Short Term Rental as Accommodations and Receiving Mail

We are in the process of preparing for our long-stay visitor visas. Originally, we were hoping to purchase a house in France prior to starting this process but the house purchase process is not going as smooth as expected, so now we are looking into getting a short term rental place in France to start.

Has anyone had experience using airbnb or gite rental as an accommodation option for the long stay visitor visa?
If so, how did you get around to receive mail at these places? Do you open a PO box with La Poste? or do you discuss it with the host and ask them to allow you to receive mail? Or there are other options that I am not even thinking of?

Thank you very much for your help in advance!

Yes a short term rental is ok for a visa with receipts and confirmation. And we have often redirected post to short term rentals without a problem (we often go away for a month at a time). You just have to make sure that the host if ok with you putting your name on the past box otherwise the post person will not deliver.

Thank you very much for the response. Do you happen to know if this is a common enough ask for airbnb or gite hosts or very likely we will be out there searching for a special person who is ok with this?

We do it once, sometimes twice a year and no-one has ever refused - we don’t use Airbnb tho’.

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Ok. That’s really good to know. Thank you!
Any recommendations on sites or venues outside of airbnb for short term rentals?
Unfortunately, I am not super savvy in the short term rental matter.

Look at the tourist office website for the place you want to be, they will have hébergement” listings. And if in the off season then many gîte owners will be prepared to do a good deal. If outside a city then you can look a LeBonCoin, but be careful of scams on that site.

Google is also your friend here, eg

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Thank you very much! I will check it out!

Whereabouts are you looking? I have a little gite that is now ready to rent out and am hoping to get the odd short term rental. I think that if you can approach the owner, they may well be interested in the off season. That’s what I did when I was looking.

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Good to know. I am looking in the upper Brittany area, either Saint Brieuc or Rennes. It would be nice, if it is not too far from all the amenities, so that we don’t have to buy a car right away.

I think avoid AirBnB for this. It’s aimed at short term rentals and government are tightening controls. Gîtes or ‘herbergement’ are better bets especially for longer term rentals. is another place to look. Filter for houses and apartments. Try one for a couple of nights and engage owner if you like it.

The rules for AirBnB are identical to gîtes, hébergement or holiday homes on Booking. They are all location meublé saisonnière and are restricted to max 90 day rentals with no renewal.

This might be of interest…

It’s over forty years since we used Poste restante but it decouples your postal address from where you are staying. Just choose a local post office.

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Ok. I’m too far south but I would be surprised if you don’t find someone prepared to do a weekly let.

If you rent a gite you will meet the owner. Then it should not be a problem to negotiate a longer term rental outside any official gite system. If I am wrong on this please correct me.

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These days not all gîtes are that hands on. Many owners use the reservation options on sites like Gîtes de France so it is all done through an intermediary. You generally will meet people when you arrive, but not all the time. The best is to find a place using whatever means one likes and then contact direct.