Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tips to Basing Backpack Adventures from Home-Base Lodgings

When traveling abroad, some choose the backpacking method. This is ideal for those who wish to travel at a discount, see as many countries as possible and live simply, but it is not the right method for everyone. What about those people who prefer to move at a slower pace? Or those traveling with children in tow? For these people, the best option might be to rent a fully-furnished apartment or condominium in a centrally located country and use their apartment as a home base of sorts. This is often a cheaper long-term alternative than a hotel or hostel, and one cannot fail to acknowledge the benefits of having a place to call home in a foreign land.

Finding a long-term rental in a foreign country comes with its own unique difficulties in addition to the difficulties typically associated with apartment hunting. You do not speak the language. You do not know the area. You do not know the current housing market, but these problems can be addressed and overcome just like any obstacle. Some tips to keep in mind are listed below.

Start Early
If you are considering a long-term rental in a place like Bangkok, Thailand or Jaco, Cost Rica, it is never too early to begin looking for suitable accommodations. Six months ahead of time is not too early. The more time you have to compare and contrast rentals, the less likely you will be taken advantage of and the better chance you have to save money. While there are some disreputable landlords that take advantage of foreigners, the majority of people around the world are honest.

Talk to Other Travelers and Expatriates
Browse websites and forums that cater to the expatriate crowd. They are a wonderful resource. Travelers love to talk about their experiences. They can give you ground-level intelligence about a particular city or country and where the best deals can be found. This will likely influence your final decision.

Use a Local Real Estate Professional
There is no substitute for having a representative in country when looking for an apartment. They know the area and local customs. Treat these professionals just as you would a real estate agent in the States. Tell them exactly what you are looking for and how much you want and are willing to pay.

Hold Off On Signing a Lease
There is no need to sign a lease before you arrive. There are always short-term options like the aforementioned hotels and hostels. This might mean that one parent might travel ahead, and the other will bring the children and the dogs a week later. Meet with your representative when you land, and go look at a short list of options. Pictures tell a story, but sometimes they lie. The room might look huge on the internet, but your 6’3" frame can make an apartment in Bangkok feel tiny. You will not know this until you step inside.

More and more Americans are deciding to travel long-term. The recent economic downturn has forced many Americans who were in stable office jobs into the world of freelancing. With this change comes new freedom. While some see a setback, many see an opportunity. Freed from the golden chains of a desk job, they are choosing to see another part of the world and go on an adventure. Adventuring does not mean you abandon all creature comforts. A long-term apartment rental allows you to have the best of both worlds.

The author of this article is Sara Woods from Coupon Croc, visit us for Expedia discount codes to save on all of your travel plans.