Reflections and advice based on personal experience.

Renting an Apartment in a Foreign County

I have had good luck with Air B & B and VRBO. Although some places want you to rent for at least a week, others will allow a single night. I rented an apartment in Rome that was really more of a guest house for 76$ a night on Air B & B.  I chose it for several reasons. First of all, I emailed the owner about transportation. In addition to the answer, I also wanted to see how quickly she responded. She did promptly and gave me lots of additional information. Also important, I would not choose any place on this site that doesn’t have several reviews. The other reason I chose the apartment and something you should think about if you’re using public transportation is how close to it you’ll be. Although this apartment was the last stop on the subway, it made it cheaper and it was located very close to the stop. I was the first to get on in the morning so I had a seat no matter how crowded the train got.

Assessing reviews: 

 I often don’t pick the number one listing on Trip Advisor because it is too expensive. Don’t be afraid to pick a place further down the list. Sometimes they are there because they’re new and have few reviewers. Sometimes one or two people write horrible reviews. If the rest of the reviews are great, you can over look the bad one. People can be ridiculous and expect a homey B & B to be a 5 star hotel or sometimes people are just jerks. Look at what they are complaining about. I have stayed at probably 15 B & B’s and never once been disappointed. Also, don’t expect typical American style reservations. Sometimes in developing countries they ask you for a deposit via paypal, or they may ask you to send a check to an American bank or any number of atypical requests. I have learned to follow their requests and have not been burned. Remember, if you find the place on Trip Advisor, the owner can’t afford any scandal. If you have any hesitation about reserving, email the place and start a dialogue with the owner.

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