FINDING EXTENDED STAY TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS
Boutique BnB in Hills Above Marbella, Spain
More and more travelers are exploring Extended Stay Travel. As the name suggests, Long Stay Travel involves traveling to and then staying in one location for an extended period of time rather than “touring” and traveling around, nomad-like, from place to place to place. If you are curious, a recent article, EXTENDED STAY TRAVEL? What & Why, published by Travel And Photo Today, reviews the features and advantages of Extended Stay Travel. Check it out.
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HOW TO FIND EXTENDED STAY TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS
For those considering Extended Stay Travel, be aware that finding the right location and the best extended stay travel accommodations can be a bit of a challenge. There are, of course, no hard and fast rules. And much depends on the individual interests, abilities and resources of the traveler. But with a bit of research and planning it’s possible to find Extended Stay Travel destinations and lodgings which are just right for you. How? Here are several issues, ideas, and suggestions to consider and help you in your planning. Research – Pre-trip research is a key to any successful independent travel experience. This is especially true for Extended Stay Travel. “Be Prepared” may be an old Boy Scout motto – but it certainly applies to travel! Research is a key ingredient in all of the areas and suggestions listed below. Fortunately, today it is easy to gather a wealth of information prior to making specific travel plans. In addition to travel guides ( I recommend Rick Steves’ books for Europe and Lonely Planet for just about anywhere.) you can obviously also get lots of great info from the internet. A Google Search is a great way to start. Trip Advisor is another internet site which can be a good research tool. Their reader reviews of locations and accommodations can be especially helpful. You can also connect with people and places via Facebook and the various destination / location / or travel-related Interest Groups on Facebook such as The Travel News Network which is sponsored and managed by the good folks here at Travel And Photo Today!
Favorite Europe With Rick Guides
Asia With Lonely Planet Guides
Select Your Destination – Obviously, if you are planning to be in one destination for an extended stay it should be a place that you really enjoy. Many extended stay travelers have visited an area previously and have discovered that they really enjoy the area. They have some experience and insights as well as a sense of what it would be like to enjoy an extended stay. If this is to be your first visit to a location then research becomes even more important. Destination considerations fall into two categories for Extended Stay Travel – 1) General Destination Considerations and 2) Specific Accommodation Location Considerations. (Google Maps can be a great tool to gather destination information – pick an area, zoom in, and see what is there – restaurants, stores, sites, etc.)
Quaint Hill Town Of Central Italy
1) General Destination Considerations:
- Access To Transportation – How easy is it to get to your long term stay destination? Is there a major airport nearby, train station, bus station? This is a consideration not only for your primary arrival and departure planning but also for transportation on shorter, day trip adventures.
- Weather – Check out the weather history and expectations for your journey. It will help you know what to pack. Weather considerations also impact financial considerations and other factors. Better weather means it’s the “high season” when costs are higher and also more people will be crowed into tourist sites, restaurants, etc. cost issues (high season vs low season), etc.
- Local Features And Points Of Interest – What are the interesting sites, activities, events, and features available at the destination and how do these fit with your interests and lifestyle? Are you looking for action and nightlife at the beach or in the city or are you seeking a bit of quiet in a country hill town?
- Proximity To Other Nearby Points Of Interest – An extended stay location can be a great “home base” for other travel. What happens if you “want to get away” just a bit from your extended stay location? Are there interesting day trip locations you can explore.
2) Specific Accommodation Location Considerations:
- Proximity to areas, sites, activities of interest – How close do you want to be to your areas of interest? Most often – the closer the better. If your plan is to spend lots of time on the beach, then it might be better to select accommodations near the beach rather than 30 minutes inland for example.
- Availability Of Nearby Local Transportation – How are you going to get around during your stay? It’s an important factor to consider when selecting your Extended Stay Travel Accommodations. It’s much more convenient to have your own car or scooter (or rental). But depending on your destination, having and driving your own vehicle can get expensive and complicated. If you will rely more on public transportation then check to get info on the location bus stops and / or subway stations. Are taxi’s available? What about Uber or Grab or other ride sharing services? And of course – what is within walking distance of your location?
- Availability of Nearby Resources – Remember, you will be staying in the area for an extended period of time. How will you handle daily life experiences and needs? Where are the grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, laundry services, etc.?What about nearby parks or recreational facilities? Where will you spend your time and hang out when you are not at your “Extended Stay Home?”
Quiet Paris Neighborhood
Select Your Accommodations – Once you have selected your general destination and have established the location or area in which you want to locate it’s time to start searching for your own specific extended stay travel accommodations. Time for – you guessed it – more research! There are lots of ways to approach this and each has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Some might work for you and others – not so much.
- Ask Your Friends – Who knows? You might find that a friend has actually stayed in the area you plan to travel and may have some first-hand suggestions. Or – they might have other friends who have done so. Reach out and network!
- Use Internet Travel Sites – Again, Trip Advisor can be a good resource. Of course they would also like to sell you their accommodations so “reader beware.” The traveler reviews can be a source of information – both in discovering new accommodation possibilities or in doing your “due diligence” follow up to get additional information on a location you discovered from another source.
- Reach Out Via Social Media – Connect with other contacts you have on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Ask for their experiences and recommendations. Check out travel related groups on Facebook – there are oh so many. Some are general travel groups like The Travel News Network mentioned above. There are also many destination specific groups – focusing on a specific country (e.g. Thailand Travel Group ) or specific city ( e.g. London Tips And Tricks ). Again – ask for ideas and recommendations. Some people may have already done an extended stay in the location you want to visit. Others may actually live where you plan to visit. There’s nothing like local knowledge to help make planning more effective and realistic.
- Check Out International Booking Sites – Many sites on the internet offer hotel type booking services for short term stays but may also offer extended stay options. Several examples include: Booking.Com, Trivago and Agoda. Other sites specialize in more “non-hotel” types of lodging such as condos, apartments, rooms, and bed & breakfasts: Airbnb, VRBO, and Rent By Owner. By The Way! Airbnb is a great booking sight for many types of travel adventures. I’ve booked with them on travels through Europe and Cuba. Want A Free Coupon For $40 with Airbnb? Just Visit their sight and use my $40 Free Coupon Referral – Click Here!
- Contact Local Rental Companies – A Google Search should give you a variety of property management / rental companies that are local to your destination. Very possibly they will have more listings than the big international vacation travel booking companies.
- Visit First – To one degree or another all of the above listed options involve making a selection for your extended stay lodging without any first hand, personal knowlege – without having actually seen the accommodations and the neighborhood. While that might be reasonable for a short term vacation rental, it becomes less so for an extended stay rental. For this reason the Visit First plan is, in most cases, the best option. Roy Stevenson, a much traveled and well published travel author, suggested this approach to me when I consulted with him about my extended stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Even though Roy was knowledgeable and had himself visited Chiang Mai for long term stays, he suggested I initially book a hotel for my first several days in my preferred area in Chiang Mai. I took his advice and am very glad I did. This approach allowed me to experience the area and to take a bit of time to explore and search out an extended stay residence that worked for me. I was able to personally look at several places and get a much better sense of what was available, what comparable costs were, what the neighborhood offered, etc. before making a long term commitment. It was a good plan for me – (Thank You Roy!). It very possibly could be a good plan for you as well.
With a bit of research and planning it’s easy to enjoy the advantages of Extended Stay Travel. Try it – I think you’ll like it!
Try Extended Stay Travel …….And Enjoy The Adventure!
© 2018, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.