Living in a Furnished Apartment: Good or Bad for Digital Nomads?
by Dalia ElMaghraby
If you’re a digital nomad—or an aspiring one—there are a few things that you are going to be constantly asked about:
1. How do you do it without breaking the bank?
2. Where do you stay while traveling around the world?
We recently shared some killer tips about how to save money as a digital nomad, so let’s focus on the latter—accommodations.
Finding flexible (and affordable) housing as a digital nomad can be a daunting task of always being on the go. In the end, it comes down to your budget, what type of living spaces you prefer, and your taste. Some folks prefer to go minimalist by choosing hostels or Couchsurfing, while others choose to go the extra mile and make their next destination feel as much like home as possible.
As a digital nomad, there are many things to take into consideration when it comes to accommodation. But one thing remains the same—whether you want to have a house right outside of Berlin, a shared apartment in the center of Barcelona, or a bunk bed in Bali—you need a place that will help cultivate creativity, productivity, and efficiency with your craft. After all, remote work is how you’re able to live this life, so you need a solid place to get into your flow state.
And that’s where furnished apartments come in handy.
Renting a furnished apartment seems to combine the best of both worlds for digital nomads, with some major pros to consider from both a convenience and cost perspective. Let’s explore how they’re one of the most suitable accommodation options for location-independent workers looking for a place to shack up for a while.
What is a Furnished Apartment and Who Should Rent One?
Beyond having furnishings already in the unit, a furnished apartment can vary in other options and amenities. Some are fully serviced apartments with housecleaning, most offer flexible terms like month-to-month rent, and all of them are equipped with a bed, kitchen, bathroom, furniture, and usually kitchen appliances.
Furnished apartments appeal to a wide variety of tenants—from study abroad students, business people who are relocating for a short period of time (but not short enough to stay at a hotel), people who have just moved to a city and want to take their time choosing their home and of course: digital nomads.
Why Furnished Apartments are Ideal for Digital Nomads
Ah, the flexibility
Digital nomads crave flexibility. Why else would we have ditched the 9-5 in pursuit of a life without boundaries? Furnished apartments are perfect for anyone who’s on the move often but want (or need) to spend time in a particular location for a while.
You can spend 3 months in Amsterdam, 1 month in Mexico City, or 7 months in Australia while living small, with only a suitcase. And, with furnished apartments, you won’t need to commit to one place for longer than you’d like to be there. Most offer month-to-month rent and short-term contracts, so you won’t feel tied down.
Moving day, be gone!
I hate moving days. There are a lot of things I like about being a digital nomad, but moving day has never been one of them. It’s busy, stressful, something always goes wrong—a dismantled piece of furniture with missing pieces is an essential part of the experience.
With furnished apartments, you never have to worry about the dreaded move in or move out—couches (sectionals, anyone?), dressers, appliances—forget it. When it’s time to go, simply gather your clothes, books, laptop, and essentials and leave everything else behind. It’s that easy.
The best option for procrastinators
Not all of us figure out our moves months in advance, and sometimes even when we do have plenty of time to plan, for whatever reason, we don’t. Maybe it’s procrastination, or maybe you enjoy spontaneity more than the next.
Nonetheless, for anyone looking for apartments on short notice, furnished apartments are a fantastic solution. And you don’t need to scour Craigslist for hours to find a place—websites like Anyplace were built to help people find move-in ready accommodations.
They can be surprisingly budget-friendly
While initially, you may find that furnished apartments have higher month-to-month rent, they can be cheaper to live in the long run. Think about this—you can live in the heart of a city for a few months without needing to buy a whole new set of furniture, a bed, or kitchen appliances. And, utilities and WiFi are provided for you and included in one monthly payment. You can work in your apartment too, so you don’t necessarily need to spend extra money on a coworking space. These things should be factored in when looking at the price.
You don’t need to commit to a long lease
All of the furnished apartments on Anyplace offer flexible, month-to-month rent, which is a huge benefit for those who don’t want to get locked into a long lease. Some of us may not be 100% sure we want to commit to a certain city, and others just crave a constant change of scenery. Furnished apartments allow you to forego breaking a lease and gives you the freedom to be ready to embark on new adventures.
The Downsides to Living in a Furnished Apartment
But wait—there have to be some downsides, right? Sure, every accommodation has a set of tradeoffs. Here are a few of the cons of choosing furnished apartments over other types of housing:
- The monthly rent is usually more expensive than renting a non-furnished apartment
- The furnishings in the apartment aren’t yours—you’ll be charged a fee for damaging any furniture, walls, or appliances
- You might not be a big fan of the décor and architecture and might not be allowed to change it
When selecting the housing that’s right for you, it really depends on your budget and personal preferences. If you like to stay in a place that feels like home, furnished apartments are probably right up your alley—it gives you the feels of home without the actual hassle of creating a home.
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Dalia is a freelance writer and brand manager based in Egypt. She's traveled to a number of countries as a digital nomad including Japan and Portugal.