Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Summer Wanderlust

Up and coming: my first unencumbered summer (of my life?). I'm having the revolutionary thought that I could travel with my husband and kid for like 2 months. The affordability issue is another story, but these trips always start with the small seed of a big dream. Two cities as bases, say, for three weeks to one month a piece. Paris and Rome? Or Rome and then Paris? Or somewhere along the coast? We're open. Cities with day trips within easy reach and a glut of apartments for rent. I've never been on a cruise, and am loathe at the idea, but Jim is on the verge of convincing me that if I wanted to, say, see the Greek Islands for a week we could arrange that once we hit one of those big cities.

When Jim and I went to Asia pre-parenthood, we made arrangements to get to Thailand once we were already in Hong Kong. The result of doing that was a 5 star hotel in Bangkok that we never could have afforded. We're generally the "walk down the street till you find the clean $30 pensione" type of travelers, but after a long trip to Hong Kong it was amazing to kick back at the Royal Riverside Marriott after getting lost in Bangkok for like 15 hours. Plus, we didn't have a little guy at our heels, and the mama in me would feel better to have housing sewn up.
My problem so far is that airfare is insane. I'm a researcher by trade, but at my first cursory searches the cheapest I'm seeing is $1,200 per person, just to get to Rome and back. This is before a nickel is spent on trains, lodging, and food. Food isn't generally a big expense because we're happy filling up in the markets, especially if there's a kitchen to go home to.

So, dear friends, if you have friends who are looking to rent out a place in Paris or Rome for a time this summer, let me know. I'm even open to an East Village swap. We live in a two bedroom apartment on East 4th Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue, which was voted "Best Block in NYC" by the Village Voice this year (ours is the building with the food co-op downstairs mentioned in the article). Any ideas?


  1. Do your airfare searches on Tuesday mornings for the best fares. I like for transatlantic flights or airlingus. Register with airlingus and they'll notify you when they're having a sale. I don't know if they still do it, but, airlingus used to offer these green saver fares from Ireland to a bunch of different European destinations for like $99. Ryanair and easy jet both offer cheap inter-Euro flights. Using a combination of these tips, I scored our tickets from JFK to London and then London to Pisa for a total of $4000. for all 5 of us!! I may have some extra room in our villa - how about some Tuscany?

  2. Thank you so much for the tips! Which week will you be in Tuscany, and where in Tuscany will you be? I want to see this villa! xo


    We have plenty of room available. It may be just what you need. Dates 6/26-7/3.

  4. Rachel, especially after reading through the last few entries I am so, SO happy for you in holding your breath and pressing "buy" on those tickets. The kind of experience you're signing up for is the kind of experience that makes life what it is, you know?

    I found my Prague apartment on Craigslist--I got some e-mails that seemed sketchy when I put an ad out, but I quickly was able to weed out the ones that sounded legit. And that was for renting; my guess is that you're more likely to find earnest travelers if you're looking at apartment swapping.