Like anywhere in the world, if you plan on holidaying in Spain for longer than a few weeks, it’s usually cheaper to rent an apartment rather than stay in a hotel. But, like anywhere, you really have to know what you’re doing if you want to get the best rental price.
If you’re planning on a longer vacation and thinking about renting a cheap holiday apartment in Spain, follow these quick tips, and you’ll find your apartment search easier and, frankly, an awful lot cheaper.
Don’t Rent an Apartment on the Internet – Unlike many European countries, which are chock full of rental agencies online, Spain has a much lower number that deal with holiday rental apartments and most of these deal with high-end vacation apartment rentals. So, sure, if you don’t mind paying €2,000 ($2,800) a month for an apartment rental in Spain, then go ahead and use an agent. But if you’re looking for something more in the €400-800 range ($560-$1,120), then avoid the internet and look in person instead.
The other reason not to rent on the internet is, if you rent while you’re physically in Spain, you can check out the location of the apartment, the apartment itself and anything else you might need to know, before you sign a lease for a vacation apartment for two or three months. After all, online it may look lovely. In reality, your dream vacation apartment might be two bus rides from the center of town and an hour from any beach.
Stay in a Hotel for a Few Days – The best way to find an inexpensive and perfect-for-you vacation apartment rental in Spain is to be in the town you want to stay in first. Book a room in an inexpensive hotel for at least 3-5 days right before your planned longer-term vacation, which will give you time to walk around the neighborhood, talk to locals who might know of inexpensive short or long-term vacation apartment rentals, or to just start calling phone numbers from rental signs and knocking on doors yourself.
With the Spanish economy currently being in dire straits, and not likely to recover any time soon, now is the time to get an inexpensive long-term vacation apartment rental in Spain as just about every apartment building has boatloads of ‘For Rent’ signs.
Talk to the Locals – Talking to the locals about renting a holiday apartment can often secure you one much cheaper than you’d get by going through an agent and often one that hasn’t been listed on the market yet. The locals too will know the best areas to live in and, in some cases, may even be able to help you negotiate a good rental price.
Rent in Off-Peak Season – If you don’t have set times when you need to take your vacation, the best times to rent in Spain are in the off-peak season (from October to beginning of April). While rates in Spain during the summer are still high, during the winter months the weather is often still lovely and most Spanish nightlife, businesses, shops etc, are still open, yet rental rates are far lower.
Just make sure, if you decide to rent during off-peak season, you check out the town you’re going to stay in first. After all, you don’t want to arrive in Spain set up for a three month vacation of fun and sun and find out the town you’ll be staying in is deader than the dodo.
Don’t Forget to Negotiate – With the Spanish economy currently dismal (the Spaniards call it “The Crisis”), there’s much more room to negotiate for a cheap Spanish vacation apartment rental than in usual years.
Go and see several apartments in the Spanish town you want to stay in, then negotiate a fair rent with the landlords of at least two of them. With the landlord knowing his apartment is one of two you’re interested in, you’re highly likely to get a good deal (a fair price for both of you) and both of you will leave the negotiation happy.
Just remember, be polite and respectful and don’t be too cheap. You don’t want to end up renting from a Spanish landlord who resents the dirt cheap price he gave you.