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
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
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.
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.
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:
Would you open your home to someone you’ve only met on the internet who was traveling through your area and looking for a place to stay?
Martina Steinmann would, and so would 7 million other people (including myself) who are part of the global phenomenon that is Couchsurfing.
CouchSurfing, which is the term used for opening up your couch for travelers who are passing through and giving them a place to stay…for free.
After reading that sentence, you’ve already whether CouchSurfing is either the craziest idea you’ve ever heard or the most awesome.
Think it’s the most ludicrous?
Good. Apprehension and nervousness are natural. Let us convince you otherwise by discussing why CouchSurfing is much safer than you think (I’ve surfed and hosted, and I’m still alive) and why over 7 million people have joined.
Think it’s the most awesome?
Martina will tell you how to get started, what to include in your profile, and how to make the most of the amazing opportunities Couchsurfing provides travelers and hosts.
Martina will also tell you the 3 most interesting Couchsurfing stories she’s ever heard (and there are a lot) and why being lost in 3 languages is the best travel experience she’s ever had.
No matter what side you fall on, you’ve got to have a listen to this incredible interview.
Barclays is at it again, giving us yet another awesome travel credit card and continuing to challenge the big boys of Chase, American Express, and Citi.
This time, it’s a near perfect card for people who travel domestically.
Introducing the Barclays Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.
The Details for the Barclays Frontier Airlines Card
Here are the details of the current offer (bolding mine):
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
Earn up to 10,000 bonus miles on balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) in the first 90 days
Earn DOUBLE miles on purchases at FlyFrontier.com and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
No blackout dates! Book any roundtrip award flight on Frontier starting at 20,000 miles (subject to fees/taxes from $5)
Cardmember Exclusive! Redeem roundtrip companion award tickets for 5,000 less miles (from 15,000 miles plus taxes/fees from $5)
0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, a variable APR, currently 15.99% or 24.99% based on your creditworthiness
$69 Annual Fee
Click here to apply —> Barclays Frontier World Mastercard®
Why I Love the Barclays Frontier Airlines Card
Reason #1: 40,000 mile sign up bonus
40,000 miles is a good sign up bonus nowadays, especially considering the Frontier airlines award chart.
The 40k sign up bonus can get you 2 free roundtrip tickets anywhere in the US, including Alaska!
Check it out:
Or, since they allow one way tickets, you could use it for 4 free one-way tickets.
It can also get you 1 free roundtrip ticket to either Mexico, Costa Rica, or Jamaica and you’d have miles to spare!
Most airlines charge 25k miles roundtrip for a domestic ticket, so the fact that Frontier only charges 20k is huge.
This is a great sign up bonus for domestic travelers.
Reason #2: The Low Minimum Spend
In order to get the sign up bonus, you’ll only need to spend $500 on the card in the first 90 days.
Most other cards require much larger minimum spends, such as $3,000 or $5,000 in the first 90 days.
The $500 minimum spend means that this is a card that ANYONE can meet the minimum spend on.
Reason #3: Frontier Airlines Flies From Lots of Smaller Airports
For people who don’t live near large hub airports, this is a MASSIVE benefit.
Here is a map with all the places that Frontier flies to:
This is especially good for people out in the west and midwest, as Frontier flies to places like Jackson Hole, tons of places in Kansas and Nebraska, and even 5 different airports in North Dakota (wow!)
It’s even really great for people who do live near major airport.
For example, I live about 45 minutes from Philadelphia International (PHL).
Frontier flies out of PHL, but also flies out of 3 other airports in the area, including Wilmington (ILG), Trenton (TTN), and Harrisburg (MDT).
Not only does this give me a ton of options, but flying out of a smaller airport is also oftentimes a better experience.
It’s usually easier to get to, not as hectic to go through security, and parking is cheaper or even free!
Reason #4: Companion Tickets are 5k Less
With the Barclays Frontier Airlines card, you’ll receive a companion ticket. Here’s how the Frontier Companion Ticket works.
If you purchase a ticket with cash on Frontier, a companion can fly using miles for 5k less than the normal price.
This means that instead of paying 20k for a domestic roundtrip ticket, you’d only pay 15k.
And it can be used on one-way tickets as well!
Since a one-way domestic ticket is only 10k, you’ll actually only pay 5k miles + $5 using the Companion Ticket.
That’s a sweet deal!
Just remember, you can only use the Companion ticket if you PURCHASE your ticket with cash.
So if you have two people traveling and find a cheap ticket on Frontier, consider purchasing it the first one and having the companion fly on miles for cheap!
Reason #5: Cheap Changes on Award Tickets
One way most airlines really gouge you is when you have to make changes to an award ticket after you’ve booked it.
Luckily, Frontier isn’t like most other airlines.
Any change you want to make to the itinerary of an award ticket that is more than 8 days before you leave is free.
Also, if you want to cancel the ticket and have your miles redeposited in to your account, it’s only $75 (most airlines charge you $150).
Click here to apply —> Barclays Frontier World Mastercard®
Downsides of the Barclays Frontier Airlines Card
Overall, I think this is phenomenal card for anyone who is traveling domestically and really is a must-have.
However, there are two downsides.
$69 Annual Fee
The $69 annual fee is NOT waived the first year. I consider it a very small price to pay.
In essence, you’re paying $69 for two roundtrip tickets, which is a great deal.
Still, it’s something to be aware of.
Frontier Charges for Checked Bags
If you do use miles, Frontier charges $25 to check the first bag, and $30 for a second checked bag.
Of course, carry-ons are free, and I always recommend traveling with just a carry-on anyway, so this isn’t a big deal to me.
But if you’re someone who does check baggage, just make sure you are aware of the fees (which are actually less than most airlines).
Final Word on the Barclays Frontier Airlines Card
All in all, I believe the Barclays Frontier Airlines card is one of the best card right now for domestic travel and I HIGHLY recommend it.
The sign up bonus of 2 free roundtrip ticket, even to Alaska, is awesome.
The minimum spend is super low.
You can fly one-way if you want.
And as an added bonus, you can also fly in to and out of some really cool, easy small airports that aren’t serviced by most other airlines.
Add it all up, and you’ve got another great travel credit card from Barclays!
Now that the sign up bonus is 40k, are you going to apply?
If so, what cool city that Frontier flies to do you have your eye on?
If you do apply for the Barclays Frontier card using my links, I’ll receive a commission. Your support allows me to continue to run this site full time and as always, is truly appreciated!