Short term accommodation options in Ireland
A few people who have contacted me via this website are lucky enough to have the luxury of coming to visit Ireland before they actually pack up and move here for good. While I strongly believe that visiting a new country is absolutely nothing like living there, it is a great thing to be able to do, to at least familiarize yourself with your soon-to-be new home.
With that in mind, I can see a need amongst our community for a solution to short term accommodation facilities. Whether it be for a week, month, or year, there are probably a lot of people who move to Ireland who need temporary housing. There are many reasons people might want to avail of a short-term housing option in Ireland. Some of the reasons I can think of include: not wanting to commit to a home before you know the community, not being sure which town/county to move to, not being ready just yet to actually buy a home in Ireland.
The good news is there are many short-term housing choices available to you, and I'd recommend that you examine each before deciding which one will fulfill your needs. I'll itemize some of the options that I've found and you can decide for yourself which one (if any) will work best for you. If there are other alternatives that I haven't considered, please let me know in the comments or via email.
Short term accommodation options in Ireland
Holiday Homes & Self-Catering Cottages
You won't have much trouble finding a holiday home or self-catering cottage in Ireland to rent, but I'm guessing the major downside of this type of accommodation for anybody moving to Ireland will be cost. It might work well for an initial visit, but if you want something for a couple of months then be prepared to dig deep in to your wallet. I checked out a few sites offering holiday homes and found that you can expect to pay nothing less than about €500 per week.
Hotels & B&B's
If you're coming over to Ireland for a few weeks to check out a few areas then staying in hotels and B&B's might be a good option for you. Most B&B's start at around €40 per night (per person), and it goes up from there. Unlike a holiday home, you'll have the flexibility to move around as you please, and explore as many areas of the country that you wish.
Internet sites to find rental properties
There are literally tons of internet websites that advertise rental properties. When searching you might need to weed through some of the results to find options that are willing to cater to short-term rentals. Try Google-ing "short term accommodation in Ireland" and you'll discover a whole host of websites offering some type of service matching that description. A few that I've found (which I'm sure vary greatly in terms of price and quality of lodging) include:
To get different results try varying your search terms, e.g. "short term lets", "short terms rentals", "short term apartments" etc.
An interesting possibility to explore is the House-swap scene. There are a number of services available that hook you up with people looking to do a house exchange for a period of time. This might be a very feasible alternative to look at if you want to visit Ireland for a summer first before moving here. I've checked out a variety of websites that operate in this industry and there seems to be plenty of options available around Ireland. This might be a very low-cost solution to staying in Ireland for a while, but of course there are more parties involved in the transaction than just you, so you have to be offering something that the other people are interested in. Try a Google search for "house swap" and you'll find plenty of services to choose from. Expect to pay a fee for some of the better quality services. You probably don't need me to tell you this, but be sure you're comfortable with the service and the people you are swapping homes with.
Another very flexible service you can look at is airbnb.ie. I've never used it, but what it seems to allow you to do is rent from basically anyone who is advertising a spare room, a bed, a house, apartment etc. From my quick browse around the site, you can find anything to the very basic (e.g. under €30 for a night in Dublin), to the very fine (e.g. €1000+).
Friends & Family
If you're moving back to Ireland after a stint abroad then you might be able to lean on family or friends for a place to stay until you get your feet on the ground. Finding a job might take a while, and if you can make do with whatever spare space a pal can give you, then this might be a very affordable route to take. You also might want to consider asking around to see if anyone you know has a vacant house or apartment you could rent temporarily. This might save you from signing a long term lease, and give you some flexibility to easily move on when the time is right.
That's all I have on the topic for now. Feel free to add a comment below if there are other options worth considering.