I'm noticing a rise in forum questions about holiday rentals? We found ourselves looking for alternatives a years back and, after a few tentative trial runs, have become devotees of rentals versus hotels. We wouldn't usually do it for just a couple of days but if settling in for a week or more (heck, we rented for 3-4 days) they've been a really good deal. In most cases they've either been less expensive than a mid-range hotel/motel, and in all cases we've gotten more useful amenities for a comparative price: laundry facilities, free wifi, full kitchen, free parking, great decks or patios, etc. What you give up? Daily maid service and onsite stuff like spas, restaurants, room service, concierge and other stuff we don't care about anyway Having more space, privacy, useful amenities and the ability to be self-sufficent has been such a bonus that we find ourselves planning longer versus shorter stays just to take advantage of a nice settle-in. How many of you have also become enough big fans of apartments/holiday homes to make that it factor in your vacation plan?
Typo - sorry! "We found ourselves looking for alternatives a FEW years back...."
We've been trending toward bed and breakfasts
I rented a wonderful place for two weeks in L'Isle sur la Sorgue last year and I loved the feeling of living like a local for a while. My only problem was that I was scared to use the oven etc. for fear of breaking something or making a mess and losing my security bond. But that's just me I guess. I will have to overcome that fear because next trip I am hoping to take my son, his wife and my two grandchildren with me and we will certainly be looking for apartments, mainly for things like economy, bath tubs and oh yes, washing machines.
I always like hotels, but lately I have been using AIRBNB and have been quite happy with the host and my stays. Some people are so nice and you get to see more unusal house and apartment settings. makes me feel like a local also. If I want to pamper myself, I still do hotels though. cheers tommy x
I stay in hotels and guest houses because i like the social interaction i get there with the other guets aswell as with the people who run the place. I don't ever use a kitchen or a laundry anyway (i handwash all my clothes 365 days a year) and i like to stay in a place that only has one room as i don't forget half my stuff when i leave then and i am only going to use one room anyway. I can see that an aparmtent can be useful for families, especially if they have smaller children, but i like my little guest house with a cosy common area, especially if it's a rooftop terrace. I like it so much that i for several years have stopped renting an aprtment all together and spend more than 300 days a year in hotels and guest houses.
I tell you Cach, I like your ideas
Good to hear Tommy. Most people think i'm nuts :)
NUTS? you mean ecentric? unique? don't worry , people think I am nuts too, but they envy my travel cheers tommy x
well >I do hotels when on business trips but with the family its been yeeears that we do apartments, gites, B&B houses. all over Europe. of course our vacations here are longer, with the family the minimum are 3 weeks. LIke next month ::) Cheers
For one night stays, a hotel or b+b or "chambre d'hote", but lately I needed somewhere to stay for 3 days in Paris and found a 20 sq. m studio for under 70€ 50 metres from Sacré Coeur. I think it is well worth it for a longer type of stay anywhere.
Great question Kate. For the most part, when we travel we use hotels/motels. For long stays, like when we go to Spain for a month, we use an apartment, which has a small kitchenette and fridge. They also have laundry facilities and maid service twice a week, which is a bonus. A few years ago, when we went to Prague for five days, a VT friend of ours suggested to stay in an apartment. I thought that a strange idea, but we did it, and loved it. Again, a kitchen and so much space and all for a very reasonable price.
I must say I had never really considered it as I always travel alone and didn't think I could find anywhere small enough for just one person that would make it cost effective. The reply about the place in central Paris for less than €70 a night has given me food for thought though.
Claus, I know what you mean about the social piece; we get our 'people fix' in local pubs. :) We do enjoy have some peace and quiet late at night though, without constantly banging doors and noisy neighbors we too often encounter in hotels. The kitchen piece comes in handy for cheap breakfast very early in the morning - we're often up and out before hotel breakfast rooms open - and for making multiple meals of restaurant dinners much too large to be consumed in one sitting.
I'm fortunate enough to be able to sleep in any noise. In my younger years i used to hitch hike around europe and the middle east and camp by the side of the highway and i guess that tought me to tolerate any noise :) And when i am travelling and do not need to work, then i am hardly ever up before 10am anyway and i usually just eat twice a day when i am on the road.
I envy you! Goodfish used to be a champion sleeper but lost that ability about the time she turned 50. We only eat twice a day when we travel too: big breakfast and early dinner.
Early lunch and dinner here. I sometimes forget to eat when it's hot though, but it's not good for me, so i try to remember to eat. Sometimes i can go for 2 days without eating though and just live on juice, water and sodas.
Know what you mean - we're having one of the warmest summers on record and The Husband has been forcing me to eat. I'm just not hungry when it's this hot and sticky.
