Rentini provides useful and exciting travel insights. From adventures to marketing tips for vacation rental owners, we want to help you travel as it's meant to be – easy, refreshing, & fun!

Posts tagged ‘Vacations’

An epic day trip from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay

An epic day trip from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay.

Secrets Of Getting Amazing Florida Flight Deals

Secret Florida Flight deals

If you’re planning on going to Florida for a vacation, it only makes sense to try to get the cheapest flight possible so you’ll have extra cash for having fun in the sun. Luckily, there are a number of little-known tips and tricks for saving money on flights. Knowing how and when you should book your flight to Florida will mean your wallet will also get a little vacation.

Fly in February

After the end-of-year holidays, everyone is tired of traveling and spending money. Airlines know this. The best time for Florida - January, FebruaryTo encourage people to book flights during January and February, prices are dropped significantly during these months. This airline formula works out especially well for travelers planning to go to Florida as these months are notorious for being the most popular months to escape the snow and cold and head to the warmer south. Plan your Florida vacation in January or February to get a much-needed break from the chill, and for far less money than you’d expect to spend.

Buy and Fly on a Tuesday

Fly on tuesday, wednesday, saturday

If you’re flexible with exactly when you can leave and return, you’ll be able to find the best flight deals. Flying is significantly cheaper when you hit the skies on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Fridays and Sundays are both the busiest and most expensive days to fly. If you’re able to fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, you’ll pay less money and get to deal with less hectic airports, which is a great way to start and end a vacation.

As for buying your tickets, airlines release their best deals on Tuesdays at 3pm. Many discounted flights can be found at this time, but you’ll have to buy fast. These cheaper tickets are usually pulled from sale on Thursday.

Sign up for Email Alerts

AirFareWatchDog’s fare alerts and email newsletter is an excellent resource for finding great airline prices and deals that leave from your home airport. It isn’t unheard of for flights to Florida that cost $100 or less to be advertised through this system. Signing up for these alerts will let you know when the cheapest prices on flights to Florida are available for you to snag while they last.

Shop Around

When it comes to finding flight deals online, there are a ton of websites offering price discounts and you should be exploring as many of them as possible. Fare Compare is a great resource for finding the best rates from a number of different websites. You can enter your travel requirements and preferences and Fare Compare will compare flights and return the lowest rates available. Never look at just one website or you’re missing out on finding a great deal that someone else may be offering.

Use Social Media

Follow a number of airlines on Twitter and Facebook and regularly check tweets and posts that the airlines are publishing. Great flight deals are typically offered through social media sites for very short periods of time and only to followers. You never know when you’ll find a fantastically low price on a flight to Florida just by checking your news feeds.

By being a smart flight shopper and utilizing the secrets of the airline industries you’ll be able to get a good flight for the lowest fare possible and have extra money to spend on more important and memorable aspects of your Florida vacation.

Sara Pegarella is a freelance writer located in Philadelphia, PA. She is a frequent contributor to Vacation Rental Pros.

What Kind of Tourist You Are?

Luxury Whare Kea Lodge in Wanaka New Zealand

As we wrote in the past there are many types of tourists. We see them every time we travel; some are party animals, others are low key with a book-in-hand, soaking in the sun’s rays. Whatever type of tourist you should remember one thing:

All tourists are created equal

If you are not sure which genre of tourist you are; this article may shed lit on how to label yourself, and which destinations may be suited for you.

Action Tourist

Paragliders meetup in the air

When you picture yourself traveling to distant lands, do you see yourself jumping off a cliff into an ocean pool of crystal clear water? Or how about jumping off of an old Soviet plane with a parachute sewn by the pilot’s Baba. If so, you may just be the “Action Tourist”. Action Tourists love their adrenalin rush and have trouble understanding those under-the-radar travelers. To keep them satisfied; all that is needed, are a rope of some kind and the latest machinery for propulsion in that region. Recommended destinations for these Evel Knievels include: Mexico, Hawaii, Thailand, Spain and New Zealand.

