|In front of our Warwick Road apartment rental in London|
We first became acquainted with the option of renting an apartment (in lieu of booking hotel space) in 2004 in Venice, Italy. We had been very disappointed in our initial booking and changed hotels after the first night. We were standing in line for a restaurant chatting with some regular visitors to Venice who told us they rented the same great apartment overlooking the Grand Canal every year and it saved them a great deal of money. They were spending what we were for a far superior lodging arrangement. That started the process of looking for apartment space wherever our travels would take us over the next 10 years.
Thus far, we have rented apartments in the following cities/locations:
- London (Earl's Court) - see link to HomeAway listing link
- Manhattan Beach, CA (twice)
All of these have been good to exceptional. We've used AirB&B, HomeAway, and VRBO - all provide a good service and lots of listings. Many renters list on more than one site.
Here are some lessons learned:
- Closely read the reviews of the space to look for comments about location, condition, or other factors important to you such as access to public transportation or noise/activity levels in the area
- Ask questions about critical elements to get the definite answers from owners/managers such as smoking policy, ability to park a car if you bring one, whether there is an elevator (many are 3/4 story walkups) and security issues if on ground floor
- Verify full price for stay - some include listing and cleaning fees and some do not
- When booked, provide arrival information and find out exactly how you get access to apartment and if there will be someone there to greet you and provide information about the the place and surrounding areas - also find out how you check out
Well, we plan to do this again soon! We loved the Earls' Court neighborhood and found delightful pubs and stores in the area - very local. We felt we were really living in London for the week.