I'm sitting in a cafe right now and will try to force some food down, but i just had a pint of apple juice and a grand elatte and that really does it for me. I drink up to 8 liters a day when i cycle in the tropics and then i am not hungry after that.
I drink about eight litres a day in the tropics but it is all beer. Is that a bad thing?
HA!! You're a man after my own heart, Fergy. Had a few pints myself last night. It's never too hot for beer.
My problem with not eating is actually when i drink beer. I react very strong to alcohol if i have not had anything to eat. We had a vt meet 2 weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur where i had forgotten to eat for around 30 hours prior to the meet and i got real sick after just a few pints and had to leave the meet. Now that really sucks, so i better eat some food now.
For a short trip I like to stay in a nice hotel, for a longer period I prefer to rent a room in an apartment of a local person with use of kitchen and bathroom. I definitely would rent an apartment if I went with friends or family. Hotels can be wonderful but it is great to try and live like a local ad shop in the market and cook yourself.
Self catering has always been our first choice. Originally because when travelling with a family it was the most affordable option. But we often booked overnight stays en route - the children loved them - and it was a great introduction for them into that style of travelling. We still enjoy s/c but are unwilling to accept any lowering of the standards we enjoy at home so it is not any longer a cheaper option - we just enjoy the space, the independence, the gardens, the privacy, the comfort - and sometimes the luxury! I was thinking today when I looked at a new "Hotel" Tip that turned out to be a Camp Site tip from a member I know,that VT should have separate catergories for Accommodation to include SC/ camp sites/hostels/ B&Bs/and hotels. I find the emphasis on corporate, city centre hotels in the "listings" irrelevant.
For Euromeet in Krakow, Gillybob found a great apartment, just off the main square, where 5 of us stayed very comfortably during the meet, then 4 of us stayed there after the Lviv trip. Again, Paris VT meet in September 2011, Gilly found a great apartment for 4 of us. All the facilities and a Great location - we had a view of the Eiffel Tower, and the evenings light show from our balcony. A good option for groups!
I rented a great apartment in Barcelona for a week, had lads there during the week for the Celtic game then Fiona flew out for the weekend. Rented numerous villas in the greek islands and we found a hotel with studio apartments in Malmo which suited us for another weeks stay (and another euro loss against CPH). Now we've kids we intend either caravan/log cabin holidays in Scotland and maybe a trip across to Ireland to rent a house somewhere on the west coast. Kids & hotels are not a great idea, had a fornight in a hotel at East Midlands airport while I attended a course nearby but was very concious of any noise coming from the kids (2 & 3 months) when they stayed for the weekend.
My first choice is guesthouses with common kitchen and dining areas, or small hotels, where use of the kitchen can be flexible. As a single traveller it's nice to have other people around, both for social reasons and "just in case." I find that big or fancy boutique hotels can be quite isolating, and all the B&Bs I've stayed at have felt formal and stiff. It has never felt right to me to be served breakfast in someone's house and not help out. I've been doing a lot of self-catering flats and cottages recently because it's usually the least expensive option, since it's usually a month or more. It can be isolating in its own way, though, and if a guesthouse or small hotel is available at a comparable cost, that's what I'll take. Spas, restaurants, room service, etc., are great for a night or two, but it all gets old fast.
I'm not a B&B person either, Taylor - it always feels like camping out in some stranger's house.
I'm having breakfast in a little coffeeshop right now in Muar/Malaysia with a nice big latte and some local kinda samosa. This is so much better than having to make my own breakfast in a kithchen :)
Staying in some hostels with a kitchen area, I still don't make my own breakfast cause I hate to clean up. I do make coffee though and I am good to go. Daily bread can be bought at the bakery. Cooking for one is a chore and it is easier to go out and eat. but sometimes I am a simple man like in Barcelona where I made pasta and sauce for anyone hungry for five euros. It served four and people were most thankful of the free meal. A pound of coffee was a euro compare to a euro or two for one in the cafe. The hostel had a espresso pot that none of the young kids knew how to use, so I made them espresso too
@Goodfish - yeah, B&Bs are such an unsettling mix of public and private space, at least in my experience. Haven't figured out yet why homestays aren't as unsettling. @Claus - coffeshop breakfast sounds lovely. I don't know, I can't do restaurants every day. It's not so much about the food or the freedom from cooking, it's about going to a restaurant and sitting and waiting. Drives me up the wall. Generally, another nice thing about staying in a place a little longer, you can arrange to have someone else cook for you. Example, for a Euro a day, the owner of the flat I'm staying in now cooks a little more for the family, and I get fresh home-cooked meals every day. In other places, I've had arrangements with restaurants to eat what the staff is served, for a fraction of restaurant prices.