How to find mid-term accommodation as a digital nomad


Probably one of the hardest parts of being a digital nomad is finding a place to call home for a few months, in a new city. I have spent the entire October last year in Italy, in a remote village in Tuscany. My first question when I took the decision to live in Italy for a month was where do I look for accommodation? A quick search on AirBnB discouraged me, the prices for renting a room in a house for 30 days were all over £1000, even for the most modest room in the countryside. Google didn’t really help either, as most of the renting websites are in Italian and not in English. I did find a room in the end, but it was due to my Facebook friends that I’ve made while traveling. You know, a friend of a friend of a friend…

But what if you decide to move in a new place for a few months and don’t have any friends in that city? How do you find a mid-term accommodation solution that won’t break the bank? And how can you trust that when you will arrive in a country where you don’t speak the language your accommodation process will go smooth? There are many scams out there, especially when you are unable to be present to see the apartment or house you will be moving into. Nobody wants bad surprises… especially with all the stress of the moving.


So how can you find mid-term accommodation as a digital nomad?



If you have plenty of time before you move to a new country, you can always start searching for a suitable room on AirBnB and find a host who is willing to rent on a mid-term basis. AirBnB has its own sublet section, where you can search for longer stays without committing to a long-term lease. However, when I used the service for my trip to Italy, it didn’t really work that well as the monthly prices were the same as the daily ones, multiplied by 30.

As I said though, if you have time you can start messaging hosts and see if they can offer you a discount for a longer stay. The advantage of using AirBnB is that you can choose a host based on real reviews. As it’s a very popular platform, you will have plenty of options to find your perfect room. Usually there is at least one room available in any given area of a city, as many digital nomads are searching for a central location.

The disadvantage of using AirBnB is that anytime the host can cancel and you don’t have the security that you will have the room, even if you’ve booked and paid for it in advance. I have heard many horror stories involving AirBnB, where guests were left without a reservation hours before their arrival in a city.



Recently I have learned about Spotahome, a website where you can virtually visit a property before renting it. How does it work and what makes it different from other websites, you might ask? All the properties are checked by the people from Spotahome who take real photos and upload a video tour of the house. This way you know exactly what to expect and don’t rely on the photoshop imagines a landlord might be posting online.

verified by spotahome

Finding a house in one of the 19 cities that Spotahome covers is easy, all you have to do is register and use to search button to find your perfect new home. Once you have decided on the area you want to live in, set the dates and budget up, you can start browsing through the properties shown in the results. Each property has detailed descriptions and photos from each angle. The advantage is that you can find many places that rent a room in a house, which means a lower cost per month and more flexibility regarding the dates. Plus, who wants to move in a new city not knowing anyone? By moving in a modern shared house, you will instantly meet new people who soon enough can become your friends.

Once you find the perfect property and decide that you want it to be your home for the next few months, you reserve it and wait for the landlord to reply to your request (maximum 12 hours). When they accept, you will be charged for the first month plus a small processing fee. However, your money is protected. The first payment is only transferred to the landlord 48 hours after you move in and not before. Spotahome will put you in contact with the landlord once the confirmation is received, to arrange the move-in times, the key collection and the signing of the contract.


Expat Facebook groups and Couchsurfing

Every time I move to a place for longer I try to join the expat and Couchsurfing Facebook groups. They are great for making friends in the area but also for finding help with renting a room or a flat. I have been living in Poole for almost 5 years now and almost every day I see people posting in the groups, searching for an apartment. Most of the times there will be someone who will have a spare room or who will know a friend looking for a roommate.

The advantage of searching for a mid-term accommodation solution in the expat groups is the lower cost. As there is no agency involved and you rent directly from the owner, the bills will always be included and your rent will be significantly lower than by renting “the official way”.

The disadvantage using this type of search is that you will never know how the room is going to look like until you actually move and that there is no contract, which makes it harder for your deposit to be protected.



Disclaimer: Please note that this post has been written in collaboration with Spotahome.  

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Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.


  1. Hmm, I’ve never heard of Spotahome before but I’ll certainly check it out. We’re always looking for short term holiday lets. Thank you for turning me onto a new name 🙂

  2. The only service that I’ve tried so far is Airbnb! I’ve heard of the others but by far, my experience with Airbnb hasn’t pushed me to look for other services. These sites make it easier to plan trips and you get to save money as well.

  3. I found this post really useful because the digital nomad life really appeals to me too. I have also heard that house sitting can be a great way to get accommodation while travelling as a digital nomad.

  4. Very interesting! I’m a travel blogger and don’t have a life that promotes the digital nomad lifestyle but this its good to know that people have options for persuing this most interesting way of freelancing and running their own online businesses. I’ll share this on my social for my freelancing community.

  5. These are some great tips for those looking to live abroad even for a small amount of time. The fact Spotahome take real photos is great as you do get a lot more edited versions on line now that aren’t always true to what you expect!

  6. Couchsurfing sounds exciting, though of course we all need to be careful. I’ve always just ran AirBnB options but it’s cool to see more choices here!

  7. I have heard mix stories about AirBnB. Spotahome sounds great, virtually visiting the place and also that the funds are transferred after 48 hours of moving is are great points to be considered before booking.

  8. I would preferably use Airbnb or sites like as they have discounts for monthly rates. It’s also good to do homestays so you’ll have the chance to interact with the locals.

  9. I have heard of and used AirBnB for short-term renting – but never considered it for a month at a time. I’ve never heard of SpotAHome. I think it sounds like a great idea! A virtual tour before renting is always helpful

  10. Spotahome sounds like an interesting concept! I confess I’ve never used AirBnB or the like as I prefer to have my stays guaranteed and I don’t like that they can cancel at the last minute, but I perhaps should give it a go one day.

  11. Air BnB is always my go-to when we are looking for accommodation. We have only had one bad experience, but everything else has been incredible.

  12. How great does Spotahome sound, I love that you can virtually view the house. I think you should be able to do on any website where you are paying to stay there

  13. Great tips! I have never used AirBnb before, but I don’t really travel that much. It’s true that searching for accomodation was easier in the past when we were only two, now that we are 4 it’s quite commplicated and expensive!

  14. Spot a home sounds fab! The other place I would say you could look if you wanted to work is (something like that), we have been looking recently, you basically get accommodation and some meals in exchange for a few hours work

  15. Air BnB is absolutely AWESOME! I know so many people who use the service and my friend has actually started renting out her 2 bed flat in canary wharf using it. She’s making a fortune but its so handy for people travelling, working and studying in London. xxx

  16. These are some awesome tips and very helpful. Spotahome sounds like a great finding mid-term accommodation this day. I will definitely check this out.

  17. I had no idea there were so many options when it came to places to stay. I’ve never lived the life of a nomad, especially in today’s digital age. It feels a bit exciting and scary all at the same time! Like you, I haven’t heard of Spotahome until now. Did you find their prices to be any cheaper than Airbnb and did they have as large of a selection to choose from? I really think it’s cool that they send a representative from the company out ahead of time. And I couldn’t help but smile at the Couchsurfing Facebook group. Almost like the old addage “there’s an app for that” I have to wonder if soon we’ll be saying “there’s a group for that” x

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