f Le Buddies Europe Journey Part II - {Accommodation in 8 cities} Average of S$60 per pax per night.


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Le Buddies Europe Journey Part II - {Accommodation in 8 cities} Average of S$60 per pax per night.

January 27, 2015 / ,

Finally found some time to update this space.
I have been looking forward to share this post with y'all!
In this entry, I will be sharing all the details of my accommodation.
Out of my 1.5 months of stay, 
I travelled for 19 days (18 nights) to 8 cities.
The total cost of my accommodation was: S$2,163 (for 2 pax),
which equates to an average of S$60 per pax per night!
I felt that was really reasonable for the comfort and convenience that I had.

This was my route:
Rome -- Florence -- Venice -- Milan -- Montreux -- Zurich -- Paris -- London

For this Europe tour, I booked all my accommodation via Airbnb.
I insisted on home-stays for this entire trip, 
and was so glad that le buddy agreed with me unanimously.

Why home-stays?
Truth be told, cost-cutting was my first consideration.
I would prefer to spend more on the food than to pay the extra (& sometimes ridiculous) sum 
for hotel stays!
Staying in hotels in Europe can be really expensive.
Home-stays are usually cheaper, and if you find the right ones,
it will definitely not lose out in terms of comfort, convenience, cosiness and cleanliness.

Next, for my previous trips to Korea & Taiwan,
I began my home-stay experiences with the locals,
& I truly enjoyed those experiences alot.
The interactions which I had with the hosts 
allowed me to know more insights about the countries, 
from the locals' perspectives.
While I love sight-seeing and taking pretty pictures like a typical tourist,
I love exploring new cultures and the different ways of living even more,
and I cherish the opportunities I get to know the locals.
These home-stays allowed me to observe their lifestyles,
learn more about the neighbourhood,
know their favourite eateries and hideouts in the area,
and even try local delights cooked specially by the hosts.
Not all hosts do that of course;
but some of them will go the extra mile and make you feel extremely welcomed
by sharing alot of information with you.
These are valuable experiences which I can never retrieve from the internet.
One of the best ways to make friends from all over the world,
is through home-stays.

Alrighty, lemme share with y'all more about my 'homes' for this trip:

1. Rome
Cost: S$273 for 3 nights

My host, Andrea, provided us with the airport transfer service at 35 euros,
which was definitely cheaper than cabbing down to the location on our own.
He also gave us the map and guidelines on how to get to his place,
in case we preferred to take the public transports.
After dropping our luggages, he also gave us a lift to the street nearby,
and recommended his favourite restaurant and gelato eatery.
This place is a mere 3minutes walk from the metro station,
and less than 15minutes train ride away from the Ancient Rome. :)

2. Florence
Cost: S$281 for 3 nights

Besides having a real spacious living room, this location was simply perfect.
7 minutes walk from the railway station,
5 minutes walk away from the Duomo,
and 3 minutes walk away from the shopping area and main streets.
The hosts were friendly, and I particularly remembered the night 
when I saw the couple decorating a christmas tree together,
with christmas songs playing in the background.
It was such a lovely sight!!

3. Venice
Cost: S$243 for 2 nights

Located away from the tourist area, yet near to the railway station.
Our priority when looking for our accommodation in Venice 
was to find one near to the railway station,
because I had a huge luggage with me.
We had to find a place that is of a walkable distance,
because we did not want to pay for the boat rides.
Save cost yo!
It is located right opposite a famous local eatery (Da Lele), 
which sells yummy €1 mini sandwiches & cheap wines. 

4. Milan
Cost: S$105 for 1 night

This studio apartment surprisingly turned out to be our second favourite stay for this trip!
I loved the modern yet simple design.
I loved the fact the despite being relatively small in size,
it has EVERYTHING that we needed.
I loved how it was kept extremely clean.
I loved how it is 5 minutes walk away from the metro station,
and 10 minutes walk away from the centrale railway station.
I loved how the host, Pablo, was extremely helpful and responsive over the message system.
We encountered something unfortunate during our transit from Venice to Milan,
and Pablo was extremely understanding and helpful.

