30
Jan

GoWithOh: My Secret Weapon For Finding Awesome Accommodations In Europe

Posted By Trav
Go-with-oh-florence

Our GoWithOh apartment in Florence, which was located right in the heart of the city.

[My accommodations in Venice, Florence, and Rome were complimentary courtesy of GoWithOh but the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.  I’d recommend GoWithOh to anyone, even my own mother (in fact, I have)!]

When I travel, I’m a snob.

Not a “I want to have only the  most expensive rooms and meals” type snob.

But a “I want to have as authentic and unique an experience as possible” type snob.

I want my trip to be different.

To have special touches.

To have magic.

And while traveling has a way of doing that on it’s own, I also think that the type of places you decide to stay can play a big part in what type of experience you have.

Which is why I usually eschew chain hotels for something more local.

Something with more personality.

Something that can give me a sneak peak in to the culture of an area, and provide me with a unique and interesting experience.

And one of the best ways to do that is renting apartments for a short period of time, a trend that is taking off in recent years.

Here are a few of my favorite benefits of staying in apartments.

The Benefits of Staying in an Apartment

go-with-oh-florence-bedroom

The bedroom of our GoWithOh apartment in Florence.

Apartments provide many conveniences hotels don’t

Almost all apartments will come with a fully equipped kitchen, a huge plus, especially if you’re staying in a place for a few days.

Also, it may have a washer and dryer, which means you can easily do laundry if need be.

Apartments are bigger than hotel rooms

One of my favorite things about staying in apartments is having some room to stretch out.  I hate walking in to a hotel and having my bag and all my stuff right next to me.

In an apartment, you don’t feel like you’re right on top of everything.

Apartments can be found in unique areas of a city

Most of the bigger hotels are found clustered in one spot of a city, usually the most touristed area.

Oftentimes, you can find apartments there if you’d like, but you can also find apartments in some quieter, more local, and more authentic spots of a city.

Apartment owners are a great resource for local tips

I always pick the brain of the apartment owner when we first arrive, asking them their favorite restaurants and activities.

It’s like having a built in local guide, and it’s helped us enjoy some really amazing places we would never find in a mass produced guidebook.

You can’t beat the human element, which is what traveling is all about.

Every apartment has it’s own quirks

What may be a turn off to some is a huge plus for me.  You can never quite be sure what an apartment will be like until you get there, which is part of the fun.

In almost every instance, we’ve been pleasantly surprised, and the quirkiness of a place has helped make the experience more memorable.

Apartments come in all shapes and sizes

Renting an apartment really can be for anyone.  Couples can easily find studios and 1 bedrooms to fit their needs.

For bigger groups, like families, apartments are an excellent choice because they allow you to all be together under one roof and are typically much cheaper than getting a couple of hotel rooms.

Sold on renting an apartment for your next trip?

Great, here is my favorite resource for renting apartments in Europe!

GoWithOh- Where I “Go” For Apartments in Europe

go-with-oh-rome

Our GoWithOh apartment in Rome, which was right next to the Roman Forum.

During our trip to Italy, Heather and I stayed at apartments in Venice, Florence, and Rome that we had found through GoWithOh.

GoWithOh is a European accommodation site that has over 2,800 apartments in 17 of the major cities across Europe, including London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, and Barcelona, among others.

It was our first time using GoWithOh and we couldn’t have had a better experience.

Here are a few of the things I particularly enjoy about GoWithOh.

The Array of Choices

As mentioned, GoWithOh has over 2,800 apartments, which means there is something for everyone.

If you want a smaller, more affordable apartment for 2 people, they’ve got that.

If you’re looking for an apartment that can fit a whole family, they’ve got that.

Or if you want a super-chic upscale place to really spoil yourself, they’ve got that as well.

The Attention to Customer Service

What really sets GoWithOh apart is that they take special care in making sure everything goes so smoothly.

While you interact directly with the apartment owner to get the keys and check-in, there are also GoWithOh staff members (who speak a total of 13 languages) constantly ready to help.

They aren’t simply a site that has you book a place through them and then puts you out on your own.

