Headed to Europe? Lodging for Less.

Despite the rising fuel prices and decreasing value of the US dollar, it is still entirely possible to take a European vacation — you just need to know where and how to skimp.

My boyfriend and I are going to Paris and Amsterdam in the fall. Instead of staying in a hotel, we decided to rent an apartment during our stay in the Netherlands. Not only does this option allow us to integrate with the city’s culture and experience life as a resident, it also affords us the luxury of staying in the city center without fleecing our pockets. The rental process is easy: you book your flat, pay a retainer fee, and then pick up your key upon arrival. If there are special instructions, such as specified arrival times or preferred methods of payment, the rental company alerts you upfront.

We found our apartment through StayAmsterdam.com — which also rents apartments in other European cities like Paris, Dublin, Marbella, etc. For our stay in Paris, we used Paris35.com. This Web site features, hotels, hostels, and holiday rentals starting at 35 Euros/person. Most of the rentals are centrally located, and each description includes a map of the lodging location in relation to popular Parisian destinations.

In the months ahead, I predict that many travelers will turn to apartment rentals as an affordable lodging solution and a way to keep traveling during the looming recession.

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