Saving Money on a Paris Vacation

Cities have always been expensive places. However, it’s easy to save money by doing the numerous free things that cities offer. There are parks, gardens, shops, exhibitions, and great architecture to gawk at. You don’t always get those things when you stay out in the country.

Paris vacation rentalSo why not plunk yourself down in one of Europe’s great cities on your vacation and just stay there? What if you didn’t worry about cars and trains, or driving on the wrong side of the road?

Paris, for example, has offered a place for writers, artists, philosophers, and scoundrels for a very long time. It’s one of my favorite cities in the whole world. I look into ancient, vine-covered courtyards and think, “golly, there’s some perfect serenity in the midst of the city that never sleeps!”

Then why not take all the money you’ve saved from car rentals, rail passes, and the like and plow them into an interesting place to live in the heart of a city like Paris for a few weeks? Like the one in the picture on the right?

DESIGN ARTIST STUDIO on the Canal, near the most pleasant and fashionable areas of the capital.

The Marais is the place to be and be seen. Imagine yourself there. Really. Maybe the Louvre would be free by the time you visit. Mona Lisa waits for you, smiling.

Find your perfect Paris short-term rentals now.

An Introduction to iStopOver

We understand the high demand for short-term rentals in today’s traveling marketplace. We’re happy to introduce iStopOver, the Toronto based short term rentals website. Along with many iStopOver properties and hosts – you can find Vacapedia rentals. 

With listings in over 16,000 cities, iStopOver brings you a great range of choice when it comes to accommodation for any budget. Want to sleep on a houseboat? iStopOver has it. iStopOver focuses on bringing travelers and hosts (home owners) together. The accommodations vary – from private rooms in a home or entire apartments or houses.

iStopOver also has a feature that lets hosts bid on your business – it’s called WiseAsk and can be found on the homepage. WiseAsk lets you broadcast accommodation requests to hosts in certain cities. If you’re looking for 3 nights, no pets and close to a subway station location in New York City – enter it into your WiseAsk and hosts will contact you with their accommodations. It’s simple, quick and a great way to get exactly what you want when traveling.

Looking to travel? Check out some of the cities that iStopOver highlights:

San Francisco

San Francisco really is a treat – with a strong artistic scene and cultural vibe, there is a lot to see and do. You won’t find yourself with a minute to spare! Make sure to check out Lombard Street and the Fisherman’s Wharf! Find your San Francisco Holiday Apartment today. 

London

The London Eye is just one of many attractions in London – among Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and many more sites! iStopOver makes sure that you stay right in the middle of all the action. Make sure to take a look at these London short term rentals. With the 2012 Olympic games coming up – it’s never too early to start planning your trip!

Paris

Fall in love with the city of Paris! With charming streets, rich culture and incredibly romantic history, it will be hard not to! iStopOver has great hosts who are eager to share their love of the city with you! Finding accommodation with iStopOver in Paris est tres simple! Check here for Paris accommodation

Barcelona

Few cities can boast a metropolis filled with culture and still offer swimming at a beach as Barcelona does. No visit would be complete without a stroll along its famous pedestrian-only thoroughfare La Rambla! Make sure to hit the beach and soak up some rays. Rest assured that iStopOver will provide you with the finest Barcelona short term rentals.

Amsterdam

Rent a bike and tour this beautiful city and take in all that it has to offer! Spend an afternoon in any one of the beautiful parks and