FINALLY! After a few months searching, researching, clicking around, asking for references, etc, I booked our apartment in Paris!
It has been a crazy few weeks at work – I just helped send out a proposal for a job that, if we win it, would net our company and our subconsultants nearly $6million in engineering fees. We won’t know if we get it for another month or so, but it was a major effort and I’m glad it is behind us!
Late nights at work, fitting in trips to the gym or studying whenever I have some free time, and trying to keep a modicum of time set aside for my husband – all of this leaves very little time for planning my travels. So today, when I had a few spare minutes around lunch time, I decided to take one more crack at booking in Paris via Airbnb before we resorted to a hotel.
Since I talk about booking with my “gut” and my “brain”, I’ll explain how that panned out for this segment of our trip. Previously, I wrote about booking with Airbnb in Venice, and with Airbnb in Krakow, both of which were fairly easy.
I spent a few minutes using my “gut” to find photos of a few places where I would be comfortable staying, and then a little while using my brain to narrow it down based on location, price, and other factors (reputation being a key one).
But for Paris, my normal process broke down a little. I did spend some time using my gut reaction to photos to gauge whether I’d be comfortable staying in someone’s apartment, but when I tried to use my brain to narrow it down to a few locations, none of the logistics worked out. After messaging several people, I was not having any luck in finding someone whose apartment was actually available.
Cue a delay of 2-3 months. After taking a break from looking at the site, I started to consider hotels in the area. But everywhere I looked was easily $150 USD per night. If we wanted to stay in the thick of things, rather than at the outskirts of town, we were looking at $200 USD or more.
So after hemming and hawing, I used my “brain” decided to approach Airbnb from another angle. Instead of looking at it as a very inexpensive alternative to hotels (we originally looked at places at around $80 USD per night), I realized we were going to have to spend a little bit more to get what we wanted. I upped the price range to include places between $100-140 per night, to see what my options were. I found a wider selection in this range, and because of the price increase, they all passed the “gut check”.
So I switched back to using my “brain” and found one apartment in a perfect location. Down the street from the American Univerisity of Paris, a few minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d’Orsay and the Rodin Museum (my mom’s top choice), it would be a perfect “home base” to explore Paris.
Fingers crossed that one host would finally respond in the positive, I sent one last message via Airbnb. I was so excited when I received a response only 30 minutes later!
So I booked it immediately ($400 for three nights including Airbnb’s service fee), and now we’ll be staying in a great little apartment within walking distance of nearly everything we’ll want to visit in Paris!
Here’s a quick overview of what we’ve done, and what we have left to do in terms of planning for our Mother/Daughter Europe Trip. Other than booking train tickets between cities, the only major piece of planning left to do is to find a place to stay in Cologne at the very end of the trip.
- US to Europe
– Trans-Atlantic flight to Germany booked
– Train to Amsterdam (TBD)
– Hotel in Amsterdam booked
– Train to Brussels (TBD)
– Train to Paris (TBD)
– Apartment in Paris booked
– Flight to Venice booked
– Inn in Venice booked
– Flight to Warsaw booked
– Apartment in Warsaw booked
– Train to Krakow (TBD)
– Apartment in Krakow booked
– Train to Wroclaw (TBD)
– Apartment in Wroclaw booked
– Flight to Dortmund booked
– Train to Cologne (TBD)
– Hotel in Cologne (TBD)
– Train to Dusseldorf (TBD)
– Flight to US booked