Note: This is not a sponsored article. I chose to live out of AirBnBs for the last 6 months entirely out of convenience. I’m not being compensated for writing this article. AirBnBs aren’t always perfect, either, which I also address in this article.
Here are the 5 things I learned while living out of AirBnBs for 6 months…
1. Renting an apartment long-term definitely isn’t necessary these days
I spent anywhere from $547/month (in Belgrade, Serbia) to $2100/month (in Helsinki, Finland) on my accommodation.
Clearly, there’s an AirBnb in the world for every budget level.
This means there’s no longer a burning need for anyone to rent an apartment long-term.
Why should I lock myself down with an annual apartment lease? To save a few thousand bucks per year?
Or even worse, why should I buy an anchor apartment, and deal with the headache of apartment maintenance?
Yes, renting an AirBnB is more expensive than renting directly from the housing market.
But it’s an incredibly easy and streamlined process, and that’s what makes renting AirBnBs so appealing.
You just rent an AirBnB, book a flight, pack your bags, and you can enjoy an entirely new lifestyle in a matter of days.
2. I was most productive while living in big, bustling, energetic cities
During my 6 months of living out of AirBnBs, I was most productive in Helsinki, Finland.
This isn’t even an opinion.
My data actually shows that I accomplished more while living in Helsinki compared to any other month spent elsewhere.
I believe this happened because I knew that I was spending $70/night on accommodation in Helsinki, so I felt like I had to work my ass off to compensate for the relatively high cost of living in Northern Europe.
Yup. I’ll probably only live in big, bustling, energetic cities for the foreseeable future.
Best of all, I’m no longer scared away by cities with a high cost of living.
When I’m highly-productive, I’m generating a 10X ROI on my work, and this makes a “high cost of living” seem negligible in comparison.
3. Eastern Europe is extremely fun in the short-term, and crazy frustrating in the long-term
Most of my travels took place in Eastern Europe.
Eastern Europe is without a doubt one of the most exciting regions in the world.
You have fast Wi-Fi, beautiful women, $5 cocktails, quality apartments, high-end gyms, amazing restaurants, and anything else that you could ever want.
Eastern Europe is like an adult playground.
I lived in:
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Budva, Montenegro
So in the short-term, Eastern Europe is magical.
But after some months, you start to notice problems…
For example, I had to wait 30 days for a simple DHL package delivery in Belgrade, because Serbia is located outside of the EU.
On top of that, I was forced to visit the local post office to collect my package, probably because the postal worker didn’t feel like delivering my package.
I also dealt with multiple power outages that made me wonder if all the food in my fridge would spoil.
Most notably, practices leftover from communism still linger throughout Eastern Europe (mostly in the older populations), and this can make it really difficult to run simple errands and take care of business.
Customer service in Eastern Europe ranks anywhere from average to terrible in many of the businesses that you’ll need to deal with regularly (grocery stores, post offices, and transportation mainly).
I don’t blame the employees though. They aren’t being paid much at all, so they don’t have incentives to work hard. I blame government corruption, mafia types, and lazy business owners.
In short, Eastern Europe is amazing for short-term trips. I definitely recommend visiting Eastern Europe for a few months, up to one year or so.
But if you stay much longer than that, you risk wasting a lot of valuable time that would be spent more efficiently in Western countries.
4. AirBnBs aren’t always perfect
For the most part, I had great experiences living in all of my AirBnB rentals.
But, just make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into when you rent AirBnBs.
I always compare renting AirBnBs to renting an apartment from a friend.
For example, you’ll probably be in touch with the AirBnB homeowner throughout your stay, even if you decide to rent an entire private apartment for yourself, which is what I always do.
AirBnB hosts often come to your private apartment for various reasons, which wouldn’t really happen in a hotel room, unless you put in some kind of special request.
One time I was passed out (sleeping naked) in my AirBnB when the apartment owner (a grandma) barged in through the front door.
She was bringing laundry detergent, and probably didn’t realize that I was asleep in the apartment (all the lights were out).
She looked shocked when she saw me.
That was pretty funny.
It was a little bit awkward, but not a huge deal either way.
I still had a great stay at her apartment.
AirBnBs are ultimately great for living like a local.
But you usually sacrifice some of the privacy that you would get from staying in a major chain hotel.
5. Short-term renting is the future
I already touched on this briefly. But I have to reemphasize just how important this trend is.
Short-term renting is the future.
With a short-term rental, if I don’t like the apartment unit, neighborhood, apartment owner, neighbors or noise pollution, I just leave.
If I happen to love the short-term rental, I’ll extend my stay.
It’s pure freedom and flexibility.
This is well worth the additional 20% or so margin that you’ll have to pay for short-term rentals.
Most importantly, short-term rentals are especially appealing to people who work online.
If you have your own online business, you probably get bored of staying in one place for too long anyway.
Changing up your environment gives you a fresh new perspective, connects you with interesting new people, and motivates you to take on ambitious new projects.
Moving somewhere new can lead to incredible positive developments in your business and life.
I’m not a digital nomad.
But I kind of live like one.
I like seeing the world, experiencing new cultures, and cultivating new relationships. This is what works for me during this stage of my life.
Right now, I’m actually back in the United States visiting family for a little while.
But I’ll be back to living out of AirBnBs soon enough.
At least until I decide on a city or cities where I’d like to live long-term.
(Hint: Miami and Helsinki are my top two contenders right now.)
If you like the idea of building websites for a living, I imagine you’ll be interested in the pure freedom that comes with this business model.
So why not book an AirBnB, hop on a flight, and go on the adventure of a lifetime?
You aren’t going to regret it. I can promise you that.
I’m able to travel the world and live where I want because I’ve built websites that cover all of my living expenses and more.
If you like the idea of traveling the world and designing your own dream lifestyle, you can get started by building a cash-flowing website from scratch.
I’m helping people build their own profitable websites because of the incredible positive changes that happened in my life once I had a profitable website up and running.
I want you to experience the same results that I’ve experienced.
Websites have the potential to set you free forever.
So let’s keep in touch, and I’ll guide you through every step of your online journey.
The best way for us to keep in touch is through email.
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