Budget Travel- Advice for renting apartments

This picture was taken in the tiny little elevator at our apartment in Paris

When you're travelling on a budget, I think that renting an apartment is definitely the best way to go. It's often cheaper than hostels, you get to live in exciting areas and you can save so much money on food because you have your own kitchen and don't have to eat out all the time. I've had some good and bad experiences with apartments, with the last one in Paris being bad, so I wanted to share some tips with you!

1. Read the reviews
Duh- I know. For the last apartment we rented in Paris we were so excited by the fact that it was opposite Chanel that we completely forgot to read the reviews and guess what- there were none. Pictures and descriptions are almost always misleading so make sure you make use of the reviews to make sure that it really is as good as it sounds.

2. Location location location
I think that location is the most important thing when it comes to renting an apartment. After all, you won't be spending too much time in the apartment because you will be exploring the city, so you don't want to be far away from everything! Make use of the little google maps widget that most websites have and check that you're close to public transport, tourist attractions (if you want) and a supermarket (trust me you don't want to carry your food shopping on the metro).

3. Look for hidden costs
When we arrived in our apartment we were promptly presented with 105 Euros worth of extra costs. A 25 Euro cleaning fee, 20 Euros late check in and 5 Euros city tax per person per night (which is a massive rip off by the way). Always make sure to check for extra costs and if in doubt ask what is included in the price per night and what isn't to avoid unpleasant surprises when you get there!

4. Always assume the apartment is smaller than you're told
If it says that the apartment is fine for four people, assume that you want no more than three people in there. Pictures are always taken with an extremely wide angle (sometimes almost a fisheye!) and capacity is almost always exaggerated so keep that in mind! The apartment will most likely be a lot smaller than you think and 'double sofa beds' are most of the time very, very small doubles.

I hope these tips were helpful! Have you had any bad experiences with renting holiday apartments?

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