BLOG | WE SHARE OUR THOUGHTS ALONG THE WAY

August 1, 2015

Navigating the sea of rental properties on vrbo.com, Airbnb.com, homeaway.com, and flipkey.com can be a daunting task for many travelers, yet the rewards you’ll get from renting locally are well worth the effort. As a family of five traveling the world for a year, we knew that we could save money by avoiding hotels and we also could get a deeper cultural understanding of the locale.

 

We developed five core criteria to help us choose short-term rentals. Simply put, these are: cost, comfort, location, amenities and a communicative and friendly host or hostess.

 

  • Cost: if you are considering staying anywhere for more than 3 nights, renting an apartment or home can save you hundreds of dollars, particul...

Below are tables that detail our projected costs, actual costs, and the differences between the two. We saved on lodging by staying two full weeks in Las Cruces, a small beach town near Valparaiso. In addition to being easy on the budget, we all appreciated the time to make ourselves at home and relax.

 

Though it doesn’t show up as an overage in our budget, we did waste some money by checking out of our Santiago apartment early to visit the Colchagua Valley. In essence, we paid for two nights lodging twice: the two nights we lost in Santiago and the two nights added in a Colchagua BnB. We also hadn’t originally planned on renting a car in Chile, which we did, so that affected our transportation costs...

March 5, 2015

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros

 

 

PERU

 

Peru: land of misty mountains and pan pipes, ancient ruins, gorgeous textiles and world-class food. Our first stop, it was one of our best-planned itineraries. We spent just a few days in Lima getting acclimatized to being on the road. Despite a minor challenge with checking in to our rental apartment, and the kids being sick for the first few days, we enjoyed eating Peruvian specialties at neighborhood restaurants, a bike tour of the city, and a visit to the chocolate museum. 

 

We then went on to the Sacred Valley. Wanting to meet other travelers, we’d decided to stay at a backpacker’s lodge in the town of Ollantaytambo. It was perfect! There was coca-leaf tea av...

February 11, 2015

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros

 

Planning the trip was a multi-disciplinary exercise. We had a giant write-and-wipe world map in the hallway where we sketched out itinerary options. We swapped travel stories with friends, watched travel-adventure videos, and read blogs written by other RTW families (we're not the only ones!) Once we had nailed our South America calendar and itinerary, we started having brunch and mimosa decision-making-sessions with Heather and her mom, Terrie Holmes. It was during one of these Sunday events that Heather found our Chilean home-away-from-home in a small coastal town near Valparaiso on VRBO.com.

 

We stayed at "Casa de Verano" for two weeks. A super-simple cottage with a...

November 2, 2014

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros

 

When people would ask about our itinerary before we left, I would often answer with short descriptions of what we’d planned to do. “We’ll visit Inca ruins in Peru”. “We’re going on Safari in South Africa”. “We’re looking for a language-immersion school in France”. In the case of Chile, my standard comment was “in Chile we’re going to drink wine and sit on the beach”. I wouldn’t have guessed that those two things would end up being the perfect summary of our stay here. 

 

While I’d spent a lot of time researching our visit to Peru (in fact, have been dreaming about it since I was 22!), and planning the details (ooohhhh, was the family unhappy when they learned that I’d sc...

October 20, 2014

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros

 

Leaving Santiago was a challenge in several ways. First, we had to pick up the rental car. Luckily, Rodrigo, Heather and the kids had already scouted out the route to walk from our apartment to the rental car place and had driving directions back (lots of one-way streets and detours around parks and hills made this a not-as-simple-as-you’d-think task). As we were walking to pick it up, however, we realized that we didn’t have driving directions from Santiago to our B&B in the Colchagua Valley. So back to the apartment we went, digging Rodrigo’s Mac out of his backpack to access the internet and hand-write the instructions. (Foreshadowing note: we do not have a data pla...

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