I love travelling around Europe when I have the time in fact I do a LOT of travelling for both work and pleasure. However, a creeping annoyance was infesting my mind more and more with each journey I took. I'd certainly enjoyed the destinations - each and everyone has something unique to offer. But there was something about the formality, the convention, the orthodoxy of staying in a hotel that would make me feel like each trip had a similarity to each other. I grew tired of the locations of the hotels, the politeness (yes!) of the staff - I became jaded by being seen as a tourist or business traveller all the time. I wanted to see these places in a more informal, natural way.
On a trip to Rome, I found my answer - to rent an apartment. I know what you're thinking - you don't want to stay for months, just a couple of days. You can STILL rent certain apartments in Rome on a daily basis! What's more, they generally cost 50% less than a hotel of the same quality, but have twice the size too! I rented one right in the old center as well. I'd been to Rome three times before and each time stayed at a hotel. It was on this fourth trip that I really felt I saw Rome without all the protocols and formalities that tourists can seemingly never escape. It was wonderful. If you're interested in renting an apartment in Rome, there's more info
On my next trip to wherever, I'll be looking at short-stay apartments, not hotels - that's for sure!