They’ll be there every step of the way, if need be.

A High Standard of Quality

GoWithOh doesn’t allow just anyone to list their apartment.

Instead, each apartment has to go through a vetting process and meet a certain standard before it can be listed.

After this, if an apartment doesn’t receive a high enough feedback rating from people who have stayed there, it will also be pulled.

This helps ensure that you’re always getting an apartment that meets a high standard of quality.

An Easy to Use Website

I love to do a ton of research before booking a place, and so using GoWithOh is like heaven.

You can set all types of filters, from number of bedrooms to price, to narrow down your search.

You can also search by map view, my favorite function, so you know exactly what area you’ll be in.

To top it off, each apartment has TONS of pictures as well as reviews of past guests.

Final Word(s)

Next time you’re traveling, I would highly recommend taking a look at renting an apartment if you’re staying in an area for a couple of days.

Apartments make very comfortable, easy, and enjoyable home bases for exploring cities and provide a unique travel experience that can’t be matched.

If you are traveling through Europe, I can’t speak highly enough about GoWithOh.

They’ve got an amazing variety of choices, and every single GoWithOh apartment I’ve stayed in, from a 2 bedroom in northwest Venice to a 1,000 year old apartment in the heart of Florence, has been phenomenal.

The personal attention and customer service they provide is incredible, and you’ll be in good hands should you choose to use them.

Have you ever stayed in an apartment before?  If so, where, and how was your experience?

To read more about traveling cheap in Italy, check out these posts:

48 comments

  1. Michael says:

    Right, a positive review after they paid for your nights…

    1. Trav says:

      @Michael- I only recommend things that I truly believe in and would recommend to my own family. GoWithOh is one of them, for sure. There have been plenty of opportunities I’ve had in the past to review products that have never made it on to this site because I didn’t feel they met a certain standard, hence, why you’ve never heard of them.

      With GoWithOh, I can honestly say it exceeded all my expectations.

    2. tycoondon says:

      What kind of snarky comment was this. Trav gave a myriad of reasons why he liked this site/service. They all seem valid to me. Additionally, he didn’t have to disclose that his nights were free. There are no blog police. If the internet was policed, match.com would have to shut down from all the photos that are 10 years old or were from that one summer the person lost some weight. The fact that he disclosed it at all was a sign of honesty. You can certainly assume he’s jaded and decided to not give them a try if you are ever in position to travel “over the pond.” But to come on here and post this was just the sign of someone starved for attention.

  2. benjamincahn says:

    can’t wait! doing the EWR > MXP trip in march. my buddy and i have ZERO desire to stay in milan, so we’re actually going to just fly out to Berlin for the majority of the week. $138 each R/T! after all is said and done, i’m doing: LAX > FLL (SW points), FLL > EWR (SW points + companion pass – – friend lives in florida), EWR > MXP, MXP > BER, BER > MXP, MXP > EWR, then EWR > FLL again with the SW points and companion pass, then we’re DRIVING X-COUNTRY back to LA, since he’s gonna be moving! all of those flights totaling $298!!!! THANK YOU TRAV. feels like kinda a waste using my SW points to do all that flying, when i’m not even gonna be staying in Florida or Jersey for more than a few hours, but whatever! it ultimately is taking me to Milan and Berlin.

    1. Trav says:

      @benjamincahn- Yeah, no reason, in my mind, to stay in Milan. We left right away to go to Venice, Florence, and Rome. If you do have a night or afternoon there, go see the duomo, but that’s about it.

      Seems like you’re making good use of your miles and the CP!

      1. Jennifer says:

        If you can score tickets to see the Last Supper, it’s totally worth it!

        1. Trav says:

          @Jennifer- Will do!

  3. jcpeden says:

    You prefer this site to AirBnB.com?

    1. Trav says:

      @jcpeden- I actually have used both, and have had good experiences with both. The only real downside to GoWithOh is that they are only in 17 cities in Europe, so you can’t use them for everywhere you travel. However, if Airbnb and GoWithOh are both in a place you are going to, I’d recommend looking at both and seeing what fits the best.

