Since many are asking about accommodations in Singapore, I’ll share my resources when looking for a place to stay. Some I learned from friends and friends of friends.
My favorite portal for searching for room rentals is ibilik.sg and ibilik.my for room rentals in Malaysia. There are others but I always get the best offers at ibilik. My current accommodation was found through the site as well.
Another page I monitor every now and then is the Facebook group FindYourRoominSG. You can ping the posters and chat real-time to ask your questions, and most of the post includes pictures, too. Other FB groups I like because of the numerous postings also include:
a. Rent a Room Singapore
b. Filipinos In singapore Room For Rent
c. Rent Your Room in SG
Otherwise, for a cozy, homey and relaxed, hotel-like accommodation for the price of a regular room, I go for Airbnb. I opt for those with good reviews of course to ensure I have the best experience from my money.
Tips for Renting
Be honest with the length of your stay. Be upfront and admit you’re just trying your luck so you are staying only for 1 month, extendable to 2 months (if the immigration extends your stay).
Look for a place that allows cooking. Light cooking at least would help you save a bit if you can eat noodles, eggs, or even boil water for coffee or tea to go with bread that you can buy from the bakery. I survived on fruits during my job-hunting stint but having boiled water is always useful coz you might just want to have coffee or tea while cooped up or bored at night.
Opt for room sharing if you’re staying for 1 month. Very few people accept short term renters but there are still people who do, especially those who are offering their rooms for transient accommodation. Be prepared to pay the rent upfront before moving in, in cash. I never encountered a renter that accepted card payments yet.
If staying for less than 1 month, try looking for transient accommodation, where you pay daily. Some transient accommodations cost as low as S$15/day for a room shared by 4 adults. That is inclusive of all utilities (internet, electricity, water, gas for light cooking).
Last but not the least, try hostels. In Chinatown, the cheapest hostels where a room is shared with 4 to 8 persons could cost as low as S$15/day inclusive of utilities. Just be prepared that the room will be shared with a mix of men and women and the walls between the rooms could be quite thin that it gets too loud sometimes. A friend of mine said she had difficulty sleeping in a hostel due to the loud snoring of a guest. Another mentioned of loud guests in the adjacent room.
Therefore, transient is still best for me coz you can know beforehand who you are sharing the room with. Mostly, this is preferable if you’re traveling alone because in many cases, the other renters of the room could be working people and they’re just trying to save on rent by renting out the room while looking for a permanent roommate.
Other Room Rental Websites
Other websites to look for accommodations are:
Free Accommodation (with Terms and Conditions)
“…people anywhere would want to share their homes with strangers (or, as we like to call them, friends you haven’t met yet).”
That is the code of couchsurfing.com. If you are adventurous enough, you can, and will willingly share your place with other strangers who will be visiting your place too, why not try it yourself when traveling elsewhere? Who knows, you might meet your new friends and families this way.
I have never tried it yet, but I have a good Singaporean friend who did and also tried it herself and she said it was a good experience for her and her guests.
Go on Adventure with Enough Caution
Sometimes being cheapskate can also be risky. Consider your safety as well as your comfort. Hostels have deposit boxes which can be rented (extra payment) for storing valuables. Transient rooms for rent do not have these. It’s not recommended to go gallivanting with your expensive jewelries and original documents so best have your papers scanned and saved online at Google Docs or email it to yourself so you can easily forward it as needed. For backup, save them in a USB or micro-USB or even on your phone/tablet/iPad. Leave all valuables in your homeplace and go easy when traveling.
Good luck and have fun!