If you’ve ever taken a particularly wonderful vacation but hated to go home, then an extended vacation is for you. With more time in your favorite holiday destination, it’s easier to get a true feel for the area and all that it offers. If you think this kind of thing is only for the rich or famous, then think again. All it takes is a little planning and maybe a little sense of adventure, too. There are ways to get around the high price of resorts, but still have a full and pampered vacation experience. By not paying $300 per night or more at fancy hotels in popular vacation destinations, you can use that money for shopping or sightseeing instead.
Finding a place to rent for extended stay just takes a little research online or at the library. There are different options available to you depending upon where you look. A good place to start is real estate agents in the area you would like to visit. Ask about monthly furnished apartment or house rentals that are easily accessible to the airport. The more you look, the more you can compare deals. Try to deal with reputable companies, with loyal customers. Check on travel message boards, online groups’ sites and chat rooms, to see where fellow travelers recommend. Try Google searches, entering search terms like house or apartment vacation rentals. There are sites like VacJac.com or Sublet.com that will give you information on rentals of many kinds, from domestic to international.
When living in Mexico for two years, I rented a home from a real estate agent friend of mine. The American dollar had a healthy conversion rate into Mexican pesos, so it was easy to live well for relatively little money. During peak rental seasons, the rental prices went up, but during the rest of the year they were very reasonable. For example, a home with two bedrooms, furnished, in walking distance of the beach was $350 per month. Ok, it may be a little more “real life” experience than those cushy resorts, but the money saved can be amazing.
The home I rented was elegant, but the jungle was across the street, and every now and then, we’d see animals of different kinds. This didn’t bother me, since seeing animals in their natural habitat was fascinating. It’s easy to find a housekeeper to do cooking and cleaning for a very reasonable price, as well. Mine cost $15 per week, ten years ago. She kept the place spotless and would escort an occasional spider or scorpion out for me. Many apartments in Mexico come with phones, even if you live there full-time. All we needed to do is walk out in the street and flag a taxi, if we needed to get into town.
Depending upon your budget, you can live more or less luxuriously as a longer term tourist. There is nothing like getting to know the people, the restaurants and shops of a town, and not need to run off to catch a cruise ship or taxi to the airport. Having time to relax, and take in the culture is wonderful. If you are going to be renting abroad, always be safety conscious for good measure. Keep a low profile, don’t flash wealth and have a secure place to store your passport and cash. My favorites are a money belt, which can be worn under clothing and cannot be seen. There’s nothing more inconvenient than having to go over to the embassy and get a replacement passport. Different acquaintances of mine lost cameras and passports during their time abroad, due to being careless with them. This is why it pays to keep a low profile and try not to wear gold when living in less secure environments.
Wherever you go, enjoy your trip to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to ask locals where the best restaurants or clubs are. Take business cards or phone numbers of places you liked while in your destination. Then, if you return to this locale, you know who to contact. This is a great way to bring your family on a vacation, as a group, without the expense of multiple hotel rooms. Treat the place you rent as if it was your home, and leave it clean. By establishing a good relationship with those you meet on your extended vacation, chances are, they’re remember you when you come back again in the future.