Digital Nomad Secrets: How to find cheap long term stays

me, by the window with a magnificent view of Vidigal beach

How i landed up going bald in Rio is a story for another time 😉 Today, i’m going to sub-let you in on a secret that most nomads and long term (slow) travelers are already aware of. in fact, i already gave it away. It’s called…. sublets!

i discovered this concept while backpacking through South America in 2008-2009.

While attending one of the fun CouchSurfing meetups in the city, i met a Dutch girl who was raving about this beautiful property she was staying in, that was a beach facing hostel. Out of curiosity, i requested her if i could come over and check it out.

Before i knew it, i fell in love with the place and rented it for a whole month.

Now here’s the kicker – i landed up spending less than Rs.10,000 (or $150) for a clean bed with this exact view + laundry + internet charges + kitchen access and pretty much anything else i had to pay for! It was a massive open dorm with gorgeous windows and a sundeck, meant for 10 people.

Even at it’s peak, we were about 4-5 people – so there was enough space for each of us while getting to meet some amazing folks from around the world.

Back to the future: Circa 2016

The amazing thing about the internet and the sharing economy in these days is that serendipity has become a more realistic possibility every day, every hour. There are some fantastic tools out there today, and i’m going to tell you how to make the most of them if you’re interested in long term travel…

AirBNB ‘Sublets’

This is one of the lesser known secrets about AirBNB! Most listings have ‘weekly’ and ‘monthly’ rates that are way lesser than the cumulative price for X no. of days. So try a search for a whole month at your favorite property and enjoy the pleasant surprise!

NomadList Explore

The Mecca for digital nomads has this very interesting ‘Explore’ section with amazing insights and whoa moments

(eg: Best Cities for Single Women / Best Cities for Fastest Internet)

Kayak Explore & SkyScanner Inspire

These are tools i use for flight searches. Try Kayak’s ‘Explore’ and SkyScanner’s ‘Inspire’ to determine the cheapest places to go to from wherever you are, at any given point in time. When you don’t have a set destination in mind, this is an excellent way to land great deals.

EasyRoommate / CompartoApto

i tried this multi-lingual community while searching for long term rentals in Colombia, and found some excellent deals.

It’s a forum based listing, so it may require patience and time – but there are some real gems waiting to be uncovered here!

Forums & Listings

There are tons of local websites (think Craigslist in the USA / Sulekha in India… or even CouchSurfing), which also offer some great stays you may not find elsewhere. Once, i found a short term 3-months stay in the heart of Mumbai (Bandra) for just Rs.11K per month… on Craigslist!

Monthly rentals or sublets is the secret!

Look where not everyone is looking or may have forgotten about.
Surprisingly, it’s possible in most cities around the world.

By the way, if you’re reading this before the clock turns 2017, i’m giving away $100 which can be used on AirBNB.

Now you know that it could even be enough for a whole month in some cities!

All the best and Bon Voyage 🙂
Don’t forget to send me a postcard or tweet if you found this useful.


Exotic Gringo (Kaushal Karkhanis)

Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.

Blog Comments

This post was a great read, Kaushal! Well done.

thank you Agness! 🙂 i’m glad that you found it valuable.

very insightful!

thank you Geetika! 🙂 glad you found it insightful.