The adventure in a vacation destination often begins before one steps on the plane. The word really is what it means : An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
Reading travel guides, researching the metro, sites to see, planning day trips are the positive side of the “adventure” definition. It’s my favorite thing to do.
This book by Karen Henrich is filled with tips, links, and insider information- a bargain at 2.99 for Kindle or Free on Kindle PRIME lending library.
My travel pal and I have a great place to stay for a week, thanks to her timeshare option, in northern France. It’s the other 22 days that are the ‘not so positive’ side of the adventure.
Yes, I’ve heard it all about starting early, especially from a TripAdvisor poster, who replied to my request for assistance on lodging options, with a snarky, chastising comment. The other comments were helpful and options offered were B & B’s, hostels, and apartment hotels with the websites listed.
We aren’t too picky but we do need two different sleep areas: twin beds or bed and sofa bed, preferably in Arrondissements 1-14, with elevator if beyond the 2nd floor, non-smoking and no more than 800 Euros per week (that’s $1,000 USD).
Searching for an apartment on line has been the hazardous part of this adventure. You have to know the nomenclature for your search:
Footage is listed as 23 m2. That is square meters or approximately 230 square feet.
Kitchens can be hot plates and a tea kettle.
Lofts, that have a bed, often have a 4 to 5 foot clearance. Roll out of bed, don’t stand up.
Historical buildings are beautiful but don’t expect elevators.
Sofa’s are usually futons. I have to think twice about sleeping on a thin futon for days.
No Linen means you have to fork over 20-50 Euros each for bed sheets and towels.
No util means you pay for gas, light, water.
Ground floor does not mean the 1st floor. So the second floor is the 3rd “American” floor.
Excludes agency fee. These fees range from $200 to $350, by credit or Paypal prior to arrival.
And off the top, it is rare to find air conditioning.
This is what they do in Paris instead. (Fine with me).
There are hundreds of property sites online. I have perused 50. Only a handful made it on my “best last minute search list.” *
These are ‘best’ because of the ease of use, photos, map locater, and pertinent info on the page without having to click through to others, plus Euro converter, a ‘my favorites’ list to refer too and some have a free protection plan. Many of these sites also search for other locales:
- http://www.housetrip.com for those who “enjoy space, authenticity, safety.”
- http://www.lovingapartments.com for the “stylish but affordable stay.” A little too steep for us.
- http://www.morningcroissant.com for the ‘travel smart, travel authentic’ types. Good for college aged.
- http://www.parisautrement.com for those who want to search by “Your affinities: soul of an artist, business, passionate about history, romantic…” Very nice-unfortunately nothing left within budget.
- http://www.tripadvisor.com/vacationrentals for “trusted rentals.” A vast selection.
- http://www.homeaway.com My favorite “Let’s Stay Together.” Great search set-up.
*Please note: I have not used 4 of these sites nor am I affiliated with any of them. I’ve used VRBO and HomeAway before and they were fine. With any travel sites, check out reviews from a couple of sources before you make a decision.