When you move to Australia, you’ll need to organise temporary, short-term accommodation so you have somewhere to stay while you get settled and find your feet. It’s a good idea to book something for four to six weeks as this gives you time to explore, decide which suburbs you like, find a school for your kids and get the majority of your moving admin sorted out. There are serviced apartments, holiday rentals at holiday parks, short-term house rentals and a wide range of holiday accommodation to choose from.

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Why do you need a short-term property rental?

You need temporary furnished accommodation for a few reasons:
1) To give you a chance to explore and work out where you want to live for at least the next six months. All the online research in the world can’t replace actually visiting suburbs and schools yourself.
2) Because temporary holiday rentals and short stay apartments usually come furnished and your own belongings are likely to be in a shipping container half way across the ocean. Even if you aren’t shipping your things, you’ll need a furnished rental where you can cook, eat and sleep while you go out shopping for your own things.
3) Because finding a six or 12-month rental can take time. Given you’ve moved across the world for this, you want your first home here to be the right one. This can take time as some suburbs are very competitive for long-term rentals and you may find you need to put in a number of applications for places before you’re accepted. (We were lucky that our first rental application was accepted but it still took us four weeks and lots of viewings to find our first home. Lucky for us it was empty so we could move straight in  – the day before our temporary rental ended!)

How long should you book your furnished accommodation for?

Short-term accommodation is more expensive than a regular rental which is why it’s a good idea to try not to stay in it for too long. Unfortunately, two or three weeks doesn’t really allow you enough time to find a new longer term home. From my experience personally, and from speaking with others, four to six weeks is the ideal time but you do have to move quickly to find a new place within a month and get organised to meet that deadline. If you find you need more time, you can always see if it’s possible to extend your temporary rental or you can find somewhere else for another week or two. It’s not that difficult as you will only be travelling with suitcases.

If your work is paying for your move, then you may get the breathing space of two or three months in temporary accommodation such as a serviced apartment or a short-term house rental. This takes lots of pressure off, but the downside of this is that you are likely to be itching to get into your own place – three months is a really long time when you just want to get settled and start putting down roots.

Considerations for finding a temporary accommodation

There are lots of things to think about when choosing your temporary rental in Australia.

Price – try not to spend a fortune. You want to love your first few weeks in Australia, but you also don’t want it to bankrupt you. (I found this really tricky – my heart kept telling me to book the big house with a pool as I knew we’d need a holiday after such a big move, but my head told me I needed to be realistic and not spend all of our house equity on a four-week holiday binge!)

Location – try to find somewhere that is accessible. Somewhere with good access to the city (or where ever you are looking for jobs) and somewhere with plenty of good suburbs nearby to explore (I find the Homely website is really useful for your research here as you can search for all kinds of suburb features). If price is an issue, you’ll find it cheaper to look for temporary accommodation further out of the city, but be aware you’ll be spending more time on the road driving to the places you need to go (and more money on fuel), so think carefully about the location.

What’s included – does the accommodation have a washing machine and dishwasher in it? Is there a shower and bath (important if you have little ones who hate the shower!) Are there any extras included like bikes, scooters or canoes (which you might find in private rentals)? Does it have air conditioning or fans if you’re arriving in summer, or some kind of heating if you’re arriving in winter (even Brisbane can get a bit chilly in the morning in winter time)?

Type of accommodation – there are a lot of options to choose from. There are holiday resorts with self-catering apartments, cabins or units – these may have extra facilities like resort pools which make them an easy option to live in for a few weeks. Some can be booked last-minute online quite cheaply outside school holidays. Then there are holiday rental companies (where you get a short-term house or holiday home rental). There are serviced apartments, furnished apartments, and all kinds of short-term accommodation options to suit your needs.

When considering types of accommodation, something to think about is that units, cabins and apartments often aren’t very sound proof. We moved with four-year-old twins and a two-year-old and all three struggled with jet lag and general grumpiness for the first few weeks here. It meant we weren’t quiet neighbours (slight understatement of the decade!) A unit or cabin wouldn’t have been much fun as we’d have spent all of our time worrying that we were being too noisy. Things do settle down, but it’s worth considering that if you are moving with young kids, you might want a bit of space around you to make some noise.

Best places to book your temporary accommodation in Australia

Here are my top places to find temporary accommodation and holiday accommodation in Australia. Click through to the sites below to see the latest deals.

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