Virginia got scammed recently. She ended up headed for an Erasmus year to Spain with little more than a hostel reservation.
Looking for quick accommodation in a foreign country? Stressed out and worrying about a thousand little things that may go wrong with your move? Do you want to add to your pile of worries, overpay for a last-minute hotel, or, failing to do that, end up in the street at night having only your ragged phrase book to fall back on? Look no further! Getting scammed for accommodation is a quick and easy way to ruin the beginning of your trip to a new place. Now with this handy, easy-to-follow guide everyone can do it, not only morons! Treat yourself to a financial nightmare, a future of insecurity, and a week of pointless visits to the local police station. On top of that, you’ll learn to squint mistrustfully at every honest-to-God home owner and you’ll get to choose your accommodation again (it’ll be twice as expensive for half the quality, but how quickly you’ll do it!). Just follow these simple steps:
1. Always Look for Accommodation Online
Never go into the trouble of actually checking out the accommodation for yourself. What for? The photos on the website are evidence enough that the flat exists. Have faith. If there is any seed of doubt in you, trample it. Everything is going to be all right. People are good. Repeat it like a mantra to calm yourself down.
2. Never Check if the Website You’re Using Is Reputable
If it looks professional, it must be trustworthy. Period. Laugh at the morons who are losing their precious time worrying about the credibility of the website. Pay any additional fees with a smile. The more you pay, the better the service is, everyone knows that. Continue to have faith in people.
3. Choose the First Accommodation That Catches Your Eye
Do it quickly. Don’t put too much effort into reviewing other options. Simply choose the cheapest thing on the list with reasonable photos.
4. Do Whatever the Owner Says
Never question the decisions of the owner. If the owner say pay, you pay. They have their reasons and you trust they are good reasons. If you don’t pay quickly enough, someone else might do it and you’ll lose your chance. Don’t worry about any contracts at this stage. Pay multiple times if required. Your faith in people is strong. Be patient, pay and you’ll be rewarded.
5. Don’t Ask About the Contract
Don’t rush things up. It’s up to the owner to benignly offer you the possibility of signing a contract. If you throw enough money at them, they may deem you worthy enough of this honour. Remember, they set the rules, you follow.
6. Don’t Worry if the Owner Doesn’t Respond After You’ve Paid
They’re probably busy, and no wonder! They must have so many more flats to let. Nod your head, satisfied. Your faith in people is unwavering. It’s time to start packing. Whistle merrily when packing, you’ve handled the whole thing so well! Laugh at the poor sods who chose to get to the place a week earlier to manage their accommodation from a hotel room. You’re ahead of the game. Allow yourself a smirk of contempt.
7. Don’t Have a Back-Up Plan
You’re certain everything is in order. The owner doesn’t respond, so just head over to the address they gave you. Don’t even bother to take a map or check any cheap hostels in case something is wrong. Because it’s not.
8. Arrive and Cry
Arrive at the address. Find out it’s an unused warehouse. Check the address twice. Try to contact the owner. Break down and cry. Then curse the injustices of the world, wipe your face and find the nearest dodgy pub open till morning. Get drunk to survive the night. Only then let your faith in people crash (but not for long, you’re going to look for another accommodation soon enough!)
9. Repeat the Above Steps Until You Find a Decent Proprietor or Run Out of Money
Now you need to survive somewhere for a couple of days before you can find another flat. Don’t worry! Check in to the first expensive hotel you stumble upon. From the safety of your cosy room believe in people once more and repeat the above steps until you find accommodation that exists or run out of money.