Have you ever had to furnish an entire apartment? Wait, I’ll raise you one… have you ever had to move out of an apartment that you’ve spent time and money furnishing, only to find you have to sell most your stuff (which, you know you won’t make back nearly as much money as you spent) or try and move it all and/or pay for storage?
Spoiler alert: I have, and as much as I enjoy cultivating personal style in my various homes, I’ve learned over the years that it’s crucial to be light on your feet, especially if your life revolves around traveling.
Renting out a furnished or serviced apartment (which means the apartment has furniture and nifty amenities) is a great way to remain flexible so you can move from city to city swiftly and easily. You have a much higher chance of finding rent that’s month-to-month, so when it’s time to go, all you have to do is zip up your suitcase and hit the road.
But that’s just scratching the surface. Below is everything you need to know about why you should—and how you can—rent an already furnished apartment.
Furnished Apartments = Hassle-Free Move-In
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your new abode in a brand new city after a long flight… and having to immediately prioritize buying necessities, like a mattress or comforter, which you’ll then be stuck lugging around. Not fun. It can be hard enough trying to figure out how to buy simple things, like groceries, but taking a trip to a Target-esque store will likely require some serious maneuvering with complicated city transportation. Or, paying someone to move it for you.
Traveling can be stressful. If you’re not working while traveling, it might be fine to live with the bare minimum. But, if you’re hoping to sustain a life of traveling, working, and living comfortably at the same time, then basic furnishings are essential. So, as boho-chic as it might seem to skip the “non-essentials” like, say, a chair, it’s kind of a bummer to sit on the hard floor all day, and it’s… schleppy, if that were a word. And living schlepp-ily (as I shall now call it) and uncomfortably for a prolonged period of time will increase your chances of burning out.
When you don’t have to worry about having the basic necessities upon arrival because they’re already there for you, moving into your apartment is as easy as pie. You can arrive from anywhere in the world and automatically feel like you’re at home in the warmth of your new space. You can rest and ready yourself to meet new people and explore new places, knowing that you’re prepared if you ever want to host guests spontaneously and that you have a cozy place to retreat to.
When you’re renting a place that’s month-to-month, you have less of a chance of having to turn over numerous bank-statements, employer history, etc., than if you were signing a lease. Leases can be a hassle, and they lock you in for an extended period making it extra difficult if you want or need to change your location. A long lease is certainly not ideal for digital nomads, or those who want to travel while working remotely.
For shorter-term rentals, it’s more likely you’ll just have to pay a security deposit, first month’s rent and move on in. Then, BAM! You’re home.
Who Benefits From Renting a Furnished Apartment?
Renting a furnished apartment is a great idea for digital nomads and other professionals whose work requires them to be on the move (ie., traveling nurses or healthcare professionals, au pairs, language teachers.) When you travel for long periods of time, especially because it’s your job, renting a furnished apartment provides the homeliness and privacy you will need to focus, relax and recharge. That kind of luxury is much more difficult to find in a hostel set-up, and if you wanted to take on the challenge of furnishing your own place, it would take a long while to accomplish.
If you’re a student on a budget and don’t necessarily want to commit to one place for long-term, then finding a serviced apartment is a wonderful option.
And, of course, if you’re the type of traveler who likes to slow down and truly get to know the heart of the places you visit, renting out a serviced apartment is the perfect way to do it. It gives you enough time to really soak in a new culture and make you feel at home, while allowing you to follow the wind when a new place beckons you.
How to Find Furnished Apartments
Wondering how you can capture the magic of living in flexible-term housing? Fret not! Here are a few resources that you can check out to help you find your perfect space:
Anyplace offers accommodations all over the world, most of which include a shared workspace, which means you don’t have to worry about finding—or paying for—a separate place to be productive. They cater to the lifestyle of remote workers that travel, and you’ll find a solid community of like-minded people taking advantage of their housing options. You don’t have to sign a long lease either—almost every furnished apartment has month-to-month rent. Bonus: All utilities are included, and you’ll have high-speed WiFi ready to go when you move in.
Nestpick is a great search engine for finding furnished, short to mid-term sublets around the world. At Nestpick, they team up with a variety of other sites so that you have a bulky number of pads to choose from.
The positive is that this produces a large quantity of results, but the negative is that there’s no consistency in the apartments you might find. Some may come with WiFi, and some may not. Each will have its own set of house-rules and come with different amenities, so be cautious making any commitments before checking out the place yourself.
Airbnb hosts will sometimes give discounted rates for long-term stays, but they’re not easy to find on the site. And similar to Nestpick, while each listing will probably be high quality, amenities and house-rules will vary, so make sure you read through a listing carefully before booking.
In my experience, Airbnb properties are usually a bit different from what I expect and how they appear in the pictures. Make sure you reach out to the host with all of your questions beforehand and figure out the situation!
On Airbnb, the perks are that you can find an entire private space for yourself, or you can rent a room in someone else’s home. Similar to living in a co-living space, you may even have the chance to build a relationship with your new roommate who’s a local. If you’re into that, make sure you get a good feeling ahead of time about whether the host intends on being sociable and more like a roommate, or whether they will stick to themselves and expect the same from you.
Now that you know what furnished apartments are, who they’re good for, and where to find them, you should be well on your way to an amazing place that fits you.
Happy home hunting!
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.