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Renting an apartment when traveling can be a great idea to not only save money on accommodations, but to make sure you have a solid “home base” for your area adventure.
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.
2) Read all the fine print before booking. Check for cleaning fees, extra person fees, and if there’s enough space for everyone traveling. This can’t be overstated. You may need to also defend yourself if there are accusations made. If you know the rules and understand ahead of time you won’t have a surprise at the end.
3) Make sure you know how the appliances work before the person who shows you around leaves. This sounds like a no brainer but if you’re going to a new country you might be surprised just how different appliances are. Take the time to have them go through each of the appliances that you would be using to explain how it operates. As with #2 you don’t want to break something and end up with an added bill on departure.
4) While going over the appliances also 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. Things aren’t always perfect but it’s up to you to let them know if there’s a problem.
5) What do you do in case there is an issue? Many apartments have this information posted or available but double check. Have emergency numbers not only for first responders like police but also 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. In the same vein ask about and understand how any recycling system works and where to put these items.
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. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you do break something, fess up and be honest and upfront with the owners.
8) Some apartments have coded locks (these are great!) But if the apartment has a traditional key you may want to ask for an extra set of keys just in case. Give them to another adult staying with you so that you can come and go as you want and there’s a backup in case someone is locked out.
9) Be respectful of any neighbors. While you may be on vacation there’s a good chance the people around you are just living their normal lives. They need to sleep and work so keep quiet hours and noise to a minimum.
10) When it’s time to leave check out on time, pick up your mess, empty the refrigerator and leave everything as you found it. You may want to check with your host on what they expect on checkout.