Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Tip for securing the right accomodation for extended trips?
Old 04-17-2019, 07:27 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Historic Florida
Posts: 3,273
Tip for securing the right accomodation for extended trips?

I phrased this as a question as we are researching our options. We are so used "Organized" trips, either All inclusive, Tours, visiting friends and family and such like.

We would like to get a little more adventurous and instead of organized trips, we would like to rent a place for say 2 weeks?, 1 month? 3 months? etc. and then arrange our own schedule once we get there.

Mexico, Costa Rica, Europe being potential destinations.

Coordinating Air Fares, arrivals, transportation and accommodations come to mind of which accommodation is my biggest concern. I was wondering what others to arrange good clean and reliable accommodation, and what your success and satisfaction rates have been like. What services if any you use, and how they faired for you.

I think it would be valuable for all members to learn the most efficient and safe ways to do so based on others experiences. I myself am very concerned about getting ripped off or ending up in an undesirable area or property.

Thanks in advance. SWR.
__________________

__________________
"Arguing with an Engineer is like rolling in the mud with a pig. Just remember that the pig likes it."
ShokWaveRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-17-2019, 08:00 AM   #2
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Posts: 20
Hi Shokwaverider ,
I’ve found TripAdvisor to be so valuable in planning trips to Greece, England, Mexico, and here in the US.
The crowd sourcing of information is the key. There are so many comments about anywhere you would ever want to visit! For example, I found the name of a private driver in Greece who spoke perfect English and was raved about by countless reviews. Very glad I found him...saved endless worry. Ditto for a tour guide in England. I’ve used it for Mexico many times to ferret out good resorts, clean restaurants, strategies for getting around, etc.
__________________

__________________
In the end, only kindness matters...Jewel
Patricia Lyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 08:03 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 133
I've been very successful with VRBO. When things were not as expected, I could only blame myself for not looking closely at all pictures. Check every bedroom, and every bathroom. Ask about parking if it is not called out in the ad. Are the washer/dryer full size or small. Does the heated jacuzzi come hot, or will it take 3 days to heat up (happened to me). Only rent places that have 10+ reviews. Read all the reviews. Look on google maps to see the neighborhood. Double check how close to bus/train - confirm for your self.

This seems like a lot of work, but it really isn't too bad. We've had great places in AZ, UT, MI, KY, FL, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Austria. We had a less than expected stay in Napa - again that was my fault. They only showed 3 of the 5 bedrooms.
HarveyS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 08:38 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,217
It all depends on where you want to go. VRBO or Homeaway is a good place to start. If you are willing to go a little off season one month rentals can be a great deal. In most place a stay of around 30 days will eliminate the room tax charges which can be substantial.

It's not only quality of the property that can be a problem. A friend and her family rented an apartment in Rome, they checked in and the first time they left the apartment, it was broken into and all their spare cash, valuables, CC's and passports were stolen. I cant think that was a one off. Pickpockets are rampant in Rome and most people don't carry all their valuables on their person when sightseeing.
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,787
We travel internationally twice a year, usually for two months at a time. We are light packers and very spontaneous travelers. We depend on the internet. Too many sites to name. Not unusual for us to either bookend our trip with an open jaw ticket or one way tickets if we are not certain where we will be flying home from or when. We only prepay a hotel when we are familar with it. So we prepay our hotel in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang. Others...we check out the room prior to handing over cash or credit card. In Europe we an often obtain a discount for cash-especially in Italy and Greece. We use a credit card that does NOT charge the standard 2.5-3 percent markup in addition to the FX conversion. Shoulder season can be our friend when travelling in the fall. We pay little attention to State dept warnings and CNN reports. They tend to be overblown. They can in fact be used to advantage. We have toured Greece and Thailand during such warnings. Traffic is down, costs are down.

Our accommodation ranges from five star hotels down to very nice B&B's or bungalows on the ocean or very close to it. We take a look at sites such as booking.com agoda, etc but we always try to contact the accommodation directly whenever possible and make private arrangements. We use discount airlines such as Scoot, Air Asia, Jetstar in SE Asia and Australia. Vueling etc. in Europe.

We have never been unable to arrange good accommodation or air. It sometimes takes some time and some thought. As an example,we needed one way home from Australia last month. It was expensive on the majors. So we booked a discount flight from Sydney- Honolulu on Jetstar Australia. This is the second time we have done this. Both times the flight was a code share with Qantas. The only difference was the price of the seat. Then booked a flight home from Hawaii. The airfare we saved paid for our two night hotel stay in Honolulu.
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 12:58 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 183
When looking for accommodations and insight into new areas, I always use TripAdvisor. Especially the forum tab under the location. There are local experts and other travelers that answer virtually all questions you could have about a location. Search the forum or you can ask a new question. It takes effort, but the results have been excellent. Jmho
__________________
Retired in 2015 at 53
"Things are never as good--or as bad--as they seem."
LiveBelowMeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 01:10 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,787
This type of travel may need some getting used to. At home you need to move as much snail mail, banking, and investment statements as possible to online. We did this prior to our first trip, seven months, and we are so glad that we did.

