Sharing a flat with Singapore locals is a great way to reduce costs of your travel to the country. But as frugal as the option sounds, it’s also pretty overwhelming from the expatriate’s perspective. After all, the language barrier and cultural differences alone are enough to make it difficult to live alongside locals. Here are five things to do to ease the transition of living with Singaporeans.
Check Listings Online
The simplest way to get available room for rent listings in a foreign country is to peruse a local web portal. You’ll find these sources teeming with information, such as property type, number of bed and bath rooms, and amenities included. Make sure to use sources that are legitimate and have tons of positive user review. Filter out the myriad range of options by checking only items that fit your personal criteria, such as location, price, and number of flatmates. You don’t want to be bunking with too many people as this can be stressful.
Plan Your Move-in Date
Perhaps the most important detail about an available room for rent is when it’s going to be available. You don’t want to be flying into the country with no certain accommodation. This can be both stressful and unsafe for traveling expats. When looking to share a flat with someone, communicate the details of your arrival and departure. Ideally, you’d want the space to be vacated a week before your arrival to Singapore. This gives the tenants plenty of time to adjust and tidy up the space.
Learn the Language
Learning the dialect of Singapore is not going to be cakewalk, but it will help you get around the country more easily. Even just basic words useful for navigating roads and streets or greeting people can make it easier for both you and your local flatmates to share housing. Read up on self-study books or apply for free online language courses. Either way, it makes sense to travel to a new country with some knowledge of the common tongue.
Consider HDB Rental Flats
An HDB rental flat is cheaper than your traditional hotel or apartment option. In addition, this type of housing is usually situated in close proximity to hospitals and schools as well as hawker centers and local malls. Public transportation through the MTA system is also a good reason to stay within HDB rentals.
Know what are some offensive actions or words that you should refrain from using while staying with your new local flatmates. Although you’ll likely be forgiven with some minor mistakes along the way, it’s better to avoid altercations altogether by being prepared. Weeks before your planned arrival to Singapore, speak with locals who are staying in your country or go on social media.
Flatsharing is a relatively nascent concept, but an effective one at keeping travel costs to a minimum while providing the traveler with a unique and priceless experience. Use the guidelines above to locate the right flatsharing option that’s both affordable and safe.