Over the years I’ve researched and booked many Paris apartments for my clients, so I know a thing or two about the process. I’ve also written about how renting an apartment isn’t for everyone.
For those who are new to the process and are considering renting and booking an apartment on your own, there’s a helpful new e-book resource you should have.
It’s called The Paris Vacation Apartment Guide: Rent with Confidence – Learn Where to Stay Without Getting Overwhelmed, Ripped-off or Scammed! and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy for review.
The book is available as a download to an e-reader and is divided into the following sections:
Part Un – Answers the who, what, why, where and ifs of Paris apartment hunting
Part Deux – Detailed look at the arrondissements (neighborhoods) of Paris
Part Trois – Resources for rental agencies
Part Quatre (A little of this, a little of that) – General tips and warnings on everything from riding the bus and Metro to popular scams
I read the book from cover to cover and I’m sharing my thoughts on the book.
What I liked:
- Practical Advice
I’m all about the practical advice – and Robyn’s book gives heaps of it. I especially like that she’s clearly explained the differences between apartments in the U.S. vs. France in terms of everything from space, set-up, how building floors are numbered, appliances, what’s included and helpful tips.
Her suggestions for first time visitors to consider being closer to the city center rather than staying further away just to save money is spot on. She points out the trade-off between saving a few pennies, but spending more time on public transportation to get back and forth to the sights visitors come to see. Time is money after all.
- The resources listed
She includes a Monoprix and a food market for every Paris neighborhood. Foodies and those who need to shop for last-minute items will really love this information!
The book also lists and details reputable rental companies to work with, most of which manage small pools of apartments, which saves first timers much of the legwork. I’m familiar with most of the rental agencies and companies recommended and I’ve worked with several of them.
They aren’t the only game in town, and I’ve had lots of success working with others, but they are definitely a great, safe place to start.
What would make it even better:
- More detailed maps
I would love more detail on the arrondissement maps. The current links bring up a general Google Map with a pin showing the location of each arrondissement. It would be nice if her recommended rental streets within each area were highlighted, as well as the Monoprix, food market and Metro stations.
This would make it so much easier for the person doing apartment research to quickly and clearly see where an apartment is in relation to the great resources she mentions.
Along the same lines, street names mentioned in the text of the arrondissement section could be bolded too. For now, I’d suggest highlighting them on your eReader to make it easy to locate and refer back to later.
- Cost analysis from both ends of the spectrum
For those who have no idea of rental costs, examples from both ends of the spectrum would be useful, because as she points out – there can be a huge difference in the price. A spacious professionally decorated apartment in the tony Saint-Germain vs. a privately owned tiny budget studio in the Marais listed on VRBO might be a great study.
- Pairing down of the arrondissement section
The guide has a very comprehensive section covering all twenty arrondissements. While I totally agree with the advice that you can choose to stay in any one of them and have a good experience, there may be a bit too much detail, especially if the goal isn’t to overwhelm.
Perhaps a more succinct way would be to list a travel style or personality and suggest a few appropriate areas. For example – if you want views of the Eiffel Tower and don’t mind paying top dollar – stay in x arrondissement. If you want a hip vibe and exciting night life consider y and z neighborhood. You get the idea.
That said, if you are really interested in an in-depth description of all twenty neighborhoods, you’re going to get it here.
So, if you’ve always dreamed of finding an apartment for your Paris vacation, and you have the time and patience to do the research and book on your own, this guide is definitely worth the download – especially since it’s a bargain at $2.99.
I was given a complimentary download of this e-book for review purposes. As always, the opinions are my own.