Advantages Cheap, comfortable accomodation
Disadvantages Dealing with private owners that may be unreliable
This web site (there is very possibly more like it) is my new way of hunting for holiday accommodation. It is international accommodation to suit almost any budget (apart from dorm room budgets) but at the moment Europe seems to be where most of the accommodation is advertised.The basic idea
The actual website
It's easy to use, free and has several features I appreciated and you only need to register once you've found something you're interested in and want to contact the owner.
To start with when you begin your search of a country it tells you how many places are available in that country so you know straight from the outset whether you are wasting your time or not.
Secondly once you have a list of accommodation in the area you are looking for each accommodation advert has photos, an availability chart, reviews from previous tenants and a link to a map so you can see where in town the apartment/house is located. This is really important if you have limited transport and intend to do a bit of sightseeing.
Thirdly once you choose to try and book an apartment the owners contact details are displayed along with any other notes the owner might want potential visitors to know. As well as this it tells you what languages the owner speaks which as handy if (like me) all you've got is English.
Going on the 3 apartments we rented out of the 12 or so places of accommodation we stayed in, this is really worth a look. Our experience showed us that the owners were polite, honest and actually really eager to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Because this is private rentals you can negotiate price or airport/train station transfers and as long as it is not high season the owners are more than willing to consider offers. The longer you plan on staying in a place the more leverage you have for negotiating.
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