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Feb
24

The best way to travel with kids

People in the know rent apartments. People with kids SHOULD get in the know!!!!

tuscany anyone?

tuscany anyone?

All over the world there are great apartments, chalets, villas, summer houses with pools, river boats to be had at usually great prices. If you’re alone, it gives you the feel of living in a city, being a part of the neighborhood, hitting the local cafes in the morning and bars in the evening.

If you’re with a family, it’s crucial. I have four children and believe me, it’s often impossible to get connecting rooms, and there are no rooms large enough to accommodate us.

imagine this at a hotel?!

imagine this at a hotel?!

But even for families of three and four, there’s really no better, more economic way than renting an apartment.

Plus it’s fun.

Take Paris for instance. With so many cheap flights to Paris and Spring break coming, I don’t know if a single person who doesn’t dream of showing their children the city. But staying in a hotel with ever-hungry kids is just frustrating. Small rooms, no place to roam, crazy room service prices and often not terribly warm staff makes the trip miserable.

But imagine what it would be like to rent an apartment on Ile St. Louis right next the Notre Dame? You can rent a stunning apartment on the Seine for six people for $3,700 a week.

Apartment on the Ile St Louis for a Family

Apartment on the Ile St Louis for a Family

There’s washing machines, televisions, full-kitchens to cook your fresh veggies from the local markets, perfect for naps and lazy pauses in between walking the streets of Paris.

Apartments typically rent for a week or more, which means you can really get to know an area, take advantage of day-trip possibilities, and even become a “regular” at the neighborhood bakery and cafes.  Cities like Madrid, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Arles, Florence, Venice, Sorrento, and Munich are fantastic apartment rental cities, with great rates and prices.

madrid apartment

madrid apartment

Your options differ from country to country. For example, France has a popular network of rentable country homes called gîtes ($350–1,300/week for 4-6 people, www.gites-de-france.fr). In Croatia, you’ll spot a blue apartman sign by every other doorway, and shorter stays (3-4 days) are common.

Get an open ended JAW ticket like we have at www.bt-store.com and spend a week or two city-hopping. Fly into Paris, out of Madrid. Book a cheap flight to London, fly out of Amsterdam. See the flexibility you can have.

london flats in the heart of kensington starts at $70

london flats in the heart of kensington starts at $70

If you’re a student, you can really see the world. For work it gives you flexibility and of course for play how much fun is it to move in and out of exotic apartments, villas in the south of France, houseboats on canals. Also great for older people because they can come and go as they lease, eat whatever they want and have the space and comfort they’re used to at home.

new york midtown apartment sleeps 6

new york midtown apartment sleeps 6

There are lots of ways to find rental apartments. You might work with an agency that maintains a network of rentals. (Sometimes the agency actually owns the apartments, and other times they act as a go-between.)

Using a rental agency is convenient, as the apartments have been pre-screened, and the agency provides a sense of professionalism and predictability. However, you’ll pay a bit more than if you dealt directly with the landlord.

Tuscan villa

Tuscan villa

Booking direct takes a little more effort, but cutting out the middleman also cuts cost and bureaucracy. Some guidebooks recommend specific apartments, and many local and national tourist offices maintain lists of rentals. But the Internet is the best tool for finding your perfect apartment —  search for “vacation rental” or “holiday rental” and the town you’re interested in, then check out your options. Or use a clearinghouse website that specializes in helping renters find apartments, such as www.vrbo.com, www.vacationrentals.com, www.holiday-rentals.co.uk, www.rentavilla.com (more upscale), and www.interhome.us. You’ll usually find photos of the rental, as well as loads of other information (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, sometimes even a floor plan) to help you make your decision.

Once you’ve found a place that interests you, contact the owner for more information. From some clearinghouse sites, you’ll click a link that says “send email” to fill out a form, and the site will send an email to the owner on your behalf.

umbria rental

umbria rental

But before you commit, get the street address and chart it on a map (such as at http://maps.google.com) so you’re clear on how convenient — or ridiculous — the location is. Request a written rental agreement and cancellation policy. When you make a reservation,  have to pay a deposit for your rental (can range from 10 to 50 percent). Ideally the owner will take your credit-card number for this, and you’ll pay the balance on arrival.

The owner will meet you hand give you the keys. In some flat and villas the rate includes cleaning, and if it doesn’t you may want to ask about maid service. Because when you’re on holiday, the last thing you want to do is clean.

At our rental in Puglia, the cleaning lady came daily for 2 hours, which was included int e cost. BUT that did not include cleaning the kitchen- funny, right? So we gave her a bit more and the kitchen was spotless. Thank goodness. And so worth it.

Then get out…and get to know your new neighborhood!

Im offer an experience on-par with the best or https://besttrackingapps.com/how-to-catch-a-cheater/ has it’s broad focus relegated it becoming a jack of all trades, and master of none

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