1. Do NOT, I repeat do NOT look on AirBnB.
Monthly rates on AirBnB are similar to vacation rental rates. They might be cheaper compared to hotels but they’re REALLY expensive compared to normal rent.
2. Check sites in the local sites in the local language.
Use Google Translate. You’ll be able to get a feel for the local prices and what’s available furnished.
3. Check Craigslist (or local equivalent) for sublets from people taking trips.
If you’re starting in a new city, the best option is often to sublet from someone who is themselves going on sabbatical or taking an extended trip. Beware of scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Find out if you need to plan your trip for the start of a month.
It’s usually easy to rent a place from the 1st of the month, although in some locations this doesn’t matter.
5. Check with travel bloggers or other location independent folk about agents or sites they used.
6. Negotiate with a motel.
If you strike out with other methods, try negotiating a monthly rate with a local motel.
7. Is it cheaper to buy a microwave/hot plate than rent a place with a kitchen?
Most places have fridges/mini fridges. If you don’t cook much, you might just need a microwave, hot plate, or large electric fry pan.
8. Consider a 6 month contract.
Sometimes it’s still cheaper to sign a 6 month contract and leave early vs. pay 4 months of vacation rental prices.
9. Consider unfurnished but calculate costs carefully.
Sometimes you will be forced to rent an unfurnished flat. Buy a new mattress or use an inflatable. The rest you can get second hand e.g., a sofa. Cooking equipment is where costs can add up if you’re needing to buy these. Keep it simple. Wait till you see if you really need something before buying it e.g., buy cans with pull off tabs rather than buying a can opener (or use an army style one – you may even have one on your swiss army knife if you carry one).