Kodak Tourist

Do find yourself posting every vacation picture you ever had on Facebook? Have you ever traveled without a camera. Then you just might be our “Kodak Tourist”. Whether traveling for a day or a month, your camera flash card seems to be extensive enough to make a feature Disney film. But, don’t fret! There are many people like you, and they all seem to find their way back on Facebook, posting pictures that nobody even cares to look at. Recommended pictures…I mean…destinations include: Peru, Australia, Thailand, Saudia Arabia, China, France, Italy and Indonesia

Party Tourist

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign

Traveling? What is traveling, I just want to party!

Doesn’t matter where you are, or who you’re with; your taste is simple –

Take me to the closest brewery, please!

The Party Tourist enjoys loud music, nightclubs and of course booze. These fun seekers are most compatible with our Action Tourist, because after a few drinks, they seem bold enough to follow suit. Party destinations include: Ibiza, Cracow, Rome, Bangkok, Beirut, Las Vegas, and Tokyo.

Historical Tourist

Ah, yes! History is not dead, because you strive to keep it alive. Of all our tourists, the Historical Tourist is our more scholarly candidate.

Historical landmarks all around the worldYou revel in telling your companions your knowledge of the local history. God gave you an encyclopedic mind, and boy do you use it! When you envision yourself traveling; you see yourself with a whip and satchel, Jones-ing around Asia with a map written in Sanskrit, trying to find the last relic of the Aryans. But remember this is far from the truth, most likely you’ll be just daydreaming somewhere in a museum. If you are this tourist type; I need not tell you where you should go, but for the sake of humour: Italy, Vatican City, France, China, India, Israel, Mexico, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and Greece.

Note: Side effects of excessive traveling include culture shock, hangovers, illusions of grandeur, loss of travel insurance, monetary depletion, and addictions to air travel.

John is a travel writer who spends most of his time hopping from one country to another, hope you enjoyed his article!

Last Minute Holiday Ideas

Last minute holidays

With summer here, and the recent spout of hot weather, many are inspired to take some time off work and book a last minute holiday to enjoy the heat. Deciding on destination can be the most difficult part of your late booking, but there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some great last minute holiday ideas-

City Break in Amsterdam

Amsterdam at nightAmsterdam is a city that is well known for its energetic nightlife, relaxed attitudes and boozy antics, but beyond all this is a wealth of culture waiting to be visited. Netherlands’ capital city is home to an intricate canal system that can be enjoyed by either a boat trip or a stroll along its banks. Tourists can reflect on history by visiting the Anne Frank Museum and see the annex where the Frank family hid during the country’s occupation in World War Two.

The city houses a wealth of art that is historically and internationally renowned, with many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings available for viewing in the Van Gogh Museums, which includes other artifacts about the troubled artist’s life. Art lovers should also take a trip to the Rijksmuseum, which reopened in April 2013 after being renovated for the past ten years to see some of the Netherlands’ finest artworks.

Seaside Holiday in Cornwall

Cornwall, England by the sea The British weather has been extraordinarily hot recently, spurring many people to take a holiday and visit warmer parts of the British Isles. Head to the rugged south-west for a lovely beach holiday in Cornwall and spend your break visiting quaint seaside towns and attractions.

There are plenty of activities for those not interested in lounging around on the many sandy beaches Cornwall has to offer, with many tourists flocking to the artistic towns of St Ives and Newlyn to see how visiting and local artists have been inspired by the Cornish landscape. Head to the north part of the county to visit attractions like the historic smuggler’s den Jamaica Inn, and the modern bio-domes of the Eden Project.

Relax in a Tuscan Villa

Spicchio villa in TuscanyFor those that are searching for the ultimate, stress-free break, then renting a gorgeous Tuscan villa is a relaxing option for a last minute holiday. Perfect for both romantic getaways and family breaks, the Tuscan region of Italy is well known for its beautiful art, warm climate, delicious food, and wonderful landscapes.

Choose a self-catered rustic Tuscan villa with a pool, or a wonderful view and spend your tranquil retreat basking in the heat of the Italian sunshine, spending blissful evenings watching the sun set over the Tuscan countryside.

Hire a car to explore the region, visiting the breath-taking sites of the Tuscan cities of Florence and Sienna, to see infamous artworks like Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. Of course, no visit to Italy is complete without a trip to one, or more, of the inspiring medieval and gothic cathedrals.

