Why not rent one while in France?

The Eiffel towerWhilst Paris is full of hotels, ranging from exclusive to budget, it is also home to hundreds (if not thousands) of apartments available for holiday rentals. Perhaps surprisingly, a reasonable number are Australian-owned. Carolyn Schonafinger explains…

When planning our most recent holiday to Paris, choosing an apartment to stay in was one of the hardest decisions to make. Having travelled extensively in Europe (often with children in tow), I am a real advocate of staying in self-catering apartments wherever possible.

Choosing an Australian owned apartment for our Parisian stay was made quite difficult because of the high quality and number of apartments on offer! There were so many apartments to choose from, it was hard to decide which one to pick.

One of the reasons Australians are so fond of staying in apartments owned by fellow Aussies is the language factor. It’s always good to be able to correspond with the apartment owner in your own language without having to revert to Google translate, or bumble your way through a telephone conversation in French. In most cases, too, you can pay for your apartment rental in Australian dollars, avoiding any costly bank transfer fees or negotiating fluctuating currency rates.

Choosing the location of your apartment in Paris can be a hard decision but the Metro makes it easy to get around wherever you stay. Many travellers like to be close to the Seine, choosing apartments in the Latin Quarter or Marais area, but on occasions when we have stayed a little further away, it has been no hassle at all.

Having decided on your apartment of choice, and booking with the owner, a deposit is usually required to confirm the reservation with the balance payable 30 – 60 days prior to your arrival. Dealing directly with the apartment owner also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have prior to your departure from Australia (What’s the nearest Metro station? How do we get to the apartment from the airport? Etc.).

Upon making your final payment, the apartment owner will email you detailed information about the apartment and its neighbourhood. This usually includes details of who will meet you at the apartment or the security code to enter the apartment, the owner’s favourite local restaurants, bakeries… and the location of the nearest supermarket.

One of the big bonuses of renting an apartment is the luxury of having your own kitchen (and often laundry), which is a real cost-saver. It also gives you the chance to really live like a local – shopping at the local boulangerie (bakery), supermarket and market will have you mixing with real Parisians, not just tourists, every day.

Having your own little ‘home’ in Paris is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in everyday Parisian life. Thousands of people have fallen in love with Paris – many of them Australian – and have bought their own little piece of the city. Renting an apartment in Paris from an Australian doesn’t mean you won’t get the real Parisian experience – you’ll get it AND the added bonus of communicating in English and paying in Aussie dollars. What could be easier?

  • Carolyn Schonafinger, Holidays to Europe features a range of Australian owned apartments in Paris, as well as a list of Australian booking agents for Parisian apartments.
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