We have been on the road for 3 weeks now and the day before yesterday we moved into our longest rental yet. We found a longer term rental in Barranquilla and I am so glad we will be in one place for longer than 4 or 5 days. We decided to move from Cartagena, north along the coast, to find a rental in Barranquilla for a couple of reasons: It is expensive to rent for less than 6 months in Cartagena and groceries cost a lot more. Food prices were a lot like Canada in Boca Grande and that just didn’t work with our budget.
As far as looking for a rental in Cartagena we knew we would do better, cost wise, and we would try to find one while on the ground. Everything we found online is geared to vacationers which, you guessed it, is expensive. Another challenge is the divide in income levels is really wide, rich or poor with next to nothing in the middle. We just didn’t have the time, money or connections needed to find a suitable place in the middle income areas there.
We reached out to a travel blogger from Toronto, Will from I Will Travel, and he recommended a visit to Barranquilla. Will is working on a permanent move to Barranquilla and was in the city searching for a place as well. We found out it is really inexpensive ($19000 COP about $11 CDN each) to travel, very comfortably, from Cartagena to Barranquilla. The cost of a rental in Barranquilla and living expenses are much cheaper as well, so when our Airbnb stay was over in Cartagena we hopped in a shuttle van and arrived in Barranquilla an hour and a half later.
We had booked our first 4 days with another Air BnB rental in Barranquilla and planned to get on the on the street looking for a longer term place, collecting numbers to call almost immediately. Will, being very familiar with Barranquilla, recommended good areas to look and offered to help us talk with potential landlords.
Up one street and down another collecting many phone numbers from signs posted in apartment windows. Will generously helped us with the calling but nothing seemed come together. So as our Airbnb reservation was coming to an end, feeling a tad bit panicked, we went back to the internet. I started to scour travel blogs and came across some great advice for finding longer term rentals on Travel with Benders blog. The post took me back online, looking in places I hadn’t checked before and back to some I had used in the past, and then we found it.
In the place we were sure it wouldn’t be. We managed to secure a rental for almost a month in the area we wanted for a price we could live with and we found it online! The a-ha’s for me were, yes, looking for a place on the ground you do have a chance of getting a better price for renting but most places for lease want 6 months to a year for a rental commitment and they don’t come furnished.It also is very beneficial to have a working grasp on the language of country you are looking in. We don’t speak Spanish well and that made our looking a lot more frustrating.
And, yes, there are monthly rentals to be found at good prices on vacation rental sites like Flipkey, VRBO, Holiday Lettings and Airbnb. Organic searches online can also lead to finding a rental in the city you are looking in and ultimately is how we found our furnished rental.
And last and maybe most important, ask for help from people. Try and get recommendations from locals you have met and search internet and contact travel bloggers to find out how they find rentals. There is so much helpful advice available on travel blogs for finding accommodation anywhere in the world.
I have always got help from travelers whenever I reached out with a question. We will be moving on next month and will need to find another furnished rental for a month or 2. Do you have any advice for finding budget friendly rentals when traveling? Please leave your ideas in the comments.