Rent or Roam? 11 Cities Where a Monthly Airbnb Is Cheaper Than Your Rent

10 stunning destinations where you can live like a local for less than your rent.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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You may have looked at Airbnb options for your vacation or as a place to stay if you’re on a business trip.

But what if you want to stay longer? Consider a monthly Airbnb if you like working in different places with flexible work-from-anywhere options. Or maybe you just need a break for more than a week.

Check out these cities where a monthly Airbnb rental could be cheaper than the average monthly rent so that you can keep more money in your wallet.

Los Angeles, California

John/Adobe breathtakingly beautiful view of los angeles skyline with mountains at back

According to Redfin, the median asking price for rent in Los Angeles in April was an eye-popping $3,544 per month.

But you can find a chic studio to live in for a month in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles for less than $2,500 on Airbnb.

Or, check out a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica for $2,100 a month if you want a more zen-like space closer to the ocean.

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Seattle, Washington seattle cityscape with amazing view of the sky along with mount rainier

Enjoy the Pacific Northwest with beautiful scenery and a space cheaper to live in for a month than if you were a renter in the area.

Seattle has a median asking price for rent of $2,873, but you can find an Airbnb for less than that for a month.

Check out Airbnb’s site for a studio with a dedicated workspace for less than $1,800 in Seattle or a one-bedroom apartment for $2,200.

Pro tip: Airbnb has a sublet section that can help you find places for more extended stays. You can even keep more money in your bank account for booking a reservation through the site.

San Jose, California

Uladzik Kryhin/Adobe buildings and streets full of crowd in san jose at sunset time

San Jose is close to the top of Redfin’s list, with a median asking rent price of $3,690.

Instead, check out Airbnb, where you can enjoy a converted garage into a one-bedroom apartment near San Jose State for $2,500 a month.

You can also try a furnished studio apartment in downtown San Jose for $3,200, which may sound pricey but is still cheaper than the median rent in the area.

Austin, Texas

f11photo/Adobe bridge over lake in front of austin skyline

Austin has seen a drop in rental prices, with the median price down 14.3% compared to a year earlier, but it’s still expensive at $2,150.

So enjoy the city's and surrounding area's beauty with a studio in Austin for $1,740 with a kitchen and a washer and dryer.

Or you can try out some tiny house living on Lake Travis outside of Austin for $1,300 with a monthly stay discount.

Denver, Colorado

Kevin Ruck/Adobe aerial shot of denver skyline

Colorful Colorado can be beautiful any time of the year, depending on what you enjoy doing outdoors.

However, the cost of living there may not put a smile on your face, with a median asking rent of $2,724.

Instead, pick up a one-bedroom cottage close to the University of Denver and the Old Pearl Street District for $2,200.

Providence, Rhode Island

Tupungato/Adobe rhode island buildings, trees, and waterfront bridge in daylight.

Providence may have some lovely locations to look out on the water or enjoy the spring in New England, but the price tag for a rental in the area may be tough.

The city saw a 16% increase in rent compared to last year, with the median rent at $2,590.

Check out a one-bedroom apartment near Brown University for $1,500 a month to save some summer cash or a townhouse in the Federal Hill area for $2,150 a month.

Miami, Florida

be free/Adobe yacht sailing near the miami skyline on the waterfront

Is there anything better than the sun and beaches of Miami? Your opinion may depend on how much you pay for rent, which is $3,066 in median monthly asking rent.

Grab a one-bedroom apartment with access to a rooftop pool in Miami for $2,550 per month with space to work.

Or you can try a studio apartment in nearby Hollywood with access to the beach for $2,200 a month.

New York City

TTstudio/Adobe tall skyscrapers in new york city with cloudy sky during day time

Do you find beauty in a big, busy city? Then space in New York may be a good option for you. Just be sure to try an Airbnb to beat the median rent of $4,046, the highest on Redfin’s list.

Stay in a modern loft in Brooklyn for $2,900 a month, or check out a space on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for $2,550.

Portland, Oregon

Andy/Adobe portland skyline in front of water during day time

Enjoy the west side of Oregon with a stop in Portland, which has a median rent price of $2,511, according to Redfin.

You can enjoy the city instead in a guest suite for $2,000 in Portland’s Eliot neighborhood or grab some space in a guest house for $2,100 with a discount for booking it for an entire month.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Andrew/Adobe downtown salt lake with beautiful cityscape from south east during day time

Utah’s capital has gorgeous views of mountains in this town, where it costs $1,982 in median monthly rent. That’s almost $2,000 for a place to stay each month.

On Airbnb, you can get an apartment near plenty of restaurants and a park for $1,700, less than if you had to sign a lease now to rent a place.

You can also book a one-bedroom apartment with access to an outdoor space for $1,600 a month.

Tampa, Florida

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe green gardens surrounding tampa florida skyline

You’ll have to pick up a lease agreement with a median rental ask of $2,255 if you want to live in sunny Tampa, Florida.

So instead, get a two-bedroom apartment on Airbnb for $2,000 with a deep discount if you book it for an entire month.

Or try something unique and stay in a reclaimed shipping container that’s only a short drive to nearby Clearwater or St. Petersburg for almost $2,000 a month.

Bottom line senior couple at home using laptop to review financial budget

Trying to find ways to pay your rent could be one of the reasons you’re struggling financially.

Instead, consider trying an Airbnb if you live in a city with expensive rent. You may have to live more like a nomad, but it can also help you save money.

It’s also a good idea to create a budget so you can get a better idea of exactly how much you can afford each month for housing. You’ll want to include things like the cost and utilities if you decide to rent or book, as well as cleaning and other fees if you choose to go with an Airbnb.

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Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and