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Benefits of Renting an Apartment While Traveling

As I mentioned in my previous post, I did not love Paris the first time around and was determined to do everything differently on my second visit. One of those changes included staying in an apartment, especially since we were staying for a whole week. I had never stayed in an apartment while traveling, but after some research it seemed to be the best option. We chose to stay with Paris Perfect, and they certainly did not disappoint. Friendly staff and beautiful properties enhanced my first apartment experience and I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Staying in an apartment changed my travel experience and I will be looking to utilize apartments again in my future travels.

So how do you know if renting an apartment is right for you? If any of the perks below are important factors in how you decide your lodging, I highly recommend trying apartment rentals. 

  1. Space: Traveling with more than two people in a typical European hotel room can be a tight squeeze. There is typically not enough room to do much more than sleep and with three people we were wary that we would not have enough room to move around, get ready and relax after a long day. Our apartment provided the perfect amount of space with a cozy kitchen, spacious living room and two bedrooms and bathrooms. It was so nice to come back after a long day and sit around in the living room rather than on our beds or in a hotel lobby.
My Mam enjoying the space in the living room

My Mam enjoying the space in the living room

  1. Kitchen: While we may not have utilized the kitchen to its full potential (we were on vacation after all), it was wonderful not to have to eat out for every meal. It was a great place to have our coffee and breakfast as well as prepare our afternoon tea and snack when we returned. The fridge stored our picnic supplies and allowed us to bring home wine. It is a great way to cut down on food costs and maintain a healthier diet on the road (minus all the biscuits).
Our cozy kitchen

Our cozy kitchen

  1. Pace: The apartment helped us to slow down our pace. In the morning we would sit around the table and have our breakfast, leisurely plan out the day’s activities and then get ready. We were not cooped up or on top of each other and did not feel like we had to rush out. We would also look forward to returning “home” in the afternoon for our tea and relaxation time before dinner.
  1. Location: While hotels can tend to be located in bustling and touristy areas, our apartment was located on a charming street in the 7th arrondissement. It was the perfect balance of busy and quiet and allowed us to develop a routine with our favorite vendors. We loved the local bakery directly beneath us and would relish the smell of fresh baguettes wafting through the window. Cute boutiques and restaurants lined the street and by the end of the week we felt like the neighborhood was our own. It was key to have attractions and restaurants within walking distance to limit any extra transportation. 
Enjoying dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants

Enjoying dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants

  1. Cost: Hotel rooms are expensive and continue to increase in cost. Renting an apartment is typically a cheaper option, especially if you have a couple of bedrooms and divide it amongst 3-4 people. When I compared the cost of hotel rooms in Paris, I was surprised at what a good deal the apartment rentals were.

Are apartment rentals for everyone?

No, they are most definitely not. People prioritize different things when they travel and those who prefer certain amenities such as a spa and fitness center, business center or concierge will not find these in an apartment rental. Also, many rentals do not have an elevator so for those not accustomed to carrying their luggage up a flight of stairs, this could be a setback. And once you get your luggage up the stairs, you will want to stay for a long time (i.e. so you never have to carry it back down). Apartment rentals are best utilized when you have time to spend and enjoy them. As I mentioned above, it really slows your pace down and makes it ideal for a week long stay.

I have already begun brainstorming other cities in which I can rent apartments and have recommended the approach to friends traveling to Paris in the near future.

Where have you rented an apartment while traveling? Is it something that you enjoy?

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15 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve rented airbnb apartments in Dubrovnik, Bruges and Abergavenny, and agree with everything you say. Another reason to consider them is availability – if all hotel rooms are booked in the city you want to stay in, there’s a fair chance there will be an apartment available.

    June 27, 2014
    • Those places sound great, Richard! I think I am a little late to the apartment train, but I very much enjoyed it. I did not even think of availability because we booked so far in advance, but I will keep that in mind in the future!

      June 29, 2014
  2. Julie @ Adventures of the Red Headed Traveler #

    I think in a city like Paris, renting an apartment is the way to go (well, that is if you don’t have the $$ to plop down on a room at the George V hotel 🙂 On my last visit there we stayed a great hotel in the 7th as well (there was a macaron shop in the lobby, what more do you need?) But the bathroom was the equivalent of a broom closet. The shower floor was also typically European as in water just drained everywhere. I hope that whenever I return to Paris I can stay for a week or more and your post definitely gives great cause to stay in an apartment and be more like a local 🙂

    June 27, 2014
    • Yes, I do not know if I will ever get used to how small the European hotel rooms are! It was one of the biggest factors of choosing an apartment for 3 people (but if I had known there was a macaron store in a hotel lobby things may have gone differently). I highly recommend the apartment living, I am looking forward to doing it again soon!

      June 29, 2014
  3. I’m a massive fan of apartment rentals – have a couple in Strasbourg and Vienna coming up next month. They’re really good value as there are four of us, plus I am on a gluten free diet at the moment so it’s great to be able to prepare some of my own food.

    June 29, 2014
    • Oh how fantastic! I have never been to Strasbourg, but Vienna is a great place to rent an apartment. If you have four people they are a fantastic value and also provide a great common area to socialize that is not the hotel lobby or bar. I am sure eating while traveling is much easier for you when you have your own kitchen. Enjoy!!

      June 30, 2014
  4. This is an amazing idea!! I always do it when I go to Croatia! Its a great idea when you are traveling longer, its cheaper (you can cook at home instead of eating out every meal) and when traveling with more people is practical! Nice post and good point! Have a great week 🙂

    June 30, 2014
    • Thank you! I feel like I am a little late to catch onto the apartment trick, but glad to hear that you do it in Croatia! I will definitely be looking to do it when we travel with groups of 3 or more as it is so valuable to be able to cook in a couple of meals and socialize together! It is so practical and comfortable. I am looking forward to doing it again. Have a great week too!

      June 30, 2014
      • Yes, I discovered this trick 2 years ago and now whenever is possible we do it 🙂 mostly when we are staying longer, like a week or so, because then hotels become too expensive. Yes do it, in my opinion its the best option in Croatia, its very cheap 🙂

        July 1, 2014
  5. Looks like such a nice place! I’m a huge fan of renting an apartment and options like Airbnb for example. Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to check out Paris Perfect next time I’m visiting.

    Happy travels 🙂

    June 30, 2014
  6. We rented our first apartment in Prague earlier this year and it was a great experience. It worked out a lot cheaper than a hotel, and the owners were so friendly. They even told us about all of the best bars and restaurants to visit, and offered to show us around on our first day.

    October 23, 2014
    • I agree, James! Not only is it cheaper, but a great way to get local recommendations. I wish I had thought of it when I was in Prague! I’m excited to try apartments in new cities!

      October 25, 2014
  7. I personally love the idea of renting an apartment when I travel, especially the AirBnB one. I can cook my own meals there, workout, blog in a nice and quiet environment as well as feel like home! Hostels are great too, but it’s good to keep a balance.

    November 22, 2015
    • I couldn’t agree more, Agness! I tend to lean more to the hotel side historically so am looking forward to including more apartments in my travels going forward!

      November 23, 2015

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