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The Expat Guide to Finding a Rental Abroad

The Expat Guide to Finding a Rental Abroad

Moving to a new country, especially for the first time, can be an exhilarating experience. Meeting new people and exploring different customs will broaden your views and enhance your understanding of different cultures. However, it comes with many new angles to consider. Relocation to a new home further down the same street can be quite stressful, let alone to a new country. Whether you’re moving for work or pleasure, finding a rental abroad is one of the first tasks you’ll have to tackle. Experienced expats will tell you that finding suitable accommodation is the key to how you’ll feel about your new country. As we all know, it’s essential to have a place where we can be ourselves and relax. With that in mind, we’ve prepared this guide to help you find the right place for yourself with ease.

Is it better to rent a house or an apartment?

Whether you’ll opt for a house or an apartment depends on your personal preferences and unique situation. Most people, especially first-time expats, decide to rent an apartment. It’s less demanding to maintain, it’s easier to relocate if you have to, and it’ll probably be cheaper.

While there are many pros and cons for either, ask yourself several questions before you decide. Is this your first time moving to another country? How long are you planning to stay? In case you don’t know much about the country you’re moving to, an apartment might be a better choice. Give yourself time to see if you like it in your new home before you make important decisions.

a man carrying a backpack with a dog in it
The kind of accommodation you need will depend on who you’re traveling with

Who are you going with?

This question can have an impact on your decision, too. If you’re going alone or are planning to move with your pet and if your furry friend is coming with you, it’s a better idea to rent an apartment. Especially if you haven’t lived in that country before and you’re not sure how long you’ll stay. On the other hand, if your family is joining you, renting a house might be the best solution for you. Who knows, if your new home turns out to be everything you ever wanted, you might decide to settle there permanently.

Consider what rental features are important to you

However, before moving abroad for the first time, take some time to consider what is necessary for you to have in a home. Choosing a long-term rental is quite different from booking a place for a week or two during vacation. On holidays, you probably spend more time outside, exploring and having fun, than you do in your rental. Therefore, even if you don’t like it, it won’t be much of a problem.

On the other hand, if you’re going to live there for a while, make sure it fits your needs. For example, if you enjoy cooking or are not sure you’ll like the local food, a well-equipped kitchen is necessary. That will enable you to eat healthily as well as to prepare some dishes you might miss from home. Likewise, if you have to drive to work, look for an apartment with a parking spot.

a red and white apartment with the kitchen
Make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable in your new home

Determine your budget

When you travel, whether it’s a short trip or an extended vacation, money is always a relevant matter. While there are ways to save money when traveling, the first step is to assess your budget and learn more about the place you’re going to. The same applies to finding a rental abroad. Check local rental prices and costs of living before making important decisions. Maybe the prices will be similar to your current home. Then again, they might vary to a great extent. Find out as much as you can and make plans accordingly. That way, you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises upon arrival at your new home.


Once you’ve decided what kind of rental you want and how much money you want to spend, it’s time to choose a location. How much choice you have will depend on why you’re moving in the first place. If you’ve secured a job or plan to study abroad, you most likely want to rent an apartment close to your workplace or university. Whereas, if you want a change of scenery or plan to work from home, you can choose any place that appeals to you most. Either way, make sure you are near public transport routes and that you have a good Internet connection in the area you’re moving to.

See Also

Moreover, it’s important to plan your move. Relocation is often a stressful process, and moving internationally is especially so. If you want your belongings transferred overseas safely and easily, the best way is to find a reliable long-distance moving company. The experienced movers will ensure your things are properly packed and delivered. You already have a lot on your mind and this way you’ll have time to focus on other important matters.

A man pointing at the map with a pen, a notebook, and a camera
The best time to go about finding a rental abroad is before moving

How to start finding a rental abroad?

There are some common travel mistakes people make, but when looking for a place to live abroad, it’s good to take extra precautions. You can look for a perfect rental for you at various websites such as Nestpick or Expatica. Send messages to landlords and ask about everything you’re interested in. However, you shouldn’t make any deals or pay before you see these rentals in person. Though most landlords are honest people, it’s better to make sure everything is as promised before you commit. Additionally, you may even rent a short-term first, and use the time to get to know your new city well and find the accommodation that will suit your needs.

Finding a rental abroad isn’t always easy. Following this guide will help you avoid the most common mistakes and find your home away from home. Consider your wishes and needs, budget, and location so you can find a place that suits your desires and lifestyle. A place that you can call home.

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