My Gut and My Brain: Booking with Airbnb in Paris

FINALLY! After a few months searching, researching, clicking around, asking for references, etc, I booked our apartment in Paris!

English: Eiffel Tower as seen from rue de Mont...

English: Eiffel Tower as seen from rue de Monttessuy in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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”.

paris

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.

Structural detail of the Eiffel Tower

Structural detail of the Eiffel Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Categories: Krakow, Lodgings, Paris, Planning, Venice

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. Sounds like a great trip! Paris is wonderful, but I agree, it’s hard to find aresonably inexpensive and nice place to stay. Enjoy your trip.

    • Thanks for stopping by! It definitely is the most expensive spot on our trip, but since we’re doing a “teaser tour” of Europe and trying to see key cities in a short amount of time, we figured it was worth it. I’ve so far counted 3 patisseries and a few cafes within a few blocks of the apartment, so I’m already excited!

  2. I’m getting excited on your behalf! It looks a fabulous itinerary, and I can’t wait to experience it at second hand. 😉

  3. Do you ever use Couchsurfing or BeWelcome? I had a wonderful (and inexpensive) week in Paris using that method.

    • I haven’t yet used those sites, but I plan to in the future. I wanted something a little more structured than couch surfing since I will be traveling with my mom. If (when?) I go back to Paris, I will probably try other sites like couchsurfing.

  4. So cool to do this as a mother/daughter-thing! I was in Paris about two months ago, and it is just such an enjoyable city. I also think it’s nice how you visit some of the less hotspot-status cities, which are just as beautiful as Paris or Amsterdam. Have fun!

  5. We used AirBnB for Amsterdam. Everything was pretty much booked for some kind of festival. But, we did find a lovely little house for rent. Very nice and close to everything, while still quiet. =)

  6. Sounds like a lovely itinerary! Glad to hear it’s all coming together. 🙂

  7. I leave for Paris in 6 days. When do you get to leave for your trip?

    • We leave for our trip to Europe in just under a month, at the end of June. We’ll be in Paris over the first weekend of July, which is great because the museums are free!

      I hope you post some more tips beyond the great ideas already on your blog – I’m hoping to find some cute cafes near the main attractions, but perhaps a few blocks off the beaten path.

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