This guest post was provided by our friends at Realty Austin, an Austin real estate agency .
Whether you are test-driving a new car or sampling ice cream flavors, sometimes it is nice to try before you buy. Moving  to a new city is definitely one of those situations. You’ve probably heard that Austin, TX is an amazing city with lots to offer, (in fact according to the Austin Business Journal, it’s one of the best places to find a job ), but truth be told, only you can decide if it is a good fit for you.
One of the best ways to test the waters before making the big plunge is by spending a few days visiting the city while you explore and meet locals. Think of it as research! You’ll get the most out of your experience when you rent a room or house in an Austin neighborhood  you might be interested in living in rather than choosing a hotel. There are many great resources on the web that can help you find a great place to stay during your visit.
• HomeAway  is an Austin-based company that connects travelers with luxury rental homes. The site offers over 250 places to stay in Austin starting at $50 per night. Each site has detailed photos of the property including amenities, nearby attractions; reviews from people who have stayed there before, and the opportunity to community directly with the owner.
• AirBnB  is another great option and features over 490 Austin rooms, homes, and lofts in some of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods for as low as $30 per night. Each rental has the unique charm you’d never experience at a 5-star-hotel. Users can search properties by neighborhood, price, and even connect on Facebook to see where their friends have stayed in the past.
• Finally, Couchsurfing  is a non-profit organization that connects travelers with friendly folks who allow guests to stay at their home free of charge for a few days at a time. All users set up online profiles on the site. Travelers can search potential couches to crash, read reviews by former guests, then make a request to stay at a home. One of the best things about taking this route is having a host who can guide you to the best spots in the city.
Visiting Austin before making the decision to move will give you the opportunity to live like a local and meet people who can give you their honest opinions on what it’s like to live there. Take advantage of the many great web resources discussed here and you’ll be sure to get the full Austin experience.