In the last post, I mentioned a few advantages of staying in homes or apartments when travelling. Well here are a few more…..
- In the long run, it can work out to be much less expensive than hotels, pensions, and B&B’s just by virtue of the fact that you do not have to pay for restaurant meals. Sure, you are still able to eat out and enjoy the cafes in the town squares occasionally, especially if you see a favourite type of restaurant (ours is Morroccan!) and of course you’ll want to experience some of the local cuisine. But for me, cooking with fresh local ingredients is part of the journey…you will never know what you might find at the market. And it’s great to be able to make delicious picnics to enjoy along the riverbank or trail. So bottom line…what is the cost? On average, you would be able to find a pretty decent vacation rental in the off season ( NOT in July or August when most Europeans have their summer holidays) for anywhere from 270 to 500€ per week. Now those would be in smaller towns in the countryside. When you talk about Paris or Amsterdam or any major city you would probably be looking at closer to 600 € and up per week. Ha! But check out the prices of hotels in those cities and you would be hard pressed to find anything acceptable for less than 150€/ night. Believe me I have looked!
2. Most of the homes have an Internet connection…some even computers for your use! Kitchens vary, but many have all the equipment you would need to feed a group of 4 or more, some….dishwashers and it is common to find a washing machine. Clothes driers are a rarity in Europe, but everyone has a clothesline of some description. The best deal is if there are bicycles included. Bikes are pretty expensive to rent in Europe, count on at least 10 -13€/day (each) sometimes there is a discount if you rent for a week, so when there’s 2 of you it can add up. Compare that to renting a car which averages about the same per day, but it carries both of you at the same time! Besides, bicycles are truly the best way to explore and see Europe. In any case, there are very detailed listings for every rental unit so you can be picky in looking for one that has everything you want.
3. You get to stay in some very cool places. Here is one that can only be described as ‘funky’
So here is a list of a few of the agencies that I have used to find accommodation, check them out for yourself….
VRBO, Homeaway, AlwaysOnVacation, Flipkey, TripAdvisor, Owner Direct, AirBNB ( sorry, not one I use as I find the site is not detailed enough compared to the others and not as user friendly).