TRAVEL TIPS – Renting an Apartment Abroad

There are cruises, ferries, caravans, and trains—but for travelers who want to a more intimate experience at a slower pace, we take a look at one of our growing trends in the industry—staying put. To travelers looking to truly immerse themselves in the heart of a culture, Willamette International Travel recommends renting an apartment or a house for an extended stay in their host country.

These more domestic accommodations serve as a travel base that is less bread and board and more home and hearth. Choosing an extended stay of 1-2 weeks helps travelers explore destinations with a different perspective, at a more relaxing pace. Their fully equipped (or nearly fully) facilities allow for greater autonomy in experiencing a world your style, your way.

Before your travel agent books an apartment, however, you want to make sure that you and your new place are a perfect fit. Here are some questions you should ask yourself and your prospective landlords that go beyond the norm:

  1. Is it smoking/nonsmoking?
  2. What kinds of beds are available?
  3. How many floors up is it? Does it have an elevator or just stairs?
  4. Where is the nearest available washer and dryer?
  5. What does the building look like? Is it historical or modern?

Knowing what type of building the apartment is in reveals tell-tale signs. A charming, picturesque 18th century space might have drawbacks including narrow hallways, small rooms, no elevator, creaky floors, etc.

  1. Is there a courtyard, patio, or garden?
  2. Which is more important to you, location or interior amenities and ambiance?

Do you prefer walking distance to the sites you will be visiting or a quiet, removed location from where you can take local transport?

  1. 8.    What is the neighborhood like? Is it a local residential or more tourist focused neighborhood?
  2. 9.    Is there a/c or collective heating? Is there a fireplace?

Due to expense, European rentals may turn on heat/aircon much later than their American counterparts.

10. What kind of shower/bathroom combination is there?

Single shower? Bathtub? Jacuzzi?

11. What equipment does the kitchen have?

Home chefs might want to consider the kitchen space, whether eating breakfast/dinner at home, etc. Does it come with microwave, stove, oven, hot plate, refrigerator, coffeemaker, etc.?

12. What are the policies on guests?

Thinking about entertaining? Ask if your rental home has the facilities to host—tables, enough silverware, precious china?

13. Are the owners or managers nearby?

This can be a boon if you ever have questions or need repairs in the building.

14. Are there any local festivals during my stay?

A local festival can enliven your cultural experience and create unforgettable memories. On the other hand, some festivities can disrupt an extended stay. Ask to be made aware.

15. What security can we be assured of? Is there a safe onsite?

16. What kind of parking is available?

17. Are there nearby daily shops?

Bakery, grocery store, restaurants, post office, barbershop, markets, internet café, antique sellers, etc.

18. Is there a housekeeping service and is it daily or weekly?

19. Are pets allowed?

20. What’s the view like?

21. Are there any guided tours, classes or excursions that we can take advantage of?

22. What are some things we should bring?

Other amenities to consider:

Phone operations

Onsite Computer / WIFI / internet access

Music players

DVD players

Hair dryer/toiletries

Iron/Vacuum cleaner

Face cloths

Pool or beach

Interested in renting an apartment for your time abroad? Willamette International Travel has cultivated great relationships with some amazing vendors and even with previous clients who manage properties abroad. Email at or call 503.224.0180 for more information.


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Filed under Europe, Travel Tips

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