The jolly season is here again. While there is little to be happy about given the status of our economy, you have to admit that there is a certain excitement that wafts through the air as soon as November hits. You start to smell the indulgence of the season. This is also the season that people try to discover what else this concrete jungle has to offer apart from car fumes and debilitating traffic. The answer to that is a lot. You will especially enjoy these things because most people go upcountry or out of the country. So you really will get there in however long Google predicts.

A hotel is an obvious very in the box idea. While a house does rob you of the flexibility to traverse the country to some extent, it grants you the opportunity to have a base to which you can come back instead of contending with overbooked hotels. If you are an out of towner and would also like to experience the hidden gems of this city then why not find a small dwelling to which you will retire after long days of exploration and indulgent fun? Is it even possible to rent a house for a single month only to leave as the new year rings in?

Benefits of a Holiday Rental over a Hotel

  • More freedom than you would get in a hotel. For example you could eat anytime because your kitchen would never close.
  • A holiday rental will also be more affordable especially if you are staying a long time. Everything from food to drinks and even entertainment will be more affordable. You might argue room service but in this era of UberEats surely that is not much of a point.
  • You will have a more authentic Nairobi experience if you venture out of your comfort zone. Hotels even in Nairobi tend to be a little bubble wrapped from the experienced past the doors. You will be able to live a truer Nairobi life than you would otherwise.
  • You can have guests over in a holiday rental without having to seek permission or sneak them past the reception desk. You can cook for your guests and even have them sleep over through the night.

5 Options for Holiday Renting

  1. Qualities

Since you are an ‘out of towner’, it is assumed that your research and most of house hunting will be done online. You should therefore determine the qualities of the house you need. How big should it be? Should it be self contained? Where should it be located? How far from the CBD will you want to be? Traffic here will not be much of a headache because people abandon the city on the holidays. What is your budget? How long are you staying? With a good list of preferred qualities, you will be able to know where to start with the search.

  • Internet Search

You should be very careful about online house search. Though Nairobi is wonderful and all, you never know who is trying to pull one over on you. Foreigners tend to fall into the con traps. For this reason, you should have several contingency plans. You might also want to get a temporary place where you will stay as you set up your holiday dwelling. While at it, you should also do an internet search of all the places you would like to visit. Maybe from this you could determine the area you find most appealing for a holiday rental. The internet really is your friend in this instance. If you have a friend who can look into your chosen options before you land then by all means start begging for favors.

  • Friends

Bunking with friends could also be an option for the entire time or just while you find your own spot. This will help you gain confidence to move around Nairobi especially if it is your first time here. The friends can also help you find something suitable from which to enjoy your holiday. You should be careful not to overstay your welcome though. If your friends have enough space, you could offer to rent some space off them instead. The point here is, friends could be an asset as you strive to find accommodation for your vacation.

  • Sublet

You could also be lucky and find someone who will be away for the holidays. If this person would be willing to let one of their rooms to you while they are away it would definitely be cheaper. You would not have to think about furniture and other house furnishings either. This would only work for a short visit like say a month or less.

  • Airbnb

This is a good option to consider as it will feel like a crossbreed between hotel and holiday rental. You will not have to worry about being preyed on for being a foreigner which is a possibility. You will not have to worry about the bothers of renting your own house either. If you are new to Nairobi, this option would allow you to explore the city and be ready for a holiday rental on your next visit.

At first glance, you will realize that Nairobi Airbnb tends to be quite expensive and almost at par with big 4-star hotels. However, if you do a deeper dive you can find a cheaper option. For example, there are some Airbnb places in Nyayo Estate in Embakasi.

After working hard all year, it is important to get away. To use that time off to do something that ignites your soul. Nairobi will certainly do that for you with the cornucopia of activities and wonders to marvel at. Choosing a holiday rental instead of booking a hotel might be a good way to save on money. Avoid having to contend with ‘njaanuary’. Ask someone to define that for you when you get here. Welcome to the City in the Sun!