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It wasn’t until recently I ventured into the world of renting an apartment while traveling. To be honest, it always made me a little nervous. Maybe it was staying in someone else’s home or staying in residential areas of cities I wasn’t familiar with. But, I’ve now stayed in an apartment in Crete, Athens, Barcelona, and London with very few problems and really enjoyed the experience.
When I went to WTM (World Travel Market) in London this past November my friends Sofie, Clelia and I rented an apartment in the West Kensington area of the city. Our rental was from CityRelay who offers rentals in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome.
Over the course of our stay I came up with a few lists of things you should ask about and keep in mind when you rent an apartment.
10 Tips for Renting an Apartment When Traveling
1) Look for an apartment close to where you want to be during the day. A good deal isn’t so great if it means you need to pay for transportation. This is especially true in cities like London where public transportation is quite expensive. (Insider tip: Get an Oyster card and use it – you’ll save a lot if you’re using public transport regularly)
2) Read all the fine print before booking. Check for cleaning fees, extra person fees, and if there’s enough space for everyone traveling. No one likes surprises at the end.
3) Make sure you know how appliances work. This sounds like a no brainer but if you’re going to a new country you might be surprised just how different appliances are. I remember the first time I saw a gas oven I actually had to light and couldn’t figure out.
4) Go through the apartment with the host before they leave and note any issues with them so you aren’t charged later. If you notice damage, document it and mark it on the intake form. If they are serious issues request them to be fixed sooner rather than later.
5) Have emergency numbers as well as who to call for maintenance issues. This includes daytime and evening hours after the office is closed.
6) Find out if you need to take the trash out (and where it goes), and all other details for checking out.
7) Treat your rental home the same way you would your own home. No loud parties, don’t trash things, keep it clean and pick up after yourself.
8) Ask for an extra set of keys just in case, give them to another adult staying with you in case you’re locked out.
9) Double check house rules and don’t break them!
10) Check out on time, pick up your messes, empty the refrigerator and leave everything as you found it.
Our apartment in London was a great place to get to be a little more like a Londoner. I loved being able to make my own breakfast and dinner. I also enjoyed having a place to crash, catch up on work and not feel like I was holed up in a hotel room.
Do you rent apartments when you travel? Any tips you would share?
Disclaimer: CityRelay provided this apartment to us, however all opinions expressed are my own.