Homelidays is a lot like any website you may use to book a hotel, for each location you get a description, a list of amenities, photos, maps and testimonials from people who have stayed there. The main difference is that this website specializes in longer term stays. You can search around the website all you like, but in order to check out pricing you will need to register with the website, agree to their charter and activate your account with an email that will be generated. All easily enough done with high speed internet. So once again, a lot like your typical online reservation portal.
Like I said, Homelidays is great if you are looking for extended stays in a foreign country, in my case it was around 6 months in Paris. But this site is also great if you are looking for nontraditional lodging. You can search for apartments, studio and homes but Homelidays also gives you more romantic and unusual options such as villas, mansions, farmhouses and gites (cottages in the countryside). I stayed in Paris proper but also used the site to book a weekend away in gite called The Farm outside of Lyon.
The service is primarily European, the English language site is hosted in the UK, and European countries are the leading destinations. There are 28,000 listings in France, 13,000 in Italy and 9,000 in Spain. But their listings aren’t restricted to the continent, or even that hemisphere. You can search for lodging in South America, Africa and Asia too, although they are fewer and far between. There is even a listing for 2 bedroom flat in Kazakhstan!
Homelidays does not consider themselves a real estate agency. They are a publically traded company established in July of 2000. Essentially they bring together people looking to rent for extended stays and owners of place to rent. Each listing on the site is updated by the owners. Once you select the location and the dates you contact the owner through the website and begin negotiations. Most places have both a by-the-week and by-the-month pricing which is usually fair for what you get.
If you plan far enough out you can actually have Homelidays do the work of finding a location for you. All you have to do is enter your search criteria, type of accommodation, number of people, dates, price range, and you will receive offers via email that fit your criteria. You can also find a number of links and resources to help you, from online translation services to examples of rental contracts.
Whether traveling for business or just burning through a season au pays there is no better way to brainstorm, plan or book your extended European stay than using your high speed internet connection to access Homelidays.