Hop on a Cruise

For those unable to decide on one destination, then a break on a cruise ship could be the perfect choice for your escape to the sun. Many Companies sail to multiple locations around the world, so it can be easier to find the right cruise holiday for you.

You could be soaking up the sun whilst visiting Caribbean islands, enjoying the sights of the Mediterranean, or being amazed at the Norwegian Fjords, all whilst experiencing the indulgence that a cruise ship delivers. Aboard a luxury ship, you will find plenty of activities to keep you occupied whilst you travel, with many having swimming pools, spas, and entertainment as standards.

Beth Stubbings works for To Tuscany, providers of wonderful Tuscan villa rentals. She thinks that there are plenty of great holiday destinations to choose from for that last minute booking.

6 Essential Home Security Tips When Going On Vacation

Essential Home Security Tips When Going On Vacation

Going away on vacation may be the time we all look forward to each year but for the security-conscious individual it can also be a time of concern. Leaving your home unattended for long periods of time can significantly increase the risk of a chance break-in that goes unnoticed or a more organized attempt based on lack of activity around your property.

Fortunately there are a range of common-sense steps that can be taken that will significantly reduce the chances of your home suffering criminal attacks in your absence.

Check Your Insurance

Before you leave for your vacation, ensure that your household insurance policy is in good standing. This should ideally protect not just your property itself but also contents insurance so that any items that might get stolen or damaged can be easily replaced on your return.

For extended vacations, it may be a requirement for you to inform your insurer of your absence so they are aware of the increased risks involved.

Tell Your Trusted Neighbors

Do you live in a neighborhood with a “community” feel where you know and trust many of your neighbors? If so, having a frank discussion with them about your absence can be a wise move.

By alerting your neighbors, should any activity be observed in or near your property in your absence, neighbors will be more likely to raise the alarm and help to keep your home safe and secure from criminals rather than just assuming it is you or your family moving about the property.

Third Party Security Checks

Another beneficial tip is to leave a key and contact telephone numbers with a friend or family member that you trust. Ask them to be the first point of contact for any emergencies and provide their details to your immediate neighbors.

Furthermore, asking that individual to visit your property for a quick inspection twice a day (morning and evening) – or even house-sit while you’re away – helps to not only encourage activity around your home but also to spot any issues that may arise quickly.

Timer Switches

A range of different timer devices are currently available and can help give the impression that your home is inhabited even while you’re away enjoying the sunshine.

For example it is possible these days to not only have lights that turn on and off randomly during the hours of darkness but to even make noises such as dog barks from time to time. All can serve to dissuade crime when a potential criminal is led to believe that your house in inhabited.

Mail Deliveries

One tell-tale sign that can out you at a disadvantage when away is a potential build-up of mail. Depending on the design of your home, this pile of letters may be visible from outside, suggesting that the occupants are away and so break-ins may be easier.

There are a number of options available to avoid this issue. Firstly consider asking your trusted friend to move your mail to a hidden part of your home on their regular checks.

Secondly, the postal services in some countries will actually “hold” your mail at the post office which you can then collect on your return.

Lastly, a simple tool that can work well is to create a simple “screen” that camouflages post as it is dropped through your door. In one example we saw recently, the occupant had red curtains fitted over the inside of their door.

By placing a piece of red cardboard up against the window inside the property, mail that was delivered fell behind this cardboard but in front of the curtain. From the outside of the property – looking through the frosted glass of the door – mail was completely hidden from view as the cardboard “screen” perfectly camouflaged in front of the curtain.

Home Alarm Systems

Finally, for greatest peace of mind, you may want to consider installing one of the many effective yet low-cost home security systems. These systems can not only arm your home with a powerful alarm system should anyone try to gain entry but more so many of them also come with a number of CCTV cameras.

In the case of a successful break-in, these cameras can be tremendously helpful to the police both for identifying the criminals and for proving the legitimacy of any insurance claim you may make.

The best systems will even let you access them remotely from your laptop or smart phone, so you can rest easy while away being able to keep a close eye on your home even when you’re hundreds of miles away.

