How to Book an Apartment in a City You’ve Never Visited

If you’re staying in a city for an extended amount of time, you’re probably looking at apartment rentals. Even if you aren’t staying for a while, an apartment rental can be a great way to not only save some money, but get a more authentic experience. But you want to do it right. Being hasty when booking a rental can result in many problems: finding yourself in a dangerous neighborhood, living in a lemon of a place, losing your booking right before you arrive, leaving you homeless and scrambling. To avoid problems, follow these tips!

apartment-rentalDetermine How You Want to Live

First, you should know which amenities you require. Without those baseline factors, you’re going to be unhappy. Things to consider are washer dryer, dishwasher, WiFi, parking, pet policy, and the kitchen and bathroom situation. Do you need a bathtub? Elevator access? What do you really require? Think about how you plan to live in your apartment, and envision not having certain amenities.

What do You Need Access to?

Basic necessities should be within reach. Any kind of food shop should be close, in case you want to cook. If you don’t have a car, this is particularly important because you have to carry groceries. How far can you haul your items? It might not be a big deal, but that’s for you to decide. What about pharmacies? An ATM machine? Public transportation? What would be really annoying to go without?

Live Somewhere You Like

There are a number of places you can reside in any city. Part of the fun is playing resident, so make sure you live in a neighborhood where you can easily enjoy the city. Though, you should also choose a place that fits your lifestyle. If you like to be in the thick of what’s happening, pick a place in the heart of the city. Those who require a respite should opt for something a little quieter.

Also, see what’s around. You can do this on Google Maps street viewer, as well as looking at the apartment listing’s featured neighborhood highlights. Cafes might be important, or not at all. Restaurants, shops, museums, historic points of interest, architecture, and theaters are all things you should be thinking about. If you don’t mind traveling to these places, and there’s easy access to do so, then you can probably save some money. But don’t skimp if it’s going to be a problem for you.

Choosing the Actual Apartment

Now that you have some benchmark factors nailed down, you can start your search. You more than likely already have some ideal neighborhoods determined, so start there. Do expand your search though, as you may come up with some areas you hadn’t thought of.

No doubt you have a price range. If you’re lucky, that number aligns with all your requirements. Often it doesn’t. Determine where you can compromise: location or amenity?

Finally, look a slew of sites. Sure, Airbnb.com is the most common, but VRBO is a good one for nicer apartments, and many local rental firms list short term rentals aimed at tourists. This is actually slightly more reliable than Airbnb, in which landlords sometimes cancel last minute. With an apartment rental, you have a lease, so you don’t have to worry about getting dropped. Of course, you’re locked in as well. A lease likely incurs a finder fee, but the nightly rate is usually lower.

apartmentSome places charge for things like parking, an extra key, insurance, or WiFi usage. Find out every single cost, and then determine the nightly rate of all your favorite rental options. Which comes out on top? Now, you’ve got your temporary home.

What’s the best apartment rental you’ve ever had?

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How to Book an Apartment in a City You’ve Never Visited

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