Okay remote workers, so you’ve got a remote job. Tick. But this is just the first step in a long list of things to do to actually get out there and travel long-term. Once you’ve arranged your affairs, gotten your insurance, sorted your mailing address (and more), you’ve got to figure out where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and most importantly, where you’re going to stay. Because your accommodation (from location to amenities and more) can make or break your experience at a destination.
And let’s face it: AirBnB is just not fantastic. You don’t know if the area is going to be good. You don’t know if the host is going to cancel on you (as happened to a friend of mine – twice in short succession, leaving him at the mercy of last-minute peak season prices at his destination). And you just don’t know if it’s going to work out, until you get there…at which point it’s pretty much too late to change tack. You’ve literally made your bed, and now you have to sleep in it.
A number of years ago when I was looking for a place to stay in Chiang Mai, I looked on AirBnB and I was confused by the lack of selection and the very high prices. But there were no other booking sites for me to use at the time to compare options and prices. Lucky for me I went with my gut and didn’t book anything on AirBnB. Instead I got a hotel for the first few nights and found a place to stay by pounding the pavement and searching locally in person. I ended up getting a fantastic condo for less than 1/3 of the prices on AirBnB. (Read more about my specific strategy to find an apartment in Chiang Mai).
This strategy works in some places, but not in others. In other places you really need to book in advance. And when you’re booking digital nomad accommodation and want a place to stay for up to a few months, you’d better choose wisely. It’s too long a time for a hotel, and too short a time to sign a traditional lease. Digital nomads are like the Goldilocks of apartment hunters.
Luckily due to the surge in digital nomads hitting the road, there are plenty of alternatives to AirBnB. Bookmark this article and use it in all your future searches!
Other Digital Nomad Resources to Check Out:
Top Digital Nomad Retreats to Level Up Your Lifestyle
Top Digital Nomad Conferences to Attend
3 Ways Aspiring Digital Nomads Can Earn Money and Save Tax
Best Coliving Coworking Programs for Remote Workers and Digital Nomads
Best Travel Insurance for Long-Term Stay or Trip
The Best Coliving Spaces on (Almost) Every Continent
Types of Digital Nomad Accommodation
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to digital nomad accommodation. While many of the key attributes remain the same, an entire industry has developed to meet the hospitality needs of digital nomads.
Here’s a quick look at some types of nomad-friendly housing.
- Short-term Apartments: Typically range from 7 days to several weeks and are primarily private accommodations.
- Coliving Spaces: Often converted boutique hotels or larger houses offering private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and shared kitchen and common areas, coworking space, and more. Here are some coliving programs to check out, as well as some locally-managed coliving spots to explore.
- Extended Stay Hotels: Private hotel rooms that offer nomads their own space for less than nightly hotel rates.
- Local Furnished Apartments: Mid- to long-term accommodations that may or may not include utilities, WiFi, and other nomad necessities.
- Hostels: Affordable, basic accommodations that emphasize meeting people and enjoying enriching experiences (not typically designed for digital nomads, however some hostels like Selina have started catering more to the digital nomad scene).
- House Sitting and Home Exchange: Get the comforts of home – just somebody else’s home! These are two of five great ways to find free accommodation around the world.
How to Find the Best Digital Nomad Accommodation for a One-Month Rental (or Longer)
Using the list of websites in the next section is going to be your easiest way to search for digital nomad accommodation. But it’s not the only way to do it. Here’s how people like me did it before these sites existed.
Find Them on the Spot
Even in the digital age, nothing beats seeing a place with your own eyes. Try out a city by booking a short-term hotel, and then use your first few days to scout out various rental vacancies just by walking in or finding local listings.
This is a technique I used in Chiang Mai. Find out how it worked for me.
Ask in Facebook and Other Digital Nomad Groups
A great way to find advice about your intended destination is by leveraging social media. Chances are many digital nomads have been there before you. Join groups and scour old posts, listings, and reach out to fellow nomads.
Use a Real Estate Broker
Local real estate brokers aren’t just for buying houses or signing long-term leases. Some real estate agents will help you find a place for shorter stays. It’s a crap shoot though; in some cases you’ll get local rates (as opposed to inflated online rates that are geared toward travelers); but some brokers charge fees that could end up costing you more in the end.
Research and Book Online
As you’ll see below, there is an ever-growing list of online booking platforms and resources. With the growing industry, many are offering greater transparency in listings, fraud protection, and booking guarantees to streamline the process.
Best Digital Nomad Accommodation Options for Private Accommodation
Rental sites for digital nomads are becoming more and more commonplace. To make your life a bit easier, I compiled a list of booking platforms. In alphabetical order, the list below includes some of the top digital nomad sites for private accommodation. (Below that is a list of coliving accommodation options).
In a few cases below, I am using a referral link that pays me a fee if you book through them.
Anyplace is a booking platform for nomads, remote professionals, travelers, and anyone who needs a place suitable for remote work. What sets apart Anyplace is that all accommodation includes a fully equipped office space.
