Now that we just passed our one year travel anniversary, we’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on our experiences over the past year. All kinds of crazy, fun, hilarious, aggravating, soul-crushing, and awesome things have happened to us. What’s our secret to keeping sane through all of these ups and downs? I’d like to believe it has to do with one simple thing, something that you probably wouldn’t expect: our preferred accommodation style.
Renting apartments has helped keep us sane over the past year.
Our First Apartment Rental
The first stop on our trip was Paris where we rented a cute apartment just minutes from The Louvre. Hostels in Paris are notoriously expensive, and our apartment rental ended up costing about the same as two dorm beds. As an added bonus, we had much more space, a kitchen, and privacy. Our hostess was an artist and we got to watch her paint during the day and drink wine with her at night while talking about traveling the world. Is there any better way to start off a year of travel?
The interesting thing we discovered about Paris is that the apartment scene is exploding. Paris Attitude has over 5,000 in the city alone and that is just on one site! Now consider that for comparably priced hotels you would be well outside the center of town, and we ended up next to the biggest metro stop just a few minutes away from the Louvre by foot for the same price!
Not Cut Out For Dorm Life Anymore
As we traveled throughout Europe and occasionally stayed in hostels, we would always ask ourselves why we put ourselves through such torture. Someone is always playing guitar at 3AM, your things are always jumbled up in your bag as you try to take up as little of the precious floor space as possible, and you inevitably have to deal with someone else’s hair clogging the shower drain or someone else’s dirty dishes filling the kitchen sink. As a married couple in our late twenties, we’ve come to realize this accommodation style really just doesn’t mesh with our priorities.
We’ve stayed in our share of hotels along the way, too. While hotels are usually a step up from the hostel atmosphere, they generally lack the comfort and homeliness of apartments. It’s hard for us to fully relax and unwind in the small space of a hotel room, and the space just never truly feels like ‘ours.’
Renting apartments has allowed us to have some peace and quiet, have our own space, cook our own meals in our own kitchen, kick back and relax, and do things that generally make us feel sort of like we live there. And we get all of this for a price that’s usually similar to two hostel dorm beds or a hotel room.
Staying in apartments has been a key to sanity on a long term trip such as ours. As we’ve had a rough time in Peru, we’re currently looking forward to renting an apartment in Ecuador for a week or two. Baking and TV watching, here we come as long as the essentials are stocked! Here’s to hoping that an apartment rental there will once again restore our sanity.