“She hates travelling and will make a mess.”
“What if he runs away?”
Video, pictures and words from The Planet D, exclusively for Trip+ as part of our #housetripping series.
Travelling with a group of people can be a lot of fun. You can enjoy the experience together, see the sights together and go out on the town with your best mates. If you share costs like food, transportation and accommodation, you will also save money. Renting an apartment with HouseTrip is the best way to do that. Imagine renting a large multi bedroom apartment in the coolest neighbourhood in town with your closest friends. At the end of each day you can kick back in the living room with a glass of wine and then retire to your own private space for a good night’s sleep.
Berlin is one of the hippest and most vibrant cities on the planet, and if there is one place I’d like to hang out with my friends while traveling, this town would be it.
But travelling with friends can also be difficult. Travel can sometimes make or break a friendship. So if you do decide to head out and see the world with your closest buddies, there are a few things that you should take into consideration.
1. Make sure to choose an apartment to suit the size of your group. Having your own space is important so decide on how many bedrooms you will need. Privacy is important. If you want to get away from everyone to have a nap, relax or simply read a book, you will want your own space. Sharing a room could save you extra money but it won’t save your sanity. When you choose an apartment, you have the option of privacy.
2. Clean up after yourself. You may be a slob at home, but when you’re traveling with a group of people, keep it clean. Don’t leave a mess in the bathroom. There is a toilet brush there for a reason. And in the kitchen be courteous and put your dishes away when you’re done eating. Most HouseTrip apartments have dishwashers so you won’t have to work too hard after cooking a meal anyway.
3. Split the cost. It can be a fun day to go to the local market to buy groceries for the week ahead. Everyone can pitch in and buy their favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You don’t have to eat in every night, but making the choice to eat in at your apartment a couple of times during your trip will save you tons of cash.
When you do cook your meals, have everyone pitch in. It shouldn’t just be one person slaving behind the stove. Designate someone to chop, set the table, cook and clean up. Bring some local beer and wine home with you and you’ll have fun in the process.
4. Budget. Make sure you are traveling with someone on a similar budget. Do you want luxury or are you seeking a more budget friendly option? HouseTrip has apartments for all budgets, so discuss how much you want to spend on accommodation, sightseeing and food from the start. If you are constantly worrying about money or constantly the one picking up the tab, that will put a lot of tension into the vacation and the friendship. Discuss the budget before you book your trip. That way you can choose your apartment appropriately and not have to worry about what the other person is thinking.
5. Communicate. You’ll be spending a lot of time together so make sure you communicate how you like to travel. If you like to explore on your own, but your friend likes company, you may not be the best-suited travel companions for each other. Before you go talk about what you expect. What sights do you have your heart set on seeing and how much do you want to party or stay in? Make sure you choose people who have a similar travel style and communicate just how much or how little time you want to spend together on the road. Communication and proper space will make for a great vacation.
Spices from Egypt, fresh Italian seafood, a German hog roast. What are some of your favourite local food finds? What about asking a famous food blogger? Surely she’ll know of a few to help you make the most of your holiday eating.
Do you like the idea of quizzing a foodie and getting some tips? What about learning how to make the most of the kitchen in your holiday rental?
Renowned food blogger Niamh Shields of eatlikeagirl joins us this Friday the 16th of August at 1pm (UK time) for an exclusive Google+ Hangout, where we’ll be asking her your questions live and on air.
We will be chatting with Niamh about all things food and travel related, including delicious recipe tips, her favourite fresh produce and cities with amazing food markets.
The Hangout will be streamed live via our HouseTrip YouTube channel. To join in, follow our Google+ page and confirm your attendance to the event. We will update the event page 15 minutes before we go live (at 12:45pm UK time) with the unique URL for you to follow so that you can watch the Hangout live.
Do you have any questions for Niamh?
Tweet your questions to @housetrip with the hashtag #foodietravels
Post your questions in the comments below this blog post’s entry
Ask your questions in the comment box for the event
Ask your questions in the comments below!
Featured image by The Travelling Bum.
You may have already seen one or two or three of the excellent travel videos Dave & Deb, video bloggers of theplanetD, have made for HouseTrip. They do something for a living that many people crave; travelling the world, making movies, learning and then teaching about a place we’d like to discover.
So if you’re looking for a drastic career change, or just want to learn a few tips to shoot your own amazing travel videos, join Dave & Deb this afternoon for a Google+ Hangout hosted by HouseTrip.
It’ll be fun. Even if you don’t have a webcam, type your questions into the chatbox and we can ask Dave & Deb for you.
So log on for 20 or 30 minutes, ask them any questions you have and get inspired with a few ideas to make your next holiday movie even better.
We start at 3pm (GMT).
We’ll email you later when the Hangout starts. We look forward to seeing you there!
Your HouseTrip Team
Booking a holiday rental is the perfect way to experience a destination like a local. You get to stay in a local home, instead of in an often impersonal hotel room, and benefit from all the amenities of a home such as a kitchen and laundry. In addition, you have the opportunity to quiz the host for his/her ideas on things to do and see as well as gain local insights to make your holiday enjoyable and safe.
Issues, however, may arise when choosing and booking a holiday rental such as language difficulties when dealing with the host, false claims on descriptions and even the exceedingly rare last-minute cancellation. Doing a bit more research and understanding HouseTrip’s policies can go a long way in mitigating these risks. Here are a few tips to help you avoid some of these potential pitfalls:
Choosing and booking a holiday rental
When you’re in the accommodation selection phase, in addition to looking at the location and condition of the apartment, it also helps to check out any information about the host. The host normally has a profile on HouseTrip. This includes information about how long this host has been active on HouseTrip, how many properties the host has listed on HouseTrip, how many guests have been hosted in the past and how long it usually takes for the host to respond to requests. Check the reviews. Does the host respond to guest reviews (both good and bad)? I tend to choose hosts who provide more information about themselves (including a profile photo), who respond quickly to inquiries and who interact with guests through the reviews, even if it’s a simple ‘thank you’.
Before you make the booking, read the booking terms carefully to check the cancellation policy of each host. HouseTrip offers hosts four different cancellation policy options. Note that HouseTrip retains the booking fees in all cancellation cases. If a host cancels the booking, notify HouseTrip immediately so they can find an alternative solution – in such cases, the host will be penalised by HouseTrip.
Part of the booking process involves an email exchange with the host. This is the case when an ‘Availability Enquiry’ is required, and after the booking is made, and the guest and the host need to communicate to coordinate the check-in time. Should you encounter language problems, ask HouseTrip for help – they offer support in six languages – or alternatively, use Google Translate to read and respond to emails from hosts.
Once you’ve made a booking, it’s important to follow HouseTrip’s secure payment process. If a host emails you directly with payment instructions, contact HouseTrip as this could be a sign of a scam. When the booking is confirmed and the payment is made, HouseTrip retains your payment until two days after your arrival day. This is to ensure that your money is safe until you, the guest, are absolutely satisfied with the accommodation.
Before you leave on your holiday, email the host to find out about the best way to get to the accommodation and agree a time to meet. I always print out a map as well as the booking receipt and make notes of the address and the host’s phone number. If the host isn’t there upon your arrival, give the host a call – he/she may be delayed. If, upon arrival, you find that the accommodation differs significantly from the description or if there are any other issues, contact HouseTrip within 24 hours via email or one of their emergency phone numbers so that appropriate action can be taken.
In brief, do a bit more research on the host, be vigilant during the booking/payment process and ensure you print out the necessary information before you leave home. I hope these tips help you have a wonderful holiday rental experience.
While in Avignon I stayed in these amazing homes.