Many Black millennial and Gen-Z travelers have a dream of living abroad. The thought of international living while exploring new destinations is the foundation of many adventurer’s bucket lists. However, not everyone desires to live abroad forever. 

For some travelers, all they need is a few extra weeks or months to get their wanderlust fix. International living overseas has grown in popularity over the years among Americans. According to data from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, an estimated 4.8 million US citizens were living abroad in 2018. 

Not everyone living overseas is there for a long time. This can make finding housing difficult depending on the destination. Before embarking on a journey of international short-term living, check out these tips for finding living options.

Check Out Vacation Rental Unit Apps 

Short term living
Photo credit: Samson Katt

Vacation rental apps like VRBO and Airbnb are ground zero when it comes to finding short-term living accommodations. However, this depends on the destination of choice. According to its website, Airbnb has over 7 million listings across more than 200 countries and regions. VRBO also offers international condo rentals in over 100 countries. Both companies provide travelers with the option of booking stays for weeks or months at a time. 

Keep in mind that longer stays typically come with different rules and policies. Travelers may have to pay higher deposits and accommodations may be limited depending on how long the host wants guests to stay. Check the FAQs on the company’s website to find out their policy on short-term rentals longer than a few weeks.

Join Facebook Black Expat Groups

Black expat groups on social media are a great resource when heading abroad for short-term living. Even if you’re only staying in a destination for a few months, most members are still happy to provide information on finding short-term accommodations and other information to those looking to move.

In addition to finding accommodations, these groups can also be a great place to find ideal neighborhoods, get details on any landlords or hosts to avoid, and get tips on negotiating the best deals on housing. Based on your destination, these groups can also provide an idea of a reasonable price for rent to help travelers avoid price gouging.

Be Open To Negotiations

short term living
Photo credit: Arina Krasnikova

Not all international destinations function like the US. For those not using a vacation rental app, you might have to negotiate your rent cost. Don’t shy away from negotiating pricing when looking for housing. This could happen with landlords as well as at hotels and hostels. Connect with other Black expats to get tips on negotiating in the destination you’ll be residing in during your short-term stay. 

Consider Subletting

Subletting is an option depending on where travelers are headed for their short-term living experience. Keep in mind that not all countries and cities allow subletting. It’s important to research the laws before agreeing to a subletting contract. This is a great way to find housing especially if you have friends or family who are looking to sublease their spaces. Dig into your network of friends, family, and colleagues to see who might be living overseas and see if they or someone they know is looking to sublease. 

Keep Safety At The Forefront

short term living
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio

When looking for short-term living options overseas, safety should always be at the forefront. More than likely, travelers won’t see the accommodation until they’ve arrived at the destination. It’s important to double-check the legitimacy of overseas living accommodations before arrival. If you have friends or family in the destination, consider having them video call you from the property. Check online reviews from past guests to confirm the reliability of the accommodation. This is especially important if you are not booking through an official vacation rental unit company. However, travelers should check the online reviews of vacation rental unit hosts beforehand as well.