These private rentals can be rented month-to-month without long-term leases, are move-in ready, and include everything in one transparent price. All properties are professionally managed, ensuring quality control.
Behere is a global booking platform that connects digital nomads with local hosts to ensure both support and security. All 1,200+ nomad accommodations are vetted by Behere, fully furnished, and require a 30-day minimum stay.
Behere celebrates the flexibility of the nomad lifestyle by removing contracts and leases. One service fee covers all booking costs, or you can forego any service fees by signing up for a membership.
Listings are ideally located near workspaces and fitness studios. However, most options here are not pet friendly.
Flatio is an easy-to-use booking platform for rentals worldwide. It’s the biggest marketplace for mid-term rentals, offering hand-picked accommodations that check all the boxes for a digital nomad.
Their legally binding lease agreement protects both tenant and landlord and ensures a transparent and professional lease. The lease agreement can be used as proof of address and for visa purposes, which can be very handy for digital nomad visa applications.
There are no additional charges for utilities. All bills, including electricity, water, and internet, are included in the rental price. Most listings on Flatio are also deposit-free.
In addition to the virtual tours available for some listings, it’s possible to view most properties in person by arrangement with landlords, giving tenants the opportunity to inspect the space before making a decision. And, Flatio understands that plans can change, and they have flexible termination terms.
Flatio uses a reciprocal review system where both tenants and renters are rated. The emphasis on trustworthiness gives you a guarantee that an apartment will look exactly as presented online. If not, you get a full refund and seven days of free hotel rooms.
For the moment, Flatio is currently active mainly in Europe, so if you’re looking outside of Europe you might not find much.
Search for accommodation on Flatio here, and use the code theprofessionalhobo for 10% off the service fee!
Housing Anywhere is an award-winning rental platform operating in 30+ countries. Find some of the best mid- to long-term rental solutions on this dynamic platform which allows you to save searches and create alerts for free. Enjoy speedy support from a 24/7 customer service team and secure messaging with verified advertisers (potential landlords).
A one-time service fee accompanying first month’s rent ensures fraud protection and customer satisfaction. Landlords won’t receive first month’s rent until you arrive at your place and verify that it is as advertised.
Nomad Pass connects digital nomads with specially curated places to stay and a global community of entrepreneurs and remote workers. You will find startup retreats, boutique hotels, villas, and coliving options across 21 countries.
Nomad Pass does the legwork for you, making it easy for you to work remotely and book accommodations equipped for nomads, independent professionals, startup entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Beyond booking, Nomad Pass offers a plethora of resources to help you on your nomad journey.
Nomad Rest is an online directory and advertising platform where you can find almost every type of accommodation for digital nomads. Hotels, hostels, and private hosts are featured in short-term, long-term, retreat, and coliving categories. The platform is easy to use and connects you directly to official websites and booking sites.
Nomad Rest curates its listings so that nomads’ hotels have everything they will need. They do the research for you to ensure you’re getting turn-key options. You can book with confidence and take advantage of some great deals in over 27 countries.
Nomad Stays offers fully furnished, WiFi ready digital nomad housing in over 221 locations around the world. Except for a few more expensive cities, most options are under €1,500 per month, and all are either co-located or in near proximity to coworking spaces. 100% instant bookings reduce confusion and wait times for locking in deals.
Nomad Stays are commission-free bookings with one booking price charged to cover everything. Amenities vary depending on where you stay, but all accommodations are vetted specifically for nomad needs. Nomad Stays requires a minimum 7-day reservation.
While this article is about alternatives to AirBnB, sometimes AirBnB has some killer deals, and RemoteBase is how you’ll find out about them. Great deals for digital nomad accommodations are delivered straight to your inbox each month. RemoteBase does all the research for you and compiles a list of largely discounted accommodation options in their monthly newsletter.
When you sign up for the free newsletter, you’ll get a comprehensive list of options available in three months’ time which you can peruse through at your leisure. The list is general and could include coliving with specially negotiated rates or private housing. If you upgrade to a Premium Membership, you can select preferences (like budget, location, and number of bedrooms), get last minute deals, and tailor the experience to you.
Get 10% off a Premium membership with RemoteBase by using the discount code PROHOBO!
Spotahome is an online booking platform for mid- to long-term rentals with a minimum stay of 30 days. Unlike others in this list, Spotahome is not specifically targeted at digital nomads, rather it provides suitable accommodations for travelers and remote professionals.
What you may lack in dedicated office space or proximity to coworking facilities, you gain in easy booking, trustworthy properties, and guaranteed satisfaction. Every listing is verified by Homechecker and covered by fraud protection and last minute cancellation protection.
This means that Spotahome will move you at no cost if your accommodation isn’t as listed and will cover your hotel costs in extreme circumstances where replacements aren’t immediately available.
The Homelike is a versatile booking platform that offers plenty of filters to help you find the best fit for your stay. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly, family-friendly, instantly bookable, or no-deposit required, digital nomads and remote workers will find their ideal apartments worldwide.
