Deciding where to stay when you’re making plans for a trip to Paris can be complicated – not only are there many different neighborhoods you could choose, there are also several different options for the kind of accommodation you can stay in. One possibility more and more budget travelers are choosing – especially those who are staying for more than a few days or who are traveling with kids – is the growing list of Paris vacation rentals.
The words “vacation rental” conjure up a very distinct image for some people – an image that isn’t necessarily synonymous with metropolitan and cosmopolitan Paris. But if you consider that “vacation rental” just means you’re staying in a private space that someone else owns, that could be anything from a studio apartment to a palace! In this case, as you can imagine, the words “Paris vacation rentals” usually refer to apartments in some of the city’s many apartment buildings.
Having your own apartment in Paris allows you to do things you couldn’t do if you were staying in a hotel or hostel room. You know those fabulous food markets you enjoy walking through as a tourist? Well, you can become a shopper, bring fresh goodies back to your vacation rental in Paris, and cook up your own verson of French cuisine. You know the hassle of hunting down a place to do your laundry in the middle of a day when you’d rather be seeing the sights? Many vacation rentals come equipped with washing machines so you can do laundry in the comfort of your own “home,” on your own schedule.
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Vacation rentals in Paris are popular, as mentioned, with budget travelers who are planning to make Paris their home base and stay for a week or more. By even occasionally cooking your own meals in your Paris kitchen you’ll save money, and if you’re traveling with a group you can split the price several ways and cut costs even more.
But perhaps more than any other group, families traveling with children really appreciate the comforts of Paris vacation rentals. Parents can whip up a quick snack or meal for any kids that aren’t into experimenting with French food. Your Paris apartment won’t have a daily cleaning crew coming through to disturb anyone’s naptime. And if you’re using your vacation rental as a home base and taking lots of day trips, it also means less packing and unpacking – which is always a good thing.
There are lots of things to consider when you’re trying to figure out whether a Paris vacation rental is right for you, and a few of the things to remember are listed below.
- Does the property listing have references? Even if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to ask for some – pictures aren’t always enough to make sure a place is right for you.
- How many beds are in the vacation rental? This isn’t just about how many people the listing says the place will sleep, this is about real beds. You don’t want to end up on a sleeper sofa.
- What’s included with your vacation rental? Linens? Towels? House cleaning? A fully-equipped kitchen?
- Is the vacation rental close to public transportation, or will you need to rent a car in Paris? Driving in Paris isn’t much fun if you’re not familiar with the city, so it’s best to find a place that’s close to a Metro station.
- What are the check-in and check-out times? Remember, these places don’t have 24-hour reception desks. You’ll need to honor the hours they keep.
- Do you need to go to an office first, or directly to the property? If it’s the latter, make sure you’ve got a phone number for the person who’s supposed to meet you with a key.
- How certain are you that you want to book a vacation rental? Be sure before you put down any deposit, because cancellation fees aren’t cheap.