Friday, April 15, 2011
Long Term Short Term Housing
I've already discussed before about the merits of sleeping in your car at Walmart and using couchsurfing, but those options only really work when you're traveling for just a day or two. If you want to spend more than a week in a specific destination then that tends to get a lot more difficult.
Probably my favorite way of handling that problem is to check out the sublet section on craigslist. People often think that this is for places that require at least a month of stay or require that you take over their lease, but this is rarely the case. When looking for my own spot in Portland, I found that a lot of places were hoping to find people willing to stay for just a couple weeks and often the price was dropped so much that it cost significantly less than just a week at a hotel!
Craigslist also has ads from hotels that offer significantly discounted prices if you're willing to stay on a weekly basis. Most of the time I've found them to be fairly sketchy but sometimes the quality of the hotel will surprise you.
If you have a place that you already rent or own, you might want to check out homeexchange. I've never used it before but they have a wonderful system where you basically switch homes with someone else. While you might stay in a tiny apartment in Paris, France for a summer, that french family will get to stay in your enormous mcmansion and enjoy what they like to call “Stereotypical American Consumer Whore Lifestyle”*.
So far I've only had to stay in a place for longer than a week just once. I tried to do it in Chicago before that but it was too difficult to find a place for such an odd amount of time. If you know of any other websites that might provide an affordable (or more importantly free) method of staying somewhere for more than just a few days then please leave a comment!
*Obviously this is translated from french.