Ben Smith is an expert in home security and recently started a new blog at Home Security Geeks.

Florida Theme Parks – A Survival Guide

Families love traveling to Florida and visiting the theme parks. There is enormous excitement for kids when they realize that Orlando is dedicated to their entertainment. As parents, the whole Florida experience can be exhausting and a very expensive affair. Read on and discover some handy hints to help your trip to the land of the mouse go very smoothly.

Mad Tea Party

Spend, Spend, Spend

There are so many brightly colored knick knacks, there are so many souvenirs that you simply must have. Disney are experts in convincing us to part with our dollars. Walking through the gift shop to the exit makes it hard to resist the lure of a Mickey Mouse mug.

Ears Souvenirs

Try setting a strict budget for buying such things as the price of the glittery treasure in the form of a Tinkerbell wand will eat into your holiday spends immediately. Try shopping in some of the local supermarkets such as Wal-mart as they often stock bona fide Disney items but at a fraction of the cost.

souvenir / disney nuts set

Eat, Eat, Eat

Feeding a family in a theme park can be tricky on a budget. Taking a picnic can really help to alleviate the cost – try taking a cool bag with you and disposable plates.

Picnic

There are many different places to eat in the theme parks and another way of minimising costs is to buy a dining package before you go. Most parks have a flat rate voucher that you can use in selected restaurants as many times as you like for the day. It is a good idea to purchase such a voucher because the family can then eat twice – lunch and dinner. There’s also snack time to think about for growing kids so it is a good economic decision to buy a voucher.

Burger at Hardrock Cafe

 What to Wear

If you are a Florida theme parks virgin, read this paragraph very carefully as it will save you lots of pain and discomfort. Dress as though you are embarking on a lengthy hike through a steamy, humid jungle. Do not worry yourself with wondering if your handbag matches your shoes.

Grizzly River Run 1

Everything should be practical and extremely comfortable. There is a great possibility that you will get wet – either because of a tropical storm or because of a water ride with a big splash at the end. Fashionistas can breathe easy for the duration of their visit.

universal studio florida

 How to Get Around

Waking up at dawn is a good idea in Florida. The light is wonderful but more importantly you need to arrive at the gates before they have opened in order to beat the queues.

Untitled

Traveling to the parks really depends upon where you are staying. There are several free shuttle buses that operate between hotels and parks but they will cut into your time as there are many stops to make. Hiring a car in Florida is a cheap and easy alternative that will give you the freedom to see a lot more of the county without depending on costly taxis or public transport. Click here for an alternative to public transport.

Untitled

Enjoy your holiday and if you plan in advance, you really could have the holiday of a lifetime.

Featured images:

Written by Elizabeth James who loves scuba diving and traveling around the world.

Less is More: Barefoot Luxury in Puerto Viejo, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

Arrecife Beach Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Arrecife Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Off the beaten path travel story

So you’re dreaming of getting off the beaten path and forgetting all the trivialities of daily life… it’s time to leave the alarm clock at home along with your shoes, appointments and obligations.

You’re searching for a place where you can truly relax, leave your watch behind and call time your own. You need some natural beauty and wildlife, perhaps an adventure and you don’t want it manicured and presented on a plate.Barefoot Luxury Geckoes Lodge Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Of course there’s myriad places to choose, with far too many websites promising you Paradise at a reasonable or even discounted price and you haven’t got the energy to trawl through and what’s more, are they selling what you’re looking for?

Is Puerto Viejo and its sister settlements of Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva and Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica the place for you?

Maybe…

If a golf course, pool aerobics, room service, shopping malls, theatre, or an all inclusive resort is your idea of the perfect holiday then read no further.

But if you’re looking for a small eclectic beach town laid out along a strip of coast where the rainforest meets the ocean, with an atmosphere so laid back you have no option but to relax and where there’s loads to see and do but also a string of beautiful beaches to do absolutely nothing on, this may be the place for you.

Pareos for sale in Puerto Viejo

Traditional pareos for sale at the beach in Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is not for everyone… there’s a lot of things that it doesn’t have… like the ubiquitous chain restaurants and shops, theatre, cinema, ancient sites and all inclusive resorts.

