I've been wanting to do a series on travel in Europe for awhile, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I thought today was a perfect day to start, since I just e-mailed a fellow blogger yesterday about some of information I'm going to feature in this blog.
Today I'll be focusing on the accomodations aspect of traveling in Europe.
Before I moved to Italy I had mostly stayed in chain hotels in the States. I'd never really done the bed and breakfast option or renting someone's apartment or vacation home.
Since I've been in Europe that's all changed. There are times that we still stay in hotels when we travel, but for the most part I prefer to stay in rooms for rent, hostels or bed and breakfasts.
There are a few sites that I use in my search for the perfect room. (US dwellers, you can use these sites too to find accomodations in the states or even in other locations like Asia, South America, etc)
I'm a huge Rick Steves fan, but I don't often stay in his recommendations for accomodations. I do however pay attention to the areas that most of his recommendations are in and try to find something in or around that area. Besides the above sites, I usually cross-reference with Tripadvisor.com just to get an unbiased opinion and pictures of the place I'm thinking about staying.
Now, if you use homeaway.com or vrbo.com be aware that sometimes people want you to pay a deposit upfront for your stay or cleaning of the place after you leave. I usually avoid those listings and find something that doesn't charge for cleaning or require a deposit, especially a non-refundable one. I don't see the need for paying 50 euro for a cleaning fee, when there are plenty of other quality listings that don't require that.
I do usually check out hostel listings from time to time, but honestly with the exception of a few, it's about the same price for a private room in a hostel as it is for a hotel room or apartment rental.
As an example, most of the places I've booked for Sean and I to stay in for our upcoming trip cost 60 euro or less per night for the both of us. Honestly, 50 euro is about the cheapest you'll find for a couple in Europe. I've yet to find much cheaper than that for a double bed. London is probably the most expensive city I've stayed in. Slovenia had some of the cheapest accomodations and best that we've stayed in so far.
Hopefully this will be helpful to some of you out there. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to e-mail me!