The other relates to your personality. My job required a fair amount of travel and it was all scheduled down to the day. We traveled frequently while working but it also was scheduled. Over seven years of retirement travel we have migrated to much less structure. Often we only book accommodation a few days out. Same with some air. I recognize that some people will have trouble with this. On a few occasions we have got up in the morning and had to start looking on line for accommodation that night.

We also changed to carry on only. It took some getting used to but we are so thankful that we did. Part of the reason was physical...being able to handle our bags in all situations. Now, we both have a 20" international size carry on. We would like to get the weight down to 7KG but so far have been somewhat unsuccessful. We each hover between 8 and 10KG. This is what we take when we travel-five days or three months.
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 01:37 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
HawkeyeNFO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Inside the Beltway
Posts: 661
In Europe booking.com has a lot of apartments and houses available. Great for a week's stay, but not sure if it would be effective for stays longer than that.
HawkeyeNFO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 03:17 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,787
Our experience is that you have to be very wary of tripadvisor hotel reviews. Especially when there are very few. Watch closely for the same phrases and the same style of writing. Unfortunately there seem to be more and more false reviews.
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 04:17 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 7,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by brett View Post
Our experience is that you have to be very wary of tripadvisor hotel reviews. Especially when there are very few. Watch closely for the same phrases and the same style of writing. Unfortunately there seem to be more and more false reviews.
I have seen many claims by people that TripAdvisor deletes super negative comments, like if you report crime at the hotel or resort. So I read carefully for tactful statements.
Still it's a good resource, I just cross reference it with others.
__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 04:21 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 7,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO View Post
In Europe booking.com has a lot of apartments and houses available. Great for a week's stay, but not sure if it would be effective for stays longer than that.
For Barcelona one year I needed 10 days, so I booked it at hotel, and months later started to worry that I made a bit of a mistake. So about a month from the trip I looked for 10 days in touristy hotels. WOW the prices were $250/night.

It probably was the length of time 10 days that killed my chances, so we stuck with my first choice that was booked 9 months out. for $100/night.
It was perfect, but tiny, but we knew that going in, and ended up really liking not being in a tourist area.
__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2019, 08:22 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 3,494
I've been traveling to Europe since 1970, and the first trip was my last tour. The internet has made travel so much easier, and we only use travel agents for cruises.

You're very fortunate to live in Florida, and you have budget European air carriers, like Norwegian Air Shuttle, bringing thousands of European tourists into Miami and Orlando dirt cheap. We've been recently using them, as we're ultra budget travelers.

We usually start out looking at a city on Google Maps. And we first try to find out which neighborhoods have the best accommodations at a fair price. I'll magnify the map with a couple of Control "+" to where hotel icons and prices pop up. I'll spend time clicking on icons and seeing what customers have to say about the properties. And I sometimes will go to TripAdvisor to read what their customers have to say.

We also often use Booking.com for rooms in a specific place or neighborhood. I often will filter the search by "lowest price to highest price" looking for customer ratings that are substantially higher than the norm for the lower priced properties. I've never been disappointed in the rooms we've got--other than having a 30" x 30" shower in a room in Rome (for a big guy.)

I have gone the Airbnb route and Hotels.com, however I've found many properties requesting full payment at the time of reservation--which may be 4-5 months out. I'm okay to guarantee a reservation with a card, but I don't want it charged until my arrival.

I caution anyone that hotel prices in all the large and popular European cities are now just out of sight. And that's not even for 4-5 star properties. Come to think of it, hotel prices in major U.S. cities are also much higher than I want to pay. I have to be careful when booking rooms in Europe at this time. Prices is why we've been traveling to lesser priced cities like Budapest--our new favorite city. Eastern Europe is still affordable.
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 09:52 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,787
We prefer small, family run hotels or B&B's.

I do not quite understand the issue of getting good, clean, affordable accommodation as though this is a challenge. We have traveled throughout Europe, parts of Africa, and SE Asia. Never once have we had a challenge in finding reasonable accommodation that meets this requirement. Whether it be six star or no star. Nor have we had a challenge booking it on line.

If you decide to travel independently, and to a degree spontaneously, then you will need to get used to rolling with the punches as were. Eventually some arrangement screws up and you need to be flexible enough to take it in your stride and move forward. If not, you will definitely not enjoy this type of travel or get the most of it.

One of the biggest mistakes we see people making is to expect that everything will be the same at their destination as it will be at home. The trick is to enjoy the differences, appreciate them, and make the most of them.
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 12:09 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,912
Quote:
Originally Posted by brett View Post
We prefer small, family run hotels or B&B's.

I do not quite understand the issue of getting good, clean, affordable accommodation as though this is a challenge. We have traveled throughout Europe, parts of Africa, and SE Asia. Never once have we had a challenge in finding reasonable accommodation that meets this requirement. Whether it be six star or no star. Nor have we had a challenge booking it on line.