You may have seen the traditional description of this area with photos of picture postcard beaches of white sand and leaning palm trees, houses in rainbow colours, Afro Caribbean cuisine, restaurants catering to every taste, howler monkeys hanging around in the trees and a sloth casually crossing the road.

Sloth looks comfy at Puerto Viejo

And possibly you’ve checked out the smorgasbord of activities and trips on offer from the popular zip-lining through the rainforest canopy to surfing, white water rafting, diving, snorkeling  fishing and dolphin watching to organic chocolate tours, Caribbean cooking classes, jungle or beach horseback riding to indigenous tribal visits and so the list goes on.

Zipline at Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

All in all it paints a pretty attractive picture especially when you add the wonderful wildlife spotting of laying leather-back turtles, huge iridescent blue Morpho butterflies, disguised iguanas, technicolor toucans, neon dart frogs, speedy agoutis and fishing pelicans alongside the famous smiling sloths and swinging monkeys.

Howler monkey resting on a tree at Puerto Viejo Geckoe Lodge

So is it ‘just’ this Caribbean menu that brings visitors back again and again, even those that have sworn to never revisit the same place twice because their Bucket List awaits?

Black-green poison dart frog

Maybe…

But maybe it’s all of the above plus something less tangible. After all there are other places in the world that also offer the visitor a menu of entertaining diversions,  a glimpse into another way of life and a chance to indulge a Caribbean fantasy.

Puerto Viejo and the surrounding area offer something more that resonates not only with locals and the 46 nationalities that call here home, but also with the most casual of visitors.

Crop of Baby Hummingbirds in Geckoes Garden, Geckoes Lodge, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Perhaps we could call that ‘extra something’ the sophistication of simplicity.

Imagine a place where many of the superficial pretentious trappings of modern life are stripped away:  Where the type of car you drive, the fancy clothing, the type of phone, the size of your house or TV screen or the title you hold at work becomes totally irrelevant.

Where you are simply you.

Where nature is not something you go and visit, but something you live within and are part of. Remember looking up at a sky full of stars and feeling infinitesimal in comparison? In that moment we are aware of the power of nature and our place within it.

Oxen at the beach, Geckoes Lodge Cocles Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

But the 24/7 world dampens that perception by assigning a place for nature and controlling it, which is probably why so many of us take every chance to escape the frenetic complications of modern life to something simpler, something natural, something that isn’t man made but real.

common-blue-morpho

So is Puerto Viejo all about getting back to nature and relinquishing all your worldly goods?

No, it’s about remembering what it is to derive pleasure from simplicity which affects us all on a deeper level than the often superficial, fleeting pleasure of packaged entertainment. It’s the difference between the thrill of surprise at coming across a troupe of Howler Monkeys as you walk along the beach as opposed to seeing them in a zoo.

Monkey party at Geckoes Lodge in Puerto Viejo

It’s going to sleep to the sound of cicadas rather than traffic. It’s lying on pale sand with a fish taco whilst watching pelicans swooping and diving for their fish lunch.

Pelicans fishing at Gandoca

It’s sometimes not being able to get everything you want but having to make do and in so doing finding satisfaction in the same.

Less is more

We are creative creatures: the more we have delivered without effort, the more entitled we feel and the more bored and demanding we can become. We derive satisfaction from effort and the more developed our world becomes the more we seek the simple pleasures and the rewards they bring.

In that simplicity is the sophistication of perspective. It’s simple wisdom that Puerto Viejo and its sister settlements have in spades: essentially that those quasi sophisticated possessions and preoccupations are nigh meaningless in a natural habitat.

That Less is More.

Toucan-eating-Palm-fruit,-Geckoes-Lodge,-Cocles,-Puerto-Viejo,-Costa-Rica

Someone who has never been here recently asked me,

“So, I’m confused, is Puerto Viejo developed or under developed?”

The answer Vadim, is both.

Under-developed in gaudy consumerism, pretensions, entitlement and predictability.

Highly Developed in simple pleasures, which I would argue is the ultimate in sophistication.

Less is More. But don’t take my word for it:

Come and see for yourself

Gandoca Lagoon Talamanca

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