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A Home Away from Home:
Self-Catering in Europe
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Europe apartment rentals, Venice, Italy, self-catering LEFT: One of three bedrooms in our Venice flat, with a window overlooking the courtyard.

Where to find your abode abroad

There are several ways to locate European apartment and house rentals:

  • Rental agencies. These vary from the upscale firms listed in the back of U.S. travel and lifestyle magazines to local agencies overseas. Most of the international agencies have Web sites, and so do many local agencies. This makes it easy to compare prices and properties. See the Web links on page 6 for agencies that handle European rentals.

  • Local tourist offices. In some countries (Switzerland is a prime example), even the smallest resorts have tourist offices that publish lists of hotels, apartments, chalets, and other accommodations in print and on the Web. If you already have a specific destination in mind and want to minimize your costs, try the local tourist office's Web site before checking the international rental agencies. (One caveat: Many landlords won't know English, so communications can be a challenge if you aren't familiar with the local language.)

  • Package deals. Ferry lines, railroads, airlines, and travel agencies may offer packages that combine transportation with a week in a cottage, apartment, or holiday center. (In past years, my family and I had good luck with Danish vacation apartments and cottages arranged through the Harwich, UK office of DFDS Seaways.)

Pay attention to the details

Continued on page 5

Self-catering holiday and vacation rentals in Europe:
Introduction Finding holiday rentals
Cost savings What's included in the rate?
Other benefits Rental agencies in Europe