One of the biggest decisions we had to make when planning our France vacation was where to stay. There are countless lodging choices in France (and throughout Europe) – hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels and apartments. Obviously, a hostel with 2 kids was not even an option. Bed and Breakfasts were also out due to the kid factor. Most B&B’s don’t want kids running around crazy in their homes.
So do we stay in a hotel or a short term France rental apartment? Both options came with an array of location and price ranges. First and foremost, we knew we wanted to be centrally located. While public transport in France is great, we didn’t want to waste our time riding a bus or train in and out of the city multiple times a day.
Once we knew the areas we wanted to stay, we looked at rates. Hotel rooms in France are small compared to American hotel rooms, and finding a room to sleep 4 jumped the price up substantially. I do need to note that I’m also a hotel snob, so that does factor into the price 🙂
As it turns out, renting an apartment was cheaper than a hotel room. Not only that, but we were able to get apartment with 2 bedrooms! Score!
There are other bonuses to apartment rentals as well. First, they have fully equipped kitchens. This will allow us to further immerse ourselves into the french culture by shopping at the fresh markets and food stores to cook at “home”. Eating in will also help our budget tremendously.
Second, the apartments we chose came with a washer and dryer. Double score! We were planning to pack light anyways as we would be traveling by train to two other french cities after leaving Paris. Now, I can pack a few outfits per person and do laundry in the confidence of the apartment.
Lastly, we were able to rent apartments with a view! Having a view was not something we even expected. A hotel with a view is always astronomical in price. Our Paris apartment has a nice view of the Eiffel Tower right from the window! We can sit in the apartment in the evening and watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle!! How cool is that?!
Our apartment in Bordeaux has a large balcony overlooking the square. Perfect for a glass of vin (wine) with hubs in the evening!
A few notes on France Rental Apartments:
- Book early! As with most accommodations, the best apartments fill up early. We started looking 6 months in advance and still had limited options.
- Read the reviews. We read reviews on all the apartments we considered. It’s important to know what other guests have to say about an apartment (or other lodging option). We thought we found a few good apartments, and while the reviews weren’t necessarily bad, there were multiple complaints about cleanliness or the location.
- Consider the price in US dollars. We converted the price from euros to US dollars to see if it would actually fit into our budget as our travel budget is in dollars. The 150 euros might sound like a nice price until you realize that’s $200.
- Consider the conversion fee from your credit card company. We now have a new credit card with no conversion fee, but when we paid our deposits, we were hit with a hefty $50 fee! Yikes!
- Does the apartment have an elevator? Some apartments are walk-up, so if you have difficulties with stairs or will be lugging around a stroller, you need to take that into consideration.
- What is the cancellation policy? Will there be a fee if you must cancel? How far in advance do you need to notify the landlord of travel changes?
- See what’s included with the apartment rental. Are toiletries such as bath tissue & lines included? Believe it or not, we noticed that some rentals require you to bring your own!
*Note – if you use my link for Airbnb, we both get a $40 credit!
What other tips can you share when considering a France Rental Apartment?
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