This is the first of hopefully many Trip Reports, some written by myself and some by featured guest trip reporters. If you would like to be considered as a guest trip reporter on the First2Board.com website please contact me at mrpickles@TheMrPickles.com
Guest trip reports will be a unique feature of the new TheMrPickles blog page on First2Board.com. I hope you enjoy them.
Part 1. Introduction - About Me – Susan DeBruhl @miffSC on Twitter
Part 3. Where to Stay in Paris
Part 7. Off to Versailles
Where to Stay in Paris
Although I work diligently on collecting miles and points because I am retired and often a solo traveler, hotel points are hard to come by. I have what I consider to be comfortable balances with Priority Club, Starwood, Club Carlson and Hyatt with a few Hilton and Marriott points on the side. I really like to save these for use when I am traveling with my dear husband.
When he can see the fruits of my miles and points obsession, it makes it a little easier to justify some of the admittedly crazy things I do. I did, however, check to see what cash and points options were available at Starwood and Intercontinental properties. I was not pleased so I turned my search elsewhere.
I checked the Bed and Breakfast offerings but could not find anything that appealed to me in the 12th Arrondissement. I then turned to airbnb . I had successfully booked with airbnb on a recent trip to Ireland and had been completely satisfied with the way that worked out. airbnb was founded in 2008 with offices based in San Francisco. It offers Hosts a way to earn from renting out anything from a couch to unused guest room to an entire apartment or house. Guests have the opportunity to search a database offering thousands of unique properties at just about any price level. Since its inception airbnb has grown to contain listings in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries. There is also an airbnb app for both iPhone and Android that helps to make staying in touch with your host incredibly easy.
The search function of the airbnb site is incredibly easy to use. After entering ‘Paris’ I was also given the option to choose which area and as my friend lives in the 12th Arrondissement, I chose that. I learned from my last hosts, that often properties with the most reviews tend to be higher up in the listings. The reviews are a good way to check and see how much the host will interact (or not) with you during your stay. I ended up choosing a 32 m² studio situated on Boulevard Diderot in the 12th arrondissement. As it turns out, it is right around the corner from my friend and only a 6 minute walk to the metro Gare de Lyon, on lines 1 and 14 and on lines A and D of the RER trains. It was also 5 minutes walk to the metro Reuilly-Diderot, on line 1 and 8. The cost per night was only USD$87. Payment is processed through the Airbnb booking system, either using a credit/debit card or via Paypal. Airbnb also has an entire safety FAQ for users. You can find it here: Safety FAQ’s.
The apartment turned out to be, indeed, a small studio which transported me right back to my college days. It consisted of one room with a little kitchenette, living area, and a sleeping alcove separated from the main room with a cabinet and a curtain. The separate bathroom was actually larger than I expected and had both shower and a bathtub. The owner met me there on arrival and helped me with my bags up a quaint windy wooden staircase to the second floor (third floor by US standards). After explaining the essentials – television, washing machine, microwave and internet – he gave me the key and I was on my own!
The location was perfect for my needs. It was a mere two block walk to the Reuilly–Diderot Metro stop and right around the corner from a lovely patisserie where I would get my morning pastry and espresso. (Boulangerie La Tradition, 2, rue Crozatier 75012 Paris)
*Disclosure: Clicking on the airbnb logo may result in the earning of a nominal affiliate referral fee for this blog owner.
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