Travelling around Europe: Accommodation on a budget

Travelling around Europe as a group, we worked out that we could actually stand to spend an extortionate amount of money on accommodation by the end of our three week trip. We’re all reasonably well-off young professionals – actually, well, ‘comfortable’ is probably a better word to describe us, and a friend of mine used a company called City Base Apartments for a weekend trip to Copenhagen a few months before we went on our trip, and said there were actually loads of apartments to choose from, so decided to look into it.

We didn’t want to spend all our money on where we were merely going to be putting our heads down – obviously, we wanted to stay somewhere clean, comfortable and convenient, but we wanted to go for a ‘no frills’ option, and this seemed to be a good bet. We decided to stay in serviced apartments in the big cities and fill in any gaps with good youth hostels.

We were excited about the prospect of having our own apartment because we knew we’d all be able to stay together, in the privacy and convenience of our own self-catered apartment, and we’d save loads of money on accommodation and had the option to cook meals at home if we couldn’t afford/didn’t want to eat out three times a day. Kind of like a youth hostel, only swankier.

So: the six of us opted to try and find ourselves some decent-looking, modestly-priced serviced apartments. How did we do?

In Paris, we stayed right across from the Champs Elysées. It. Was. Amazing. This apartment we’d just walked into was like absolutely nothing we’d imagined from something that was supposed to be saving us money – we were actually bowled over by how lovely our very first apartment was, especially seeing as though it was costing us a fraction of the price that the same standard of hotel in Paris would cost.

We were pretty much right across from The Grand Palais, Arc de Triomphe and the River Seine, which meant that we got to see everything on our list. We even managed to get a good bit of impromptu drinking and dancing in, too.

The rest of our European trip continued much in the same vein as our Paris jaunt. We did ourselves very proud: we somehow chose excellent places to stay everywhere we went, with the majority of our nights being spent in serviced apartments which, I really have to stress, saved us a lot of money over the course of three weeks.

Travelling around in a group of six and booking into these serviced, self-catered apartments also meant that we paid probably half of what we would’ve if we’d have booked into hotels, which meant that we could spend more on tours, sight-seeing and general merriment.

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