House Trip: Our Family Traveling Alternative

by farrah on January 29, 2014 · 13 comments

This isn’t a sponsored post. I just really dig the whole House Trip concept and if you don’t know about it, I’m telling you now!

I remember the first time we tried to go somewhere and book a hotel for the five of us. It didn’t even dawn on me that technically, you can’t have that many people in a room. Well, as infants it was no big deal- but as time went on we noticed that unless you book a ‘family suite’ or some kind of two room combination, you’re stuck if you have more than two kids. And that is going to be $$$$$.

House Trip Rome aptOur House Trip apartment in Rome

Along the way, we’ve been lucky- the hostels we stayed at have the family room option, but for the most part we have avoided hotels because we just don’t find them as accommodating. Sure there will be the occasionally perfect set up like we found in Ghent at Hotel Onderbergen, but that’s far and few between. The solution for us- is to now look at booking an apartment instead. I feel silly and tardy to the party on this one, but we just discovered House Trip and were absolutely thrilled with our first experience.

What is House Trip?

Essentially, it’s a website with apartments, homes and rooms to book all over the world. You go to the website- type in the location you’re looking at staying, and up pop the options in that area with rooms to rent. You can narrow down by size, location, price and type very easily. I have heard many of my travel blogger friends mention House Trip before, but honestly never even looked into it. The apartment we booked was not a lived-in unit, it was strictly rented out, but I assume some are actual residences too.

While searching the site for a place in Rome we checked out reviews. You can see how many guests have been hosted before, and what they thought of the unit. Each guest is able to leave feedback and give ratings (just like with Trip Advisor). With the glowing reviews our hostess in Rome was getting- we took a chance and booked with her and her family-friendly apartment.

How do you book?

First, you send the host an inquiry with the dates you need and the number of people in your party. We wanted her to know we had little kids, and if it was child-friendly enough for us. Turns out, she has three small kids the same ages as ours and had it stocked with toys and whatever we might need for them. After some back and forth conversations- we went ahead and booked through the site and made arrangements to meet her upon our arrival.

Chiara, our hostess at our Rome apartment was awesome. She arranged a car service to pick us up and drop us back off at the airport. She has a portable wifi device that you can take with you while out in the city. There are grocery stores and even the perfect family Italian restaurant steps from her door. She was quick to respond to any questions and eager to offer advice. She explained that she typically rented out her apartment to families- and has done so for about ten years. We were supplied with all linens & towels as well as even some groceries. Is every host as fantastic as Chiara? I doubt it- but in a perfect world, they’d all be just like her.

Doing it again

We had such a great experience, we just booked with another House Trip apartment in Prague while my mother in law is here. We wanted something close to the historic center areas, and that could sleep all of us comfortably. My hope is that this one also goes well since we’re even thinking about booking with them again in May when we take my dad to Normandy. Six people? No problem! I love that.

I highly encourage you to check out the options of House Trip the next time you’re looking to go somewhere. Absolutely hotels are lovely, but sometimes just not practical when traveling with your family. I like them so much I even added a handy-dandy little House Trip affiliate button over there on my right sidebar (hint, hint). But seriously- I wouldn’t write this for nothing if I didn’t believe in it and that it was a great option for families.

Have you ever used House Trip or one of the other websites like them? What was your experience and where did you stay? 

Note: If you’re interested in staying in the same apartment we stayed at in Rome, don’t delay! She says she books up early especially during the high season. Also- tell her I sent you!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leighann January 29, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I’ve never heard of this but it sounds amazing. Something worth looking into!
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2 farrah January 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm

It is! And I’m secretly happy that I get to tell you about it first :)

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3 Julia January 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

This sounds awesome! I’m going to check out the website, even though we don’t have any upcoming travel plans.
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4 farrah January 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Julia, maybe this will lead you somewhere fantastic- they have rentals everywhere!

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5 designhermomma January 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

this is amazing info! And having 4 kids, I’ll for sure be using houseTrip!
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6 farrah January 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm

You’ll find hotels in Europe are usually smaller and a little more strict than the ones in the US too- so this is going to be an excellent alternative for you :)

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7 Amy January 30, 2014 at 5:27 am

The first time we traveled with our first child we rented a house in San Diego using VRBO. She was a nightmare sleeper and was awake half the night, every night, so we were so grateful for the space. We have used it many times since then. The only reliable thing about traveling with my kids is that they never sleep. :)
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8 farrah January 30, 2014 at 6:57 am

The idea of them not sleeping in hotels terrified me. The noise, OUR noise, etc. I actually have a horror story to top all hotel stories to share some day. I love hotels. When I am alone!

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9 Mrs. Chasing the Donkey January 30, 2014 at 8:07 am

Oh this is great to know, we use Apartments-Only which is the same kind of thing, so it’s always handy to know another option. ANNNNND yay for more travelling!
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10 farrah March 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

YES.

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11 Katie January 30, 2014 at 8:19 am

Hi Farrah! I’m a friend of Erica’s and enjoy looking at your blog from time to time. Anywho, have you heard of Airbnb? It is very similar to House Trip – we’ve used it to rent entire apartments as well as a single room in a home- in multiple locations in Germany and Spain (plus an upcoming trip to Stockholm) and have had great luck with it so far!

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12 farrah March 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

Hi Katie!
Sorry for the late reply, just seeing this :)

I have not used Airbnb as of yet. I know that they’re popular with many other travel bloggers I read- so I might just have to give it a shot. Thanks for giving me the tip!

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