Apartment Rental for Families on the Move
Increasingly more and more popular with travellers, especially those who are on the road long term, renting an apartment is a great alternative to a hotel. Access to a kitchen for making breakfast and easy meals are a lifesaver when you can’t face dinner in a restaurant at the end of a long day with a worn-out child. Living on top of one another in a cramped hotel room is bound to cause frustrations. A little extra space to spread out, play and sleep will keep your nerves in check. If your kids are early risers or you sleep lightly, having separate sleeping spaces will mean everyone gets a better night’s rest.
There are a few options to choose from – serviced apartments, vacation rentals, subletting from a local and renting long-term apartments.
Serviced apartments are the most expensive option and will get you closest to the feeling of a hotel. They’ll have a front desk to check in and out from, cleaning service (usually weekly) and good amenities. Serviced apartments generally cater to business travellers and can feel a bit sterile and impersonal. If you’re just in town for a few days, the are a good alternative to a hotel. The best way to find one is to Google “destionation city + serviced apartment”. Sometimes they’ll show up on hotel booking sites as well.
If you’re staying somewhere short to medium term, find a vacation apartment rentals through sites like VRBO, AirBnB and Wimdu. Check the “Kid friendly” box when searching. Most listings have a tonne of pictures so it’s usually pretty easy to judge how suitable an apartment is for you and your family. I’ve seen some apartments that have great kids rooms, complete with bunk beds and toy boxes filled with goodies. Vacation rentals are usually come with well equipped kitchens so you can cook and eat at home.
Sublets are a good idea in big cities like New York or Paris. Locals often head away for the summer months and let out their apartments. There might be a bit more personal stuff belong to the owner about the apartment but, apart from that, they’re a good option. Start by looking at sites like Craigslist (particularly for the US) and Gumtree (in the UK, Australia and NZ).
If you’re planning on being somewhere long term, your best bet is to book a few nights in a hotel or vacation rental to start with and then search for rental property on the ground when you get there. It will be considerably cheaper to rent locally, rather than through a website aimed at tourists. Be prepared to take on a six or 12 month lease in many cases. Get started by asking everyone you come in contact with if they know of anything for rent in the area – the hotel reception, the local restaurant staff, taxi drivers. Keep an eye out for signs in cafes or apartment windows advertising rentals. It might take a bit more time but the cost savings will be worth it.
Here is a glimpse at an apartment rental we did in Las Vegas last year:
Check out the apartment rental series over on 30 Traveler for some more great examples on apartment rentals in places like Mexico, Ecuador, Croatia and Honduras as well as the full story on our Las Vegas apartment rental.
Got any great stories about an apartment you stayed in on the road? I’d love to hear them!
My best experiences with apartment rental have been in Australia: if I remember correctly we payed around 120 AUD per night with 4 to 8 beds and 2 to 3 bedrooms. A few steps from the beach.
That looked really family-friendly.
When my colleague saw the first of those apartments, said: “if my daughters could be here!”
And of course, those apartments were rented a few night each, making it a completely different situation than the one you’re talking about. No kids, no long stay. But it would have been wonderful if that was the case.
Australia can be so expensive so if you can split the cost of accommodation with another family it makes a huge difference! We had a similarly great rental apartment in the Sunshine Coast for about A$100 a night. It was fantastic to be so close to the beach.
We always book apartments preferentially. I just returned from a trip to Melbourne where we stayed in an inner city 2 bedroom apartment for the same price as a hotel room.
In Australia, cabins in caravan parks also offer a reasonably priced self-contained option.
Great idea Danielle! I might need to do another edition of this post about camping, caravaning and cabins. 🙂