5. Montreux, Switzerland
Cost: S$422 for 3 nights

Undoubtedly, this was our favourite stay for this trip!
The view from this place was unbelievably stunning.
Not only did I get to enjoy my breakfast (my host, Nathalie, prepared them for us!)
with an amazing view of Lake Geneva,
I also enjoyed a breathtaking night view on my way up the hill,
when returning 'home' from the station.
Our room was incredibly cosy, and it has everything.
Stable WIFI connection, coffee machine, wine opener, light snacks,
and even movie dvds!
If you visit this place at the right season (when it is not cloudy),
you can even enjoy an awesome sunset view from the living room,
and also see a sky filled with stars, since it's located up the hill.
Last but not least, the hosts were very warm and welcoming!
Nathalie and Gilles invited us to join them for a wine session,
where we chatted and shared a lot about our countries and our own travel experiences.
It was such a valuable exchange!

6. Zurich, Switzerland
Cost: S$436 for 3 nights

The views from the balconies were amazing.
The location is superb, with the tram stop right across the road.
This accommodation is extremely well-liked by many people!
The toilet's door was filled with writings from people all over the world,
who have stayed here before. Hahahah.
So each time I use the toilet, I get to read the things written on the door.
We had a good time playing with Mica, the affectionate and lovely dog too :)

7. Paris
Cost: S$225 for 3 nights

It was really difficult to find a place that is within my budget for Paris,
so I was glad to find this apartment.
Olivier was extremely hospitable and friendly,
and he was thoughtful to arrange to meet us at the metro station to bring us to the place.
It was easy to get to the metro station, which was just 5 minutes walk away.

8. London
Cost: S$178 for 1 night

I was so glad to be able to find an accomodation, which is located right in the heart of SOHO,
for just S$178 for a night.
The location was ideal.
It is near to Chinatown 
(where you can find the famous Four Seasons duck and BUBBLETEA!),
the musical theatres and several pubs,
it is also just 3 minutes walk away from 'Burger & Lobster'
(we had to wait for 1.5 hours to get our table, 
but we could head back to our place to rest first!)
Henry was very flexible and actually offered us the other bigger room,
when we paid for the smaller room,
because both rooms were available.
Very nice of him!

Now that I have shared about all my accommodation,
let me share with you more about Airbnb :)

Why Airbnb?
Since I already made up my mind to go for home-stays,
of course I had to choose a reliable and trusty site!
My encounters with Airbnb had been nothing but pleasant and smooth all these while,
so Airbnb was undoubtedly my first option.

The procedure was simple:

1. I created an account with Airbnb 
(Psst.. & you can actually get S$33 off your first booking now, via this link!)

2. I started searching for accommodation in the different cities

3. My target was to find accommodation priced at less than S$150 per night,
so I adjusted the price range to narrow down the options I had,
which made the decision process quicker.

4. Browsed through the options and read the reviews!
This is REALLY important.
From the reviews, I found out whether the place looks just like what I see in the photos.
(pictures can be deceiving, we all know this)
I also found out more information about the neighbourhood as well.
Most importantly, these reviews can only be done when the transactions truly happened.

5. I saved the ones I liked to my wish list,
before I decided on the final choice.
I took my time to slowly browse through the options for different cities,
before booking them all at once.
All my considerations were saved here, so it helped a lot,
because I didn't have to search for the links all over again.

Psst.. I love browsing through the pretty designs,
and have saved some of them to my private wish list. heheheh.
Inspirations for my future home next time,
and also possible options for my future travel trips!

6. I messaged some of the hosts by clicking on 'Contact Host', 
to find out more information first
before I proceeded with the booking.

7. Clicked on 'Request to book', and waited for message confirmation from hosts.

7. Once the hosts accepted my reservation,
I recevied a customer receipt in my email,
which looked like this:

In case you are worried that the hosts will 'disappear' after 'receiving' your money, 
fret not!

8. I continued communicating with the hosts via the message system,
to find out the most convenient transport method to get to their place, etc.
I also browsed through the neighbourhood guides.
This function was AWESOME!
I found out a lot more information from the locals' perspectives,
which definitely beats some of the typical touristy information which I found from internet.


I hope this post has helped you in way or another for your next travel trip.
I have also shared about my experiences on my Instagram
with the hashtag #shineairbnbjourney

If you are considering using Airbnb for the first time,
I strongly encourage you to go ahead with it!!
(& remember to book via this link to get the discount for your first booking!)
I'll need more time before I can blog more about this trip,
(the places we visited, the food, etc)
because I've been busy with filming these days..
Will try my best to update as soon as possible! 
Meanwhile, if you have any further enquiries, you can leave a comment below,
or drop me an email at shanshine@shinekoh.com, 
and I'll try my best to answer your doubts :)

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