Worldschooling families use a variety of resources to find lodging when they travel. Affordable lodging is always a concern for people who are living a nomadic lifestyle. One of the best ways to keep costs low on lodging while traveling is to stay in each location for 6 months or longer at a time. This makes it possible for families to rent long-term (in some countries), which is often much cheaper than renting through online property rental sites that cater to travelers. In some countries, however, long-term rental isn’t legal for foreigners without certain permits, and of course, if you rent an unfurnished apartment, you’ll have to furnish it which could be costly (so do your research)!
When we first started traveling in the early 2000’s, property rental websites were in their infancy and we had a few housing-situations that didn’t go very well. We learned to communicate with property rental owners before booking whenever possible to see how we felt about their communication with us. And we learned that even if a property rental lists Internet availability as an amenity to contact the owner for a speed test to make sure that we would actually be able to comfortably work in the apartment (since my husband is a web programmer and he often needs higher bandwidth for his work).
If you have certain needs in a property, don’t be shy about contacting property owners to ask them for more information. Understand that often property owners are working with several different potential guests who may want to book the property, so if you want to reserve the space, act as quickly as possible. Property owners typically book on a first pay, first serve basis. Often, owners have properties listed on multiple sites and they juggle incoming messages about the same dates from several different potential guests all at one time.
At the same time though, don’t allow a property owner to pressure you into booking a property until you’re ready! Many sites like Booking.com or Expedia.com don’t allow direct communication between the property owner and guests, but AirBnB is technically a social network and using these services is often a much more social experience than what’s you’d experience through other booking platforms. Nonetheless, use your intuition and don’t book with a property owner who seems to be pressuring you.
Below are some of the most commonly used booking resources for property rentals. Worldschooling families regularly use these resources to find good housing that’s comfortable for everyone.
Booking.com has a wide selection of different hotels, hostels, houses, apartments, vacation rentals, and other types of properties for rent throughout the world. Their rating system is a little bit more fair and descriptive than the ratings given on AirBnB. It is sometimes possible to book a room or space without paying in advance, but the room may be given away to a paying customer before you arrive if you don’t enter your credit or debit card in advance of the reservation!
AirBnB is a mainstay in the worldschooling community. It’s technically a social networking site and renters can expect to have contact with the property owner or other residents living in their neighborhood during their stay. Vacation rental costs are often inflated through AirBnB because the web site uses an algorithm to determine supply and demand and potential rates that guests might be willing to pay in a particular location, but we’ve used this website hundreds of times to find properties to stay in with success.
HomeAway is another vacation rental website for travelers. It is less social than AirBnB and also much less well-known, but people in some countries gravitate more toward HomeAway or other vacation rental websites more than others. It’s like locals in some areas of the world find out about a particular vacation rental website and then everyone in that area posts only to that website. So if you can’t find any quality rentals in a particular location or country on AirBnB or Booking.com, try HomeAway or just a generic search for vacation rentals in the location you’re researching.
LoveHomeSwap is a service our family has never used before ourselves, but I’ve read that other worldschooling families have had success using it. Worldschooling families can swap their home with someone else in a direct swap or they can earn points that they can use toward lodging in the future.
The Worldschool House Swap/Sit/Rent is an important Facebook group that worldschooling families use to find lodging all over the world.
The Worldschooler Exchange was built to make it easier for worldschool families to find lodging in the form of rental properties, house sits, or swaps throughout the world.
There are a number of worldschool hubs throughout the world that offer food, lodging, and educational opportunities. Each worldschool community is different. Through the Devela Worldschool Community we offer resources such as affordable accommodations, classes on a variety of different topics as well as a language school, participation in spectacular special events, and more.
For more information about the Devela Worldschool Community offerings including lodging and accommodations for worldschool families, contact Jennifer Shipp at firstname.lastname@example.org.