If you decide to travel independently, and to a degree spontaneously, then you will need to get used to rolling with the punches as were. Eventually some arrangement screws up and you need to be flexible enough to take it in your stride and move forward. If not, you will definitely not enjoy this type of travel or get the most of it.

One of the biggest mistakes we see people making is to expect that everything will be the same at their destination as it will be at home. The trick is to enjoy the differences, appreciate them, and make the most of them.


Brett, we have similar preferences for independent travel and smaller, locally owned accommodations. However, weve always had reservations in advance. We are considering a trip to the ABC islands next winter. Its high season there. Have you been successful getting good accommodations on the fly during high season?
Scuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 01:35 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rianne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Champaign
Posts: 1,686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
I
Hotels.com, however I've found many properties requesting full payment at the time of reservation--which may be 4-5 months out. I'm okay to guarantee a reservation with a card, but I don't want it charged until my arrival.

Prices is why we've been traveling to lesser priced cities like Budapest--our new favorite city. Eastern Europe is still affordable.
Heading to Budapest/Prague/Vienna/Olomouc CR in May. Did all the apartment booking through hotels.com. Reserved events at all the destinations, such as Danube boat trip, walking tours, beer crawling tours, sightseeing etc. The apartments are huge, multi bedroom/bath and in prime locations and cost about (we are traveling with relatives) the same as a Clarion in U.S. They all have money back guarantees, pretty much up to the date. I didn't prepay everything. I switched around a couple of things, cancelled one apartment for a better one, cancelled one tour event for a better one and got refunds very quickly.

We will be jumping on and off trains, buses so taking very light luggage BUT there are W/D in all the apartments. I'm pretty sure we saved a bundle and got to plan everything our way according to our schedule.
__________________
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Rianne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2019, 03:30 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,787
Scuba, ee have been successful, but not we have not traveled independently in the Caribbean. November in Puerto Morales but that was not high season.

We have traveled in Greece, Turkey, Italy with no issue in finding accommodation-ever. Travelled in South America, Panama, and Costa Rica in high season. Never had a problem.

Past five winters travelling in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia. The ONLY time we have needed to be concerned about accommodation is Chinese New Year. But this is dependent on where we are. We tend to avoid some of the more popular places. This past winter it was not a big deal. The year before we were in the Philippines and accommodation was at a premium. We actually left. Not because we did not have a hotel but because it was a zoo.

We were in Tasmania for a week this past Feb. We booked the first night (when we flew in) and the last night (flew out the next morning). Did the rest on the fly with no issue and had very good accommodation. One of the best ones was booked the afternoon of the day before.
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2019, 12:22 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,912
Quote:
Originally Posted by brett View Post
Scuba, ee have been successful, but not we have not traveled independently in the Caribbean. November in Puerto Morales but that was not high season.

We have traveled in Greece, Turkey, Italy with no issue in finding accommodation-ever. Travelled in South America, Panama, and Costa Rica in high season. Never had a problem.

Past five winters travelling in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia. The ONLY time we have needed to be concerned about accommodation is Chinese New Year. But this is dependent on where we are. We tend to avoid some of the more popular places. This past winter it was not a big deal. The year before we were in the Philippines and accommodation was at a premium. We actually left. Not because we did not have a hotel but because it was a zoo.

We were in Tasmania for a week this past Feb. We booked the first night (when we flew in) and the last night (flew out the next morning). Did the rest on the fly with no issue and had very good accommodation. One of the best ones was booked the afternoon of the day before.


Thanks for the info. Good to hear.
Scuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2019, 05:07 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 22,155
Having easy access to washers and dryers when traveling for more than a couple of weeks is a huge benefit.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2019, 09:18 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,787
It is. We have met some very interesting people in laundromats. And exchanged some great travel tips. In some places we have found it easier and less expensive to send it out-especially when you get it all back later in the afternoon. Once in a while a b&b or hotel will have a self serve laundry room.

I got the notion to do independent, spontaneous land trips 20 years go while speaking to some Seattle retirees at a Florence, Italy laundromat. We have also met scads of Aussies who, over time, have become friends. We had done the VW camper van tours in NA and in Europe in our youth but did not want to do this in our retirement.

He retired early from a VP position at some bank. The planned to come go to Europe and travel by train. No set plans. They were on their second two month rail pass when we met them and had no set plans as to when to return home other than when it 'got cold'.

They did a dry run on Amtrak to LA to try this out. The big revelation for them was that they had far too much stuff for the type of travel that they envisioned. So they switched to carry on and it was apparently working well for them.
__________________

brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Securing the house for extended trips - recommendations/tips? pullin Travel Information 89 11-06-2017 11:45 AM
TIP ETF vs Vanguard TIP Fund 2B FIRE and Money 1 07-15-2008 10:32 AM
Accomodation in North East Florida Anyone? ShokWaveRider Life after FIRE 12 05-31-2005 02:57 PM
Extended Furnished Accomodation in Florida? ShokWaveRider Life after FIRE 9 10-26-2004 05:07 AM
Accomodation Costs Ian Soler FIRE and Money 6 06-27-2003 10:42 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:59 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.