Coliving is when a group of people share a living space and share resources. Typically everyone lives in one home, sharing the kitchen, bathroom, and living area, and often sharing the bedrooms.
Coliving gives travelers an opportunity to connect closely with like-minded individuals, experience local living, and network with other travelers in a mutually beneficial relationship. The cost of coliving varies, but longer stays often have lower rates than month-to-month rentals. The downside to coliving is, of course, sharing a living space and bedroom with strangers. If you are not an outgoing person who is easygoing and makes the best of any situation, coliving may be a difficult experience for you. A great resource to find coliving spaces around the world is our coliving section.
Short or Flexible Term Rental Apartments
Renting an apartment gives you more privacy than a coliving space. In some short-term rentals you only share the space with one or two other travelers like yourself, or you can get a private apartment. However, typically you need to arrange to stay at least one month, and the cost of rent is higher than coliving, hostels, or a home exchange.
Many of these short-term rentals can be found in Facebook groups for your city. Try searching Facebook for groups such as “temporary flat rentals in Berlin” or “Medellin short term apartments” to find a group that posts listings of available short-term or flexible rentals.
If you want your own private space while you travel, but still prefer that authentic feeling of living like a local, check out GoBeHere.com. They source centrally located accommodation near coworking spaces and fitness studios. You must stay at least one month, and a membership is required. If you travel often and prefer private spaces, this method might involve the least amount of research on your part.
Another popular choice for short-term flexible rentals is Airbnb. Use the filters to find the accommodation that best suits you, whether that’s a private room, a shared room, or having the whole place to yourself.
Hotels are the most luxurious choice on this list, as you get your own private space, access to facilities such as a hot shower, laundry, wifi, and sometimes breakfast, and have many needs taken care of. Hotels are also the most expensive option.
While you can use hotel booking sites such as Expedia to find and book a hotel for your stay, they will not let you search for a stay longer than 30 days. Many hotels do allow extended stays and will offer a discounted rate for people who wish to stay for a longer period of time. If you are looking for a place to stay for longer than one month, you should choose a hotel you are interested in, contact the hotel directly, and ask if they offer a discount for extended stays.
Hostels are a popular choice for adventurous travelers who want to stay somewhere for very low cost while meeting new people.
Hostels are similar to coliving spaces in that you will be sharing a bedroom with other people. For some, this is the primary downside to hostels. For others, a few security measures, such as bringing your own lock, relieve most of the stress around staying with strangers.
Unlike a coliving space or a short-term shared apartment, hostels typically don’t require a minimum length of stay. Your roommates can change often, meaning you will meet lots of other travelers during your stay. This could be an advantage, or it could be a disadvantage, depending on how you feel about sharing a living space with new people.
Many hostels have facilities such as laundry, hot showers, security, or housekeeping. If hostels are where you prefer to stay, HostelWorld.com has over 36,000 properties available around the world. Search your city, the number of guests, and your dates, then scroll through the results to find your perfect hostel.
Home Swap and Couchsurfing
A home exchange is an affordable way to live like a local for an affordable price. You get private accommodations and your home is taken care of while you are away. Not all home exchanges need to be reciprocal, so you don’t have to spend time searching for someone coming from your desired location who wants to stay where you are from.
Unlike an apartment rental or hotel, a home swap is not especially designed for guests. It is primarily a home for the people who own the house, so it will be decorated and organized for them. In a hotel, everything is laid out for you to use. In a home swap, you may have to go searching for that extra blanket or the coffee machine. The house may not have certain things you need, and you’ll have to clean up after yourself.
HomeExchange.com allows you to list your house as a place for others to stay, and then you can search for a home that meets your needs in the next city you will be traveling to.
A subtype of home exchange is couchsurfing, where you stay with a host and, in essence, sleep on their couch, in exchange you should also make your own home “couch” also available to other people who might want to stay. Take a look at CouchSurfing.com to view available couches.
It’s about your preferences and budget
There are many different types of places to stay when traveling as a digital nomad. It all comes down to your personal preferences and your budget.
If you want to really connect with other travelers while keeping your expenses as low as possible, a hostel or a coliving space suit you best. If you prefer the other end of the accommodation spectrum, spending more for the luxury of living in your own private space designed to host guests, a hotel is a better choice.
For people who like somewhere in the middle, staying money-conscious while also living like a local, there are a plethora of flexible apartments stay focused options where digital nomads can stay.