      The one big thing I did like about GoWithOh that is unique from AirBnB is that they provide much more communication and customer service. They aren’t just a place that lists apartments, but also takes the time to make sure you had an enjoyable stay and everything went smoothly. I find that very valuable.

  4. I love GoWithOh, they have fabulous apartments, as I stayed in one in Venice, Italy as well!

    1. Comp’d or did you pay for it yourself??

    2. Trav says:

      @PointsandTravel- I completely agree. Definitely a top notch travel company with great apartments. Where did you stay, what district?

  5. Trav, thanks for this tip. We’ve been thinking about our first European trip and have family in Brussels to use as a “base”. My partner really wants to visit Italy (specifically Rome/Vatican) so this will be really helpful. I’m like you…would much rather meet some locals and see local culture instead of just the touristed areas. Loved your post on tip about visiting Italy…this one will be helpful also.

    1. Trav says:

      @Steve Rice- No problem, you can definitely find some neat “local” areas in Rome, for sure. Let me know if I can help!

  6. Gary S says:

    Would you recommend this over hotels paid with points?

    1. Trav says:

      @Gary S- Depends what you are looking for. Obviously, if you have hotel points, your stay will be free, so if you are doing it as cheap as possible, free beats paying for something every time. However, I definitely think apartments give you a better feel for the local area and a more “homey” vibe.

      I will always take a free hotel room, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t stay at hotels much nor do I focus on accumulating hotel points, so I don’t typically have a ton of points for a bunch of free nights.

  7. jennifernice says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely check GoWithOh out before our Spain & Portugal trip in 2015. Are they expanding beyond 17 cities?

  8. Claire says:

    Hi Travis — I’m a new reader but have enjoyed your blog in the month I’ve been reading it. If I may make a suggestion, when you write posts like these it is helpful to the reader to have both the pros *and* the cons presented. It’s clear you like GoWithOh (an opinion which may or may not have been partly influenced by the fact they comped your stays) but even then surely there are also disadvantages (with most anything in life, there is good and bad). In fact I can think of a few potential disadvantages right now, but having never used the service myself I don’t know first-hand and would’ve appreciated them being addressed.

    1. Trav says:

      @Claire- I completely agree that both pros and cons should be mentioned if they both exist. You’ll notice on my Best Current Deals page, I try to make it explicitly clear what I like and dislike about each deal, even if it’s just something small.

      However, in my recent GoWithOh experience, I did not have a single complaint about any part of the entire process. From searching to a place, to booking, to checking in, to checking out, everything went off without a hitch.

      I will be posting individual reviews of each place that we stayed which will address any of the small complaints I had about specific apartments, as well as the positives of each. But as a process of booking and actually staying, I can’t think of a single con that came up when I used GoWithOh. This isn’t to say that one won’t come up in the future, or that everything will always be perfect, but for this 9 day period, it was.

  9. gary s says:

    option only when not getting a free hotel room with points right?

  10. JustSaying says:

    A good resource to have if there is no free points hotel or if the stay is for an extended period……..in Eze I hiked down the hill from the Chateau and the dry cleaning did my laundry for $20 so if I am in Eze my time is worth more than $20 for a couple of hours…….but for longer trips sounds like a great way to go……….

    1. Trav says:

      @JustSaying- Yeah, obviously a free hotel night is nice, but I’m not flush with free hotel nights, so if I am paying, I’d MUCH rather stay in an apartment, which I find to be a better experience and usually cheaper.

  11. Flyerdad says:

    We are going to Venice and Rome this summer-would you be able to tell me which apartments you rented in both cities?

    1. Trav says:

      @Flyerdad- I’ll be posting individual reviews of each place I stayed and including a link to that specific apartment. That way, you’ll be able to book the same one if you want.

  12. Too bad you ignore the FTC guidelines of disclosing the fact that you were comp’d at the top of the post rather than at the bottom.

    Even worse that you knew you were supposed to do it the other way and still didn’t bother.

    1. JustSaying says:

      great post peanut man……..tisk tisk………..as if all us bloggers think you are celibate…………more ammo in the bag………….

