A friend of mine from high school asked me a few questions about how we afford to travel and do what we do. I realized that these are questions Carrie and I get asked pretty frequently. So I’m posting the answers to her seven questions in a series of posts on our site here.
Every person has to find their own path to getting whatever they want from life. At the same time, it’s helpful in that path to have the knowledge and experience of others. Some of this is worded pretty strongly, but as always, take what works for you and leave the rest for someone else.
Depends a lot on the country and circumstances. After a really bad apartment experience in Buenos Aires in 2008, we learned to inspect a place thoroughly on first inspection. We also learned that if we don’t have a place lined up, don’t push it. It’s always better to spend $10-$20 more for a night or two in a hotel while hunting for a place, as opposed to paying hundreds or thousands to stay in an apartment for a month that you won’t like or that has ants and spiders crawling all around the bathroom.
Actually, up until October 2009, Buenos Aires was our only travel experience where we didn’t stay with family or friends or have a hotel pre-arranged through a tour package of some kind. For longer stays, we use sites like VRBO.com and Viviun.com, or do a simple Google search for “Vacation Rental CITYNAME, COUNTRYNAME” or “Apartment rental CITYNAME, COUNTRYNAME”. For shorter stays, TripAdvisor.com is a great site that we use frequently because it’s generally real reviews from real people who have stayed there before… and you can get a good idea for price of an area.
Some areas have been more difficult. The most surprising difficult search was here in Christchurch, NZ, but we’re in an apartment now that we’re quite pleased with, completely furnished and all utilities for about $770 for the month.