Quite a while ago, I wrote a post, which you can read here, about renting an apartment in Europe.  I’m a big proponent, which I am sure you know by now.  And, the more I work with readers who have become clients, hiring me to create personalized curated travel plans, I am finding that more detailed information about the ins and outs of renting an apartment in Europe would be helpful to y’all.  So, here goes….a Detailed Guide:  Renting European Apartments.

 

Detailed Guide: Renting European Apartments Rome Paris VRBO

The entrance into the building housing our Rome Summer 2018 rental.

 

Detailed Guide:  Renting European Apartments

Tip #1:  Where to Begin Looking

 

For years, I have almost exclusively used Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO).  I find their web site very easy to navigate, and I also have their app on my phone, which is equally easy to use.  There are many many other services out there, but I have not personally used them so I will not include them in this post, as I only share with y’all what I have personally experienced, no exceptions.  But, ask your friends and neighbors!  There’s a bunch to choose from.

VRBO allows you to set the parameters of your search from dates, to number of bedrooms or bathrooms, to maximum price per night.  You can also save your favorites, which is really helpful when you find several you are interested in considering further!

 

Detailed Guide: Renting European Apartments Rome Paris VRBO

Our 2016 Paris Apartment had a fabulous courtyard.

 

Detailed Guide:  Renting European Apartments

Tip #2:  Location

Probably the most important decision!  In this post, I discussed some of the most common mistakes people make when travel planning, and how to avoid them, so please do read this!  But, in my opinion, close proximity to the majority of the sites you want to see is the absolutely most important factor.  I’d sacrifice a gorgeous view from atop a hill for close proximity to major museums every day of the week.

 

Detailed Guide: Renting European Apartments Rome Paris VRBO

One of the perks of renting an apartment: a spacious kitchen!

 

Detailed Guide:  Renting European Apartments

Tip #3:  Amenities and Details

Pay attention to the details!  For example:  Americans are used to air-conditioning.  You want to make sure that the bedrooms have AC at a minimum, if not the entire apartment.  What floor is the apartment on?  And how will you reach the apartment?  An elevator….stairs?  A combo of both?  Make sure you know this information before you make your choice.  Five flights of stairs at the end of a long day of touring might be slightly challenging!!!  Are the bathrooms en suite, meaning attached to your bedroom, or across the hall?  Might make a big difference to you!  Can king beds be divided into 2 twins?  Good question!  Wifi?  Cable TV?

Be sure and ask all the questions you can before making your final decision.  I also recommend that you read reviews of the apartment, if provided.  You can learn a LOT from this exercise.  For example, there’s no way to know if you will be listening to loud restaurants outside your window until the wee hours of the morning, unless revealed in a review from a previous guest.  You won’t know if the pictures really accurately showcase the apartment….former guests will!

 

Detailed Guide: Renting European Apartments Rome Paris VRBO

Some apartments have a street entrance, and others have an inner courtyard or staircase leading to all the apartments in the building.

 

Detailed Guide:  Renting European Apartments

Tip #4:  Check In

I have learned this lesson the hard way.  MOST flights from the US land in Europe in the morning.  Once you claim your bags and clear customs, and make your way into the city center to your apartment, it will still probably still be before noon.  What do you do if the check-in time is not until 3:00 or later?  In a hotel, you can leave your bags with the concierge.  But an apartment….you might be standing on the street for a while, which is horrible, and I have done that.  Ick.

So, here’s a couple of suggestions:  First, communicate with the rental representative about an early check-in.  If that is not possible, ask about a secure place to store your bags until the apartment is ready….unlikely, but it never hurts to ask.  During high seasons, there’s usually one guest checking out, and another checking in the same day, and the apartment has to be cleaned and linens washed, etc..  So what do I do to ensure that I can check into the apartment when I am ready?  We rent the apartment for one day earlier.  100% worth the cost, because the moment we arrive, the apartment is ours.  Unpack, take a shower….BRUSH YOUR TEETH.  Worth every single penny.

 

Detailed Guide: Renting European Apartments Rome Paris VRBO

The time we rented an apartment in Rome…and had to stand on the sidewalk for hours waiting for it to be cleaned and made ready. Ick.

 

Detailed Guide:  Renting European Apartments

Tip #5:  Grocery Shopping

Almost every apartment will have some kind of paperwork, with instructions about how to use the appliances, the Wifi password, etc.  And also, owners or management companies are typically great about providing information about shops and restaurants nearby.  Find a grocery store in the provided information, or ask the check-in representative.  Ask them to walk with you to the store, if you need to.  Most apartments will have SOME basics….but you will for sure need to replenish the toilet paper, paper towels, etc.  Look inside all the cabinets in the kitchen to see what is there, and also the bathrooms.  Make yourself a list, and get after it!

Also, unless you are from NYC, or some other urban city, you might not be used to this….but look for a grocery dolly…or some kind of rolling cart that will make it easier for you to lug back several bags of groceries more easily.  The store might be a few blocks away, and that first grocery store run might be a big one, so try to make it easier on yourself.

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Detailed Guide: Renting European Apartments Rome Paris VRBO

I love the ease of enjoying breakfast, snacks, and a glass of wine in the comfort of my own place!

 

As always friends, I am here to help you with your specific travel planning needs!  I love doing it, and I hope you’ll reach out!  I’m already at work on several fall and holiday trips for clients, and even two trips for college graduates in May 2019! Let me help you plan the perfectly curated trip! 

xoxo

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