While Homelike imposes a minimum 30-day rental period, you can start your booking any day of the month and it can be extended any number of days beyond 30. Digital nomads’ accommodations are priced with all bills, utilities, and internet included, meaning no extra costs after booking.
Another benefit is that most landlords provide certificate of residence so you can register at the citizen’s office.
Best Digital Nomad Accommodation Options for Coliving Spaces
Some of the best housing for digital nomads can include unique opportunities where you are sharing your living space with like-minded individuals. Coliving is a great way to cut costs, share ideas, and make friends along the way. Check out this list to find your next digital nomad house.
Coliving.com is a leading discovery and booking platform for finding accommodation options that will connect you with other nomads. There are listings in over 300 cities across 60 countries. These fully-furnished accommodations come with a host of amenities.
The booking process is simple; it takes about five minutes to apply and get approved once you find your ideal destination. With an emphasis on community, Coliving is ideal for those who like working and living alongside others. Offering monthly terms, the free cancelation, payment protection, and online rental agreements make it easy to book short term stays.
See also: Digital Nomad Communities to help you meet people, plan travels, network, and collaborate.
Dedicated coworking spaces, fast WiFi, community events, and great reviews from previous community members round out some of the key attributes of coliving spaces featured in this global directory.
Coliving Compass features coliving spaces that are created just for digital nomads, freelancers, and remote entrepreneurs. With great locations and a host of amenities, you’ll find multiple options around the world to help you achieve work/life balance.
Cowork Surf is as laid back as the name implies. This is a group of digital nomads and remote workers who embrace the world as a borderless, global community through coliving, coworking, and adventure.
From Argentina to South Africa, France to Indonesia, and many places in between, Cowork Surf is a directory and booking platform that connects you with coliving spaces that offer great digital nomad accommodations, high speed WiFi, vibrant locations, and optimal coworking spaces. Every destination offers different tiers of rooms which give you a range from private to communal living.
I have referenced Outsite in a few other articles about digital nomad coliving/coworking programs. Now that I have some personal experience with Outsite properties, I can say with confidence that it is first and foremost a coliving operation.
With a couple of dozen locations on three continents (and always expanding into new territory), Outsite is one of the first places I now search when I’m looking for accommodation that will give me privacy, amenities like a kitchen and fast internet, and also the social framework that coliving is known for.
There is an annual/lifetime membership fee in order to book a place with Outsite, and that membership gives you access to a pretty active forum with opportunities to connect with other remote workers through events and more.
Learn more about Outsite and get a $50 discount here.
SC Cowork provides a place for dedicated nomads to collaborate and achieve work-life balance. The coliving and coworking spaces are designed to optimize space and access to necessities, and cut down on superfluous distractions like commute times.
Each creative campus combines open workspaces, conference rooms, recreational amenities, and apartments for digital nomads. SC Coworking offers tons of flexibility with day passes to workspaces and rental terms as short as a week.
Depending on your location, you can choose between single and double rooms, no-, half-, or full-board, and different tiers of room options to find the perfect fit for your budget. You can enjoy up to 20% off for booking month-long terms.
How to Get the Best Price on a Monthly Rental for the Ultimate Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Affordability matters. Furnished short term rentals and month-to-month apartments come at a premium as compared to signing a lease or getting an unfurnished apartment (which tends to be unrealistic for digital nomads from a lifestyle perspective). Then again, short-term rentals are way cheaper than hotels.
Here are some additional tips to find those month to month apartments on a budget.
- Comparison Shop: Compare sites and deals across the options above.
- Look for Help: Ask questions in various nomad and expat groups on social media. A great first question to ask in these groups is how much is a reasonable amount to pay for monthly accommodation.
- Last-Minute and Off-Season Deals: Cancellations and low season travel can open options at lower rates if you’re flexible.
- Consider Alternative Accommodation Styles: Shared accommodations, swaps, and alternative living options can offer major savings. I saved a boatload of money getting my accommodation for free for many years.
- Negotiate: Negotiation is an integral part of doing business in some cultures. When you’re at your destination, try your hand at negotiating down the price. You can also approach hotels in advance and ask if they can offer you a discount to stay with them for a month.
Visas for Digital Nomads
Before you book that long-term stay in the country of your dreams, make sure you’re actually allowed to stay there for that long. This means checking the visa situation. Many countries are now offering the digital nomad visa and remote work visas. As the world embraces digital nomads and countries recognize the value of attracting this cohort of remote workers, we can expect continual growth of this trend. These types of visas give people the legal right to work remotely while residing away from their country of permanent residence.
With a huge variety of application requirements, some visas for digital nomads are better than others. This situation is constantly evolving, but a simple search of ‘[country] + digital nomad visa” can shed some light on the situation.
I hope you’ve found this list of digital nomad accommodation resources to be useful. To be honest, I wrote it because I wanted an easy-to-use list of places where I can search for digital nomad-friendly accommodation each time I’m researching a destination for myself – and I hope you bookmark this page and come back to it often for the same reasons. I will be keeping it updated regularly. If you have any suggestions for sites to add to this list, please reach out.