I will fly to Fort Wayne, Indiana in April of 2012, I have traveled the world for 14 years, 90 countries. I average less than 300 USD per month for room.
It is almost funny, if I shift from thinking "Daily Rentals," to thinking "Monthly Rentals," I could live in regular room and probably travel forever in the USA on a 500 per month budget.
The Problems about Renting Rooms in USA.
1. I need a car to go and look because public transport is almost non-existent.
2. Need Furnished.
3. Receiving phone calls back, (If I was from France, and I needed to talk on the phone to receive calls, it could be impossible.)
4. Internet access.... (Probably free in all Libraries across the USA.)
5. No Deposit: (They could take months to return, even if they are honest.)
6. All Utilities Paid
800 Per month Budget it Easy in USA
I believe a site like this one, and trust me, I have not done much searching, but they could make this a no-brainer if I wanted to spend 800 USD per month rental.
This photo above is an example in Fort Wayne, Indiana USA, with 170 USD per month weekly, I would need to stay under 200 to be at 800 per month budget.
Renting 10-15 USD Per Day, or up to 450 Per Month
I was a Real Estate Broker in the USA for 14 years, I owned and managed up to 250 units. Bottom line is this, it is easy to evict me from an Hotel, but if I pay monthly, it would take a minimum of 45 day to evict me. Therefore, I know I must hoover around the cheap hotels, or deal with a lot of headaches. This room above is actually a Motel, not an apartment.
I will call up by telephone,
"Do you rent furnished rooms monthly or weekly?"
"I am searching for a room, all utilities paid, no deposit, move in today."
GREAT, extremely GREAT about the USA is Telephone.
I mean, it is a wonder on the planet, only in the USA can I call up, unlimited calls free on a land line, local calls, and let my fingers do the walking. This is truly a wonder for renting or buying in the USA. I do not need to go there, I can do 90 percent of my data collection by phone. I am 100 percent sure, I do not trust any business advertising on the Internet.
OK, I will say it, "Craig's List." Fort Wayne, Indiana
Here is a tempting Craig's List post for Fort Wayne:
$400 / 3br - 1 Room available in 3 BR Townhouse VERY close to IPFW&good area.
This room is one of 3 in the townhouse. There are 2 fulls baths and one half bath in the apartment. Pet friendly, rent is around $400.00 which includes everything. Very close to the IPFW campus and in a good area. Stove/oven, microwave, dishwasher, washer & dryer all in the townhouse. Back patio and good neighbors!!
How long to arrange from another city?
Say, I am here in Dominican Republic, I can call all these places on Skype.com at 2 cents per minute to call landlines.
I believe it would take me five days, working about 2 hours per day to find something, so about 10-15 hours of time.
Shy People Problem
I am alpha male, type A, and capable of making cold calls, this is easy for me and to boot, I am not lazy.
If a person is willing, gets on Craig's List, picks up a local newspaper and call all the advertisement, I am sure they can find cheap room in most cities. Transportation, maps, and dishonesty are still a problem, nonetheless this is possible.
Road Trip USA, with a Van Back Up
It is possible for me to do this, in some mix, live with friends, when I want or have problem, sleep in Van and watch downloaded movies on my computer. I also can trade advertising for free rooms.
Trading Advertising for Free Rooms
This alone, with the same 10 hour investment in calls, e-mails, and cold calls, then stopping in would allow me to never pay for lodging.
In addition, I can offer free advertising and help them list their Hotels on HoboHideOut.com, or 6.3 million city Hotel site:
Everything about renting cheap is a variable of time, the longer you take, the more patience you have, the cheaper the room. It is easy to do, educate yourself to the market, the map, and then rent the room. If you can sit down, and make this a job, work 4-5 hours per day find a room for two weeks.
Say, 10 days, at 5 hours per day, that is 50 hours of work.
You can go from the 800 a month rental to the 300 per month, and your 50 hours can translates to a saving of 500 USA, or you would be paid 10 USD per hour.
All is possible for the willing, and life is always good when you walk slow.
Andy Graham, 14 years of perpetual world travel, 90 countries, presently in a 10.23 USD per day room, paid daily, in the Dominican Republic.
My Odd Problem:
I wake at 4:00 AM in the morning, and want Internet in my room, this will be confusing and complicated as a digital nomad in the USA.
Andy this is a great blog. I loved reading it. It will help me when I am traveling and need to put down temporary roots. Your suggestion for a hostel in Sydney was spot on. I found the neatest little hostel in the city. Incredibly interesting people and right on the corner of main and busy. Only blocks from the subway train terminal. And my room mate was a young police man from Barcelona Spain on holiday.
We hit it off immediately. It was a neat sneak peek into the back packer world. Incredibly interesting people and lots of interesting conversation. I will go back to that place.
Hope to see you when you get stateside. Remember, you can stay on my boat and do some sailing. And internet is easy. McDonalds and Starbucks.
it sounds to me like you have considered a lot of options. I think roomate situations can be very good or very bad. Have you decided on your route yet? Craigslist seems like a good route to me. I enjoyed the blog in which you spoke to the classroom about travel. You seemed to me like a fish in water. I think many schools would enjoy a visit from you. Also, I do not know your religious affiliation, but it was common for travelers to dine and stay in members homes during their visit. My family once hosted an elderly gentleman from Brazil. We all enjoyed his stories. I hope you are remaining cautious.. ....have you seen Yellowstone national park, the grand canyon is also beautiful. I have not seen the redwood forest, but would like to some day.. I believe that new Orleans and approachable some of the mildest weather. I would be cautious about sleeping in your van in a Wal-Mart parking lot though, sometimes they are not safe.
Maybe you should just request the craigslist landlord to let you stay for the first week at $100 per week as a test week and if you both are compatible as roomates then you can re-up on a monthly basis. That way you can have a guarateed "reservation" sort to speak and start looking for a van if it does not work out during the first week.
I am going to wander the USA, that mean whatever catches my fancy, I will head that way. I am a Christian, come from a Christian family and want to endear the world to obey the 10 commandments. I will not plan my route, other than to try to stay warm or cool.
I like Gadget's comment. I travel for fun. I want to take a road trip from Los Angeles to the Florida Keys. All the way to Key West. I too come from a christian family. I try to treat other people like I want to be treated. Have a good time Gadget.
Andy I look forward to seeing you stateside.
I am looking forward to another Sydney Australia trip. I will definitely stay at the hostel in Sydney. It is so conveniently located. And a lot of fun. It opened up a whole new world for me. And it was only $35 Aussie dollars. At the time their dollar was about par with the US dollar.
For temporary overnight or for a few days it was a great alternative to the hotels which go for 150 to 300 per night. Australia can be very expensive if you let it. But then there are lots of alternatives. I met a nice Aussie nurse my age who owns her own home. She said I can stay at her home any time I am in Australia.
That is what is so wonderful about traveling. The nice people you can meet.
So I plan on traveling for a long long time.
My husband and I are looking for a very reasonable furnished place to stay in Indianapolis Indiana for a few months most likely starting in last of April or first of May. We would like to stay some place on Limestone Road if possible which is closeto Simon Cancer Center. I have been on the computer looking and trying to find out where the libraries, shopping centers, PNC banks etc are from that location.I never thought of Craig's list. Thank you.
Andy, I sometimes stop at a truck stop to sleep if I am only stopping for a couple hours and will sleep in my car. I think they are quite safe because of all the in and out traffic and the people around. And in the auto section there really is not too much noise in most of them. I like truck stop of America or petro.