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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?