The best thing about our month in Paris was our apartment. Staying in an apartment rather than a hotel:
Helped us feel like part of the neighborhood
Gave us more room (1 bedroom plus living area where our son stayed)
Gave us a kitchen to cook in
Made the trip more memorable
I highly recommend looking into an apartment for any travel more than a few days. Here’s how.
Sites like AirBnB and HomeAway give you ample selection of homes and apartments you can rent. I don’t really recommend Craigslist for vacation rentals unless you can get a referral from others who have stayed there.
But these sites give you plenty of pictures, as well as rate info and dates it’s available. You can read reviews from others, as well as see where the rental is on a map. What to Look For I spent plenty of time researching what neighborhood we wanted to stay in. The factors I considered:
How touristy the neighborhood was
What it was (or wasn’t) near
We went for the 18th Arrondissement, near Sacre Coeur, because it was more affordable than the center of town, was near a major train station, and had a few different metro stations nearby. That I determined online.
Once we got there, I knew it was the right call. Our street was quiet (on the map, avoid places with lots of bars nearby if you want peace), had several grocery stores and restaurants nearby, and was a decent walk to many attractions.
Whichever site you use to book your apartment, look for these things:
Positive reviews by others
Make sure it’s a full apartment rental. Some people rent a room out of an apartment, which will be a rude awakening when you arrive with family in tow.
Look for property owner with history on the site. A newbie doesn’t necessarily mean a red flag, but you should ask for references.
Prices are typically listed based on a night. If you’re staying a week or more, negotiate for a lower rate. We got a discount from the night rate because we stayed a full month.
Respect the rules! The property listing will tell you things like no pets or children allowed. Don’t overstep your boundaries; this is someone’s home, and if you break their heirloom vase because you smuggled your child in, bad karma will rain down on you!