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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rent an apartment when vacationing in a city

After you have gone on one or two guided tours, explored some cities on your own, you may want to consider renting an apartment and use that as your home base. VRBO or vacation rental by owners is a good place to find a rental apartment for your vacation. We typically found this to be a great option for visiting cities, especially in Europe. We have rented from VRBO in Budapest, Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome, and all have turned out well.

An apartment is better than a hotel room because you typically get a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom - - there is more space than a hotel room and you can have your breakfast in the comfort of the apartment. It’s cheaper too, especially if you are traveling with family.

You can browse the VRBO website for apartments in the city you plan to visit. Look for ones in the area where you want to stay and pick one with a number of good reviews. You have to spend some time selecting the apartment and then you can typically reserve it by paying an advance through Paypal and pay the rest in cash when you arrive. Often owners will send you tips on exploring the city and also arrange for airport pickup.

Apart from the rental apartment, you’ll need to arrange your own airfare and plan an itinerary for what you plan to do during your vacation. You’ll find it helpful to have a guidebook with good maps of the city.

If the sights you want to visit require entrance tickets, you should try to buy the tickets online and save the hassle of standing in line.

You may also want to make reservations at restaurants you plan to visit. Just remember that everything is in your hands and you do what you want to do at your own pace. So you do need to spend some time planning, but typically we have found this to be the best way to explore a city on our own, at our own pace.

In future videos, I’ll give more details for some of the cities, such as Budapest, Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome, that we have already visited.

Until then, I hope you are already planning your upcoming trip :-)
Here's some more information to help you...
An alternative to VRBO is: HomeAway Vacation Rentals, (I think HomeAway, in fact, owns VRBO, but they seem to display different selections, so it's worth checking in both sites - note to myself: we have to do this in the future). And here are two more sites you can check: and Flipkey.

Please see my previous blog post on exploring a city on your own (after booking air and hotel from a tour company). There I provide links to guidebooks for many different cities, including Budapest, Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome.

If want to graduate from being a renter to owning a vacation property that you can rent out (no, we don't own any such property, but thought you may be curious :-) then check out the following books:



  1. Nice guide very much appreciate me your post thanks a lot for sharing it.

    Rent Apartment Madrid

    1. Thank you! We have found this to be a great way to visit a city.

  2. Hello..
    Great information here! Thanks for posting up... I would like to take my family to Paris in living as Accommodation in Hong Kong. And I like have apartments when traveling vs accommodation. hotel rooms, especially with kids and others.

    Thanks for great information!!