I love staying in an apartment when we travel to Europe. We don’t do it all the time, but when we do, it really brings the experience to another level. It’s so wonderful to be able to come “home” to our own space after a day wandering the streets of Rome or Paris, kicking off our shoes, putting on comfy clothes, talking about the highlights of our day, planning the next day and enjoying a glass of wine. Below is a picture of the living room in one of the apartments we rented in Rome.
Apartment rental is not for everyone, though. Some people prefer the benefits of a hotel like having a concierge, daily housekeeping, the feeling of security, etc. Sometimes a hotel just makes more sense depending on your individual needs/preferences. So how do you decide? Here are some reasons why renting an apartment might be the best choice for you:
- You are visiting a city for the second (or third, fourth, etc.) time. I, personally, don’t rent an apartment in a city I am visiting for the first time, but that’s just me. If you feel comfortable figuring things out on your own and don’t need to rely on a concierge to give directions, recommend restaurants, etc., then an apartment is a great option.
- You are traveling with three or more people (although you can certainly benefit from renting an apartment if you are only traveling with one other person or even by yourself). But for us, as I mentioned above, we really enjoy being able to relax together at the end of a day in the comfort of our own living room. It’s nice to not have to go off to separate hotel rooms or sit in the bar area or lobby to talk.
- You are staying for an extended amount of time.
- You want to save money. Depending on how many people you are traveling with and what apartment you rent, it could end up saving you a good amount of money as opposed to staying in a hotel because:
- You are splitting the cost between however many people you are traveling with, which could come out much cheaper than a hotel
- You can buy food and drinks at the local market or grocery store to have in the apartment, saving money on dining out all the time
- You aren’t paying for the extras at a hotel that you might not even need/use
- Another benefit of apartment living is that if your apartment comes with a washer (sometimes they come with dryers, but not often), you can pack lighter and do laundry throughout your trip
However, if you do require/prefer daily housekeeping, concierge service, workout facilities, laundry service, etc., or if you just feel more comfortable in a hotel, then you should certainly stay in one.
If you do decide to rent an apartment, there are a lot of things you should consider and research when you are deciding which one to stay in. Renting an apartment can either be a great experience or a complete nightmare. The good news is that, for the most part, the outcome is entirely within your control.
In part two of my Renting an Apartment discussion, I will talk about the things you need to know, research, and take into consideration in order to make sure your apartment renting experience is a dream come true!