    2. Trav says:

      @Wandering Aramean- I appreciate you bringing the guidelines to my attention. I, in fact, did not know it needed to be disclosed at the top, since many people rarely follow that regulation. I’ve since moved it up there to be as transparent as possible.

  13. GowithOh says:

    We love that you had such a great trip to Italy and it’s magical cities!

  14. Really ow some accommodation rooms and hotels described and shared with us. Love to see these places and wishes to stay at least once there

    1. Trav says:

      @Rajesh Sharma- I’ll be posting individual reviews of each place so you can see what they all were like.

  15. This is a strategy that I’ve been using for a little while now and as you say it is awesome. If can’t find it on the web check local real estate agents that specialize in apartments.

    1. Trav says:

      @Vagabond Elmer- Great advice. Do you have any tips on finding local real estate agents that specialize in apartments if you are going to an area where you don’t speak the language?

  16. Great post Trav! I agree with all your Benefits of Staying in an Apartment! I’ll definitely have to give GoWithOh next time I’m in those European cities.

    I’ve had great experiences staying in private accommodations during my travels. I once rented a fully decked out modern rooftop penthouse in Ecuador for $1200 a month. I’ve often used the local sites that are similar to Craig’s list when staying, and have also heard good things about Vacation Rentals by Owner (vrbo.com).

    1. Trav says:

      @Christian Nommesen- Yeah, definitely check out GoWithOh. I had a great experience with them, and like you, I love renting apartments in general. Any local sites you recommend in particular?

      1. I guess it’s a little different everywhere. In New Zealand, I scored an excellent ocean view apartment from http://www.trademe.co.nz/. In Ecuador I used http://www.ecuador-travel.net/lodging.penthouse.htm (wow, my penthouse is only $985 a month now!), in South Africa I used http://www.gumtree.co.za/, and many other local sites. A good resource I use to find the best local site is the message boards on http://www.couchsurfing.org.

        1. Trav says:

          @Christian Nommesen- Awesome! Great tips. I’ll have to try a few of those when I’m in those areas. Totally agree that couchsurfing is an excellent resource to ask around. Have you listened to one of our latest podcasts with Martina from Couchsurfing? Spreading the CS love!

  17. Flyerdad says:

    EPOP: I really enjoy your blog, but this one did bother me. I wish you had disclosed upfront, because I also had an “oh, so that’s what’s going on” moment after I got to the end of your rave. Since you’ve used airbnb, it could easily have been a post about benefits of hotels v. apartments generally (which most travel bloggers completely ignore) and then talk about your specific experiences with gowithoh, airbnb, vrbo or whatever else you’ve used. But this was strictly a commercial for GWO after they gave you free product, and no mention of that until the end, and that’s where I think your credibility suffered. But I still love you, man.

    1. Trav says:

      @Flyerdad- Sorry you feel that way. I’ve moved the disclosure to the top of the page in order to be as transparent as possible. I’ve always been upfront and honest about if something is an affiliate or comped, and as I said, my opinions in the piece are 100% my own.

      I had an absolutely incredible experience with GoWithOh and thought others could benefit from knowing about it, since I didn’t know about it before a few weeks ago.

      And I completely agree that apartment rentals are definitely ignored by most bloggers. That’s one of the reasons I’m trying to get the word out about them!

  18. Flyerdad says:

    Thanks for the reply Trav–and I look forward to your reviews of the apartments!

  19. Bee Johnson says:

    I had. Difficulty with the site. I’m on an ipad but that shouldn’t have mattered. Tap on picture of apartments and nothing happens, see arrow for more pictures but nothing happens, flips back to home page and erases city in search. No time for this kind of website.

    1. Trav says:

      @Bee Johnson- I also noticed that GoWithOh’s site has been a little slow for me lately as well. Especially the pictures. I’ll make sure to let them know. That is a major drawback should it continue.

    2. GowithOh says:

      Thanks so much for letting us know Bee Johnson, I’ve reported the bug to the IT crowd to repair it asap.
      Thanks Trav!

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