When my friend Marina and I were looking for places to stay in New Orleans last year, we looked at a few hostels and some CouchSurfing hosts before deciding that an apartment rental would be best for us. We ended up staying in a shotgun in Marigny with a girl our age, who let us use her kitchen and gave us a key to come and go as we pleased. She told us about bars and restaurants to try and we were within walking distance from Frenchman Street, an up and coming area with jazz clubs.
Why Apartment Rentals?
Renting a house or apartment in your destination allows you greater flexibility and a more local experience. You can choose to stay in a room of someone’s house or rent the entire space. While hotels and hostels have their own benefits, apartment rentals are a unique experience and may be better suited for larger groups and those on a budget. If you’re interested in a particular neighborhood, you’re more likely to find an apartment for rent than a hotel in some areas. Properties will let you know what is included, such as breakfast, toiletries, linens and other amenities.
Is It Safe?
I’ve found that apartment rentals can be just as safe as staying in any other form of accommodation. While there are some negative things that occasionally happen, you should research your host and contact them before showing up at their house. Make sure that the door to your bedroom has a lock. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, leave immediately.
Where Do I Start?
Every apartment listing site has different properties on offer and some specialize in certain areas.
- AirBnB has many properties in New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, Nashville and other major cities.
- HomeAway and Vacation Rentals By Owner, owned by the same company, specialize in beach properties throughout the south.
- Flipkey operates mostly in coastal areas of Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina but also has properties in Alabama, Arkansas, Washington DC, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.
- Roomorama also can be found mostly in bigger cities throughout the South.
- HouseTrip is mostly based in Europe, but has a few luxury properties in North America, specifically Miami, Orlando and Washington DC.