Living Like a Local in Santander

A tree-lined avenue in Santander

A tree-lined avenue in Santander

I’m getting tired of hostels. There, I said it. The shared bathrooms, the stinky dorm rooms, those ubiquitous snorers. Though all hostels are certainly not created equal, I’m more of a boutique hotel kind-of-girl–I could easily be persuaded to be a Four Seasons kind-of-girl, but alas, my pocketbook wouldn’t agree!

After a great experience booking a shabby chic apartment when I traveled to Paris, I discovered that renting an apartment while you’re traveling may be the best option of them all. Nothing beats the ability to live where the locals do, save a few bucks by cooking out of your own kitchen and have the peace and quiet of not sharing your space with a bunch of drunken Aussies/Germans/Americans/Fill in the Blank.

So, when Wimdu asked me to try out their vacation rental website, I booked a room in Santander about as central as you can get: right behind the town hall. Booking a hotel in downtown Santander would have been hard to find for the same price. Though I didn’t spend much time in the apartment itself, it met all of my basic needs: budget-friendly, centrally located, secure, clean.

Wimdu.com's homepage

Wimdu.com’s homepage

What I Loved About Using Wimdu:

Wimdu’s website has a huge variety of properties available: I found not only apartments, but villas, cottages, farmhouses, boats and more. Since Wimdu seems to be just picking up in popularity in Spain, there weren’t too many properties to choose from that fit my needs, and while I really wanted an entire apartment, I opted to book a room in a large apartment. While not my preference, for a quick weekend getaway it worked out just fine.

Another thing I loved about Wimdu is its slick, user-friendly interface. Within minutes, you can set up a free account and start browsing for properties to rent across the world. You can easily narrow down your perfect place by neighborhood, amenities (like pet-friendly/hot-tub/WiFi, etc.) and check out the apartment’s surroundings on a map. When you’ve narrowed down your choice, your request will then be sent to your host, who can accept or reject it. You’ll also be able to message your host (before or after booking) with any questions you have.

What to Keep in Mind

Every property is different, and different hosts will have different rules. Some require a deposit in addition to what you pay to Wimdu, others don’t. Before booking, be sure you read the rules completely and follow them during your stay.

Wimdu verifies the hosts and handle all monetary transactions (excluding a deposit, if requested by the host.)

Users are encouraged to leave reviews of their experience. Though I had my doubts about renting out a room from a stranger, I read fellow traveler’s reviews and felt much more at ease. I’d recommend booking a place with positive reviews, so you know what to expect.

Would I Use Wimdu Again?

In a word, yes–but with some exceptions. I wouldn’t book a private room again as I really prefer not sharing my space. But with so many tempting properties out there, and more everyday as the site expands, I’m sure I’ll be looking to Wimdu again in the near-future for accommodation.

Would you be open to booking a vacation rental?

While Wimdu graciously hosted me, all opinions expressed here are my own.

 

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