Please sign in to post.

30-day home rental availability in Europe or the UK

I was wondering if it was possible to rent a home for a month in Europe or the UK. I wonder if that is a less expensive way of seeing Europe for 30 days?

Posted by
10349 posts

If you are staying in one place and doing only day trips, it is less expensive. Otherwise, you would be paying for two lodgings any time you are away overnight.

Posted by
6652 posts

Last time I checked, the UK was still part of Europe. Despite the efforts of many british politicians.

However, that is certainly an option if you are looking at doing day trips. But it also means you are limited to a certain area before the day trips gets too long. And less expensive than what? It might save you a bit on accomodation, but your transportation costs will be higher.

Posted by
27409 posts

A month-long rental is likely to be less expensive than three ten-day rentals or six five-day rentals in the same city. But that's not a realistic comparison, because who would book a bunch of sequential, short stays in the same city? I'm pretty sure a month in Paris would not be cheaper than 6 days in Paris, 5 days in Strasbourg, 3 days in Nancy, 3 days in Bayeux, etc.

A month in a less expensive city could mean lower lodging costs than traveling around, but it's really important to think about what you want to see and do during your trip and educate yourself about travel time from any potential base city to other places you want to go. The smaller, cheaper towns may be quite attractive, but they are unlikely to have enough sights to keep you occupied for a month, and they may not have the fast rail service you'd need to cover ground quickly. Some of the folks who do what you're considering, intend to do some part-time work while in Europe, so they aren't expecting to fill thirty full days with sightseeing activities and may be pleased to be in a nice but quieter city.

If you have some thoughts about where you might like to be--even just at the level of which country--folks who've had long stays or are contemplating them can give you some useful suggestions. The size of city (in terms of population) you might be interested in is also a key factor. Without that information, you're likely to get suggestions ranging from villages to London/Paris/Rome.

Posted by
15672 posts

It is a less expensive way for housing. However, it also limits how much you can see. It may look small on a map but it's not.

Posted by
7906 posts

Problem with this plan is you will waste more time backtracking to you one rental. Also, you will spend much more on transportation.

Further, you limit the places that you will be able to see.

We have used a place as a base, but only for a few days. I suggest no more than one week.

Posted by
1806 posts

I think it all depends on what you want to see and where you want to visit. You have to plan that first and then possibly look for a central location. Remember, day trips are round trips and double your travel expense, so why you might save some money on a monthly rental, you will spend it on travel. If you were to do daily day trips for a month, I would scope out a Eurail pass for ease of travel and perhaps some savings. Again, it depends. A lot of day trips can be a grind.

I really encourage you to plan what and where first before worrying about lodging.

Posted by
7070 posts

Weekly rentals already give good discounts vs. daily. In fact, many vacation homes and apartments in Europe only accept weekly rentals. For those, especially in high season, the savings of monthly vs. weekly rentals are likely to be marginal. I'd rather build my trip around, say, 4x 1 week stays or 2x1 week and 1x2 weeks.

Posted by
783 posts

I like to have a full week in major cities like London, Paris, and Rome, and shorter stays in smaller cities/towns, and villages, based on what I want to see. Even if you plan to stay in one country, if you want to see a lot of variety you will want to move around.

Posted by
18755 posts

I sort of like the idea. I know nice AirBnbs that go for under $1000 a month. But you have to book somewhat early.

Then you leave the heavy stuff behind and do lighter luggage for 1 to 3 night stays elsewhere. Train or discount airline flights start as low as $35). Sure, the 3 nights away means $90 of unused accommodation but it's a small cost for the convenience and you have a "home" to come back to. Just a different way to see the world that works well for some. And your experience of living in a city will be fuller than that of visiting a city.

Just pick a well connected location. I do this to some degree almost every trip.

Posted by
11484 posts

We love long stays and while we have only done an entire month in two places so far, I would entertain it in a vast city like Paris or London (did two weeks in the latter once and LOVED it). It allows you to soak up the vibe, find your special places, and truly feel just a little local in a way that a 3 or 5 night stay will not allow.

Where are you thinking of doing this? Is it to go in-depth somewhere? A month in Rome with local side trips to the countryside could be grand, ditto Florence, and I would love a month in Venice although I have been there many times. We do a month in the Lauterbrunnen Valley every autumn now and it is a special escape for us.

Posted by
884 posts

citizenkane512,
If you decide on a long stay in France, whether in multiple one-week stays, or one month, I would look at gites-de-france for accomodations. We have used it for one night stays to 10 day stays and find them to have really nice places to choose from. Some are whole houses, some are b and b type places. Our next stay is at a gorgeous four bedroom, four bath house in the Dordogne, with a pool, for 7 people for 10 days, at about $3000.00 total. $300.00 per night for seven people is a bargain. The problems I read about with Air BandB and VRBO don't seem to come up at gites-de-france. Plus, the place is more deluxe than we would find in a hotel for that price.
Just a thought. You might check it out.
Bonne chance and bon voyage!

Posted by
884 posts

Mister E,
Friends here in the states have had trouble getting responses from air B and B when there were problems (bathroom leaks, unworking stoves, basically properties not as represented). Service or refunds were difficult to get. And this is not a one-off. I would guess about half of those I know who have used Air B and B have experienced such problems. Most have sworn off it. VRBO hasn't been as bad for friends who have used them. As far as Europe goes, I refer to those on the forum who have mentioned that the properties weren't available when they reserved for them. In my Southern California beach city, in the more desirable neighborhoods for rental, alas, a good number of absentee owners have been irresponsible about one or two night rentals becoming party venues, with dozens of people spilling out into neighbors' yards, loud music at 4 a.m., and cars racing up and down the street, police having to show up and drug arrests being made. It seems like Air B and B has morphed from people sharing their spare rooms into party rentals from those turning residential neighborhoods into commercial party venues. They are avoiding paying the business taxes that legitimate hotels and inns do, and are often bad neighbors. Of course this doesn't mean all Air B and B owners behave this way, but enough do to besmirch the name of what started out as a need being fulfilled, both for travelers and homeowners.
I have only had good experiences with Gites de France, so always recommend it. I cannot speak to other European countries, but at some point in the future I would like to stay at a parador in Spain or an agriturismo in Italy. (I have stayed in a convent in Rome...watch out for the early curfew!)

Posted by
18755 posts

Judy, its a holiday and part of making it enjoyable is making decisions that aleviate stress and concern and if Gites de France does that for you, then its the best decision.

You got me curious, so I went to the site and put in some random dates in October for Nice. The very first that popped up was the Dum House & Spa (looks lovely by the way). Then I googled AirBnb "Dum House & Spa" and it popped up on AirBnb as well. So, if one were to rent this lovely place .... its an AirBnb or its a Gite de France.

Most surprising, was that the Gites de France cost was about 1300 euro while the AirBnb price was about $2100. The Gites de France website wanted 1000 euro deposit. AirBnb none. Not sure of the Gites de France cancelation rules because all that was written in a foreign language. But they were selling cancelation insurance for another 100 euro, but again, I couldn't read the rules because they were in a foreign language too (both times pdf files, so not as simple as Google Translate of the webpage). If the cancelation policy is okay then the Gites de France would be the place to rent for this one, hands down.

As far as the complaints with "AirBnb's", like the example above, most (or at least many) units are listed on more than one platform. So AirBnb does not attract inheriently bad units, or the same would have to be said about all the platforms. Why do you read so many stories about AirBnb? I suspect some of it is the same as calling tissue paper Klenex and soda water Coke; and a lot of it has to do with sheer quantity. In 2021 there were 1 BILLION rentals. If there were 100 Million horror stories thats 0.01% or is it 0.001% Anyway, its nothing except click bait.

Personally, I have only paid to stay in I think 5 in my life. Maybe a total of 15 nights. They were what was advertised which wasnt always saying a lot but they served their purpose. Given a choice I will choose a hotel unless someone offers me a free short-term rental. I like the service of a hotel and I like the absense of personal contact with the owner.

But, for the OP where they want to settle in for a month, nothing else makes good financial sense. Check the reviews, shop the units you like on multiple platforms and pick the best price and cancelation policy.

Posted by
941 posts

Mister E, please see a topic that I started in 2019. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tourist-scams/what-homeaway-vrbo-doesn-t-tell-you-about-not-refunding-your-money.
I do like to rent apartments and continue to do so with both VRBO (which used to be HOMEAWAY) and with Airbnb. I will never put down a huge sum for a downpayment, however, having learned my lesson. I always have trip insurance now which I didn't in 2019 (my mistake which I'll never make again.)

I also still stay in hotels. While there certainly can be issues with Airbnb and VRBO, hotels can have issues, as well, such as advertised air conditioning which never works or did and then didn't with a promise to have it fixed two days after I've checked out. Noisy parties/wedding receptions that management does nothing about since @30 rooms were booked for it and we're just one room.

I'll have to look at the gites site. Thanks for doing that research--helps to cross check.

Posted by
18755 posts

Lindy, we went off on a tangent in part because in my first post I said stay in an AirBnb, that was my error; should have staid a short term rental. I have no stake in AirBnb and the few times I have stayed in a short term rental I think I used Hotels.com for at least half of them. My bad. Like I said, check all the platforms and look at the price and the policies; then choose what works best for you.

But that flat in Nice is a good example.
Booking through AirBnb Rental Dates 16 - 21 October
Price details $425.23 x 5 nights = $2,126.17
Cleaning fee = $161.89
Airbnb service fee = $323.03
Taxes = $28.93
Total (USD) = $2,640.02

Cancellation policy
Cancel by October 15 at 5:00 PM and you'll get a Full refund: Get back 100% of what you paid..
Cancel by October 16 at 5:00 PM and you'll get a Partial refund: Get back every night but the first one. No refund of the first night or the service fee..

AirBnb wants you to pay half in advance, while the French site wants $1000.00 The french site sounds like a better deal, but I still could not do it because the policy for cancleation is a foreign language pdf file.

Oh, that place is on VRBO too.

Posted by
11484 posts

Citizenkane512 we have not heard back from you. Is any of this discussion helpful?