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In Bali, you have a few types of accommodations to choose from. Just like with any home hunting, your selection is really based on your location, budget and amenity preferences.
To start your search, here are the most popular approaches I’ve come across for either a one night stay to long term.
Accommodation Sourcing Options
AirBnb.com – Most are familiar with this site. As you already know, this is a secure way to go about your search. However, the prices will be marked up to make up for the AirBnB fees plus the third party liaison, usually a Westerner. They manage the locals’ online property profile, field inquiries, and secure bookings. Most times the property owner is not proficient in English and with the technology. You pay online for the initial booking. Then, if you decide to stay long term, work directly with the onsite property host for the better rate, rather than continuing thru the site.
Booking.com – Similar to AirBnb, but here you have the option to pay upon arrival. This comes handy when you want to check the place out before putting your money down. There may be slightly better deals here and more of a selection.
Facebook Groups – Here is where you find word-of-mouth opportunities from other travelers that are either looking for suit mates or someone to take over their space. I sometimes will post my interest in a place and then have hosts respond to me. This can get a little overwhelming with notifications and messages, so be prepared. There are quite a few groups out there. Here are the ones that seem to be most useful for me when I’m home hunting: Canggu Community Housing, Ubud House, and Villa for Rent, and Ubud Rentals.
Try Before You Buy
For those renting a villa for the holiday or if you’re only looking for a weekend stay, this approach isn’t as necessary. For those looking for a long-term stay for themselves, this may become a helpful practice.
I learned quickly that it is always best to try before you buy, or in this case, check out the property first before you commit long term. If you have the opportunity to visit the site, do it. If you don’t, then consider reserving for one night or one week. If you like what you see, then coordinate the long-term reservation with the onsite host.
To add, I had the unfortunate experience of an AirBnB host not willing to refund my money for my initial long-term stay. I had to begrudgingly stay.
These are some of the limitations I or someone else encountered:
- Air conditioning was old and couldn’t get the room cool enough
- Location was too far, the route was too congested for a beginner on a scooter
- The room was alongside a busy noisy alley
- Bed bugs in the room (only happened once that I’m aware of)
- Inconsistent available hot water
Be sure to pack your travel essentials. I didn’t realize how important it was for me to have an extension cord with a few outlets for all of my gear.
Renting a villa long term requires a whole different set of steps. Stay tuned for that post!
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