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Why do you want to stay in apartments when you travel?

Why do you want to stay in apartments when you travel?

Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:30 AM
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Why do you want to stay in apartments when you travel?

I'm wondering if there is a real advantage for a solo traveler to rent apartments rather than hotel rooms. I always stay in a medium-priced hotel, and I'm wondering if I'm missing the advantages of staying in an apartment. I don't have any desire to fix my own meals. On those occasions when I don't want to have dinner in a restaurant, I can always have cheese and fruit in a hotel room as easily as in an apartment.

I usually stay two to four nights at a given destination, if that makes any difference.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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If you don't want to make your own meals stay in a hotel. Let them take care of your room for you. As you say you can always have a picnic in the room if you want.
Perhaps if you were planning on staying for a couple of weeks in one place an apartment would make sense, money wise, and because you can spread about a bit more and relax, but of the length of time you want to stay I vote for a hotel and them doing the housekeeping.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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We stay in apartments or houses for two reasons: we like space and like to cook.
When I travel alone I am more likely to stay in a hotel because a room ( or junior suite) is enough room and I prefer to eat out when I am alone.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:41 AM
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We travel as a couple, and our general rule of thumb is that for three or more nights in a location we get an apartment. Normally we don't do any real cooking (unless it is a really long stay), but we love the access to a fridge, microwave, stove etc. Often you can buy some great take out to reheat. We also like having the ability to just have some snacks and drinks and breakfast items easily available so we don't need to get dressed to go out for these things.

Finally, for us one of the biggest reasons is that we like to have some room to spread out, something you won't get in a hotel unless you spring for a suite.

I also think that one can save money by staying in an apartment because there are not all of the associated personnel costs. I can make my own bed.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:48 AM
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Solo traveler here. For many of the reasons Julies says. I find the value better. And the space. I like to have a bowl of cereal or yogurt in the morning, and a pot of coffee. I like to make a meal if I choose to. I like the privacy and don't want to have to leave the room so the maid can make it up, when it's not convenient for me. Often, apartments have washer/dryers. I have the same 3/4 night benchmark for when I prefer an apartment to a hotel.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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We always use hotels but one advantage for some who take very little clothing with them is that many apts have washing machines. We belong to the checked baggage set - no backpacks or little carryon bags - and always seem to return home with clean clothing available.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:55 AM
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For a single person, there isn't much advantage and apts often cost more than a budget hotel -- at least they so in Paris, certainly for equivalent quality. I rented one in Barcelona and they have better deals there, so it was cheaper than the hotels I was considered.

I don't cook much at home, certainly not going to when on vacation, and I can keep drinks, etc on the hotel minibar or lots of stuff doesn't need refrig.

I'm out most of the time anyway, so space isn't even that big a consideration, usually.

For long term stays, I do like having more space, though, so I do consider apts if I'm going to be in a place a week or more, otherwise, I don't too much. YOu can't always tell, but apts can be quieter than hotels sometimes--you have to really know your areas and hotels, though, as that is no sure bet. If I'm in a place a long time, I guess it just seems more like home, also, to be in an apt. I would never do it for a short stay, it's too much trouble for no purpose.

Only thing I really care about that much (except for some extra space for long-terms stays) is being able to brew fresh coffee in the morning before I go out, that's all. And wouldn't you know it, the apt I rented in Barcelona didn't even have a decent coffeepot in it, I had to go out and try to buy something I could put coffee in and pour water through (like a 1 cup Melitta filter thing). COuldn't find one, of course, so I used one of those mesh tea holder things. Wasn't going to buy a coffeemaker for a short stay and leave it there. I was mad about that one and complained to management. In fact, hotels often have more comfortable beds and definitely bathrooms than cheap rental apts. IN the summer, I want AC, also, and you can't find that cheaply in some rental apts, definitely not in Paris.

I think costs and needing "room to spread out" are vastly different for a single person vs. couple or family.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 10:58 AM
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I like that DH can watch TV and I can go to bed without bothering each other. If GD is with us, she has play space. Easier to make snacks or small meal.

Sometimes we rent a little house and feel more part of the community.

If several other family members are going or meeting up with us, a house is even better.

If by myself for only a day or two, would stay in a hotel. Sometimes DH and I still prefer an interesting hotel.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:00 AM
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Peg, I think cooking and space are the main advantages. For me, a big minus is not having a front desk person on call. That is one reason, we only stay at (international) places with a 24 hr. staffed front desk.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:01 AM
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I agree that it's a choice I'm more likely to make as a couple than as a single, although there are some singles here who have taken apartments as well.

For extended periods (for us, like julies, it's 3 days or more), it's nice to have the space to spread out and while it's not necessarily cheaper, there's more bang for the buck in an apartment (a great terrace, for instance). We took an apartment in Paris when we stayed a week -- it was great to feel like we "lived" in the city and had our own place to nest. It's different than staying in a hotel. It's more relaxed to have your own place and make coffee at "home", rather than getting up to go to breakfast somewhere else. No one is coming in to bother you during the day and, however short the stay, it does feel like "our home".

On the other hand, a hotel is great to have the services and amenities when you want/need them. My husband had a brief episode in the middle of the night when we were in an apt in Cordoba, Spain, and for a moment, I thought we'd need to get him to a hospital -- I realized then that having some knowledge of emergency medical services is critical if staying in an apartment (it passed and we didn't need it, after all). Not having knowledge of the language meant that we were at a serious disadvantage in finding this information out in a crisis.

And, staying in apartment is also more isolating. Interacting with hotel staff is often part of the experience of travel, whether to have someone to assist in recommendations or reservations or just having a conversation during the course of the day.

For an extended stay , I would definitely consider an apartment -- for a brief stay (a few days), it's a tossup.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:04 AM
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When solo I'm in hotels. One night per hotel. (allows for good deals or so I think).

I've stayed in apartments solo (when I couldn't find a hotel) : I am lost in that extra space.
When in family we usually move a lot, so hotels too, except a few times.

Family in apartment is nice for cooking, spreading yourself and extrea room. However quite often we're too many or there is a lack of bathrooms (one is defintely not enough).
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:11 AM
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You very clearly made many of the points I was thinking of, progol.

Our dear departed former Fodorite, LoveItaly had a similar experience in the middle of the night with her husband. They were not in an apartment, but in a non-staffed B&B. Her husband died.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:16 AM
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We stayed in an apartment when we took our granddaughter to Paris for her high school graduation present. It seemed an excellent plan (and was!) in that she didn't have to stay in a hotel room alone and we weren't all crowded into a triple hotel room.

The only other time we have stayed in an apartment was for a week-long stay in Lauterbrunen. We loved it! We had wonderful mountain views from our balcony and were just a block or so from the train station for day trips to Wengen, Murren, etc.

Normally we certainly enjoy a nice well located hotel with a good breakfast, etc.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:23 AM
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I travel solo about a third of the time. When solo I have never done an apartment, definitely has not worked out to be advantageous financially for one person. When I've traveled with 2 other people I have done some apartments because for three people it was cheaper/more space and we were more into cooking. Also those were for periods of about a week, most of the time I move about more frequently than that. When we retire we will probably change our travel style somewhat to stay a couple weeks in one location, and for that an apartment makes sense.

In general I prefer hotels because:

1) I like the fact that there's a front desk in case I have a problem, just feels more secure and also knowing someone fluent in the local language can help out; 2) I don't need all that much space; 3) it has never worked out to be a better deal financially; 4) I like the included (in most places) breakfast; 5) it's much easier to pay by credit card and not have to worry about where and when to get the key, etc.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:24 AM
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I sure miss LoveItaly on these pages!
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:31 AM
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Peg, In Mexico staying two weeks in the same place I've learned to love having an apartment. I'm spoiled. What I like about it is: not much more money, a lot more space, much more privacy, a kitchen (although I don't actually "cook" anything, I use the frig, make coffee in the morning, etc.), a nice view, a balcony, a huge lovely swimming pool.

But for a European trip and moving around every 2-4 days, like you, I prefer a regular hotel instead.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 11:57 AM
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5- 6 nights with a friend or MH.....an apartment
for 3-4 nights solo....a hotel.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 12:04 PM
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The longer the stay, the more advantageous an apartment is.

The greater the number in your party (up to a point), the more advantageous an apartment or house is.

For solo travels on short stays, I don't usually bother with rental properties, but there are markets where I consider it if I found a particularly attractive location that I couldn't match with a hotel stay.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 12:14 PM
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Same reasons as Julie's. Especially coffee when I get up. I've never cooked in an apartment and never had one for less than a week. Would consider one for 4 or 5 days though.
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Old Jan 4th, 2016, 12:15 PM
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I like the space and making my own coffee before facing the world - that sort of thing.
In terms of needing assistance - the best of both worlds is an aparthotel. Some hotels have apartments as well as rooms so you still have the front desk/concierge but have the advantages of a kitchen/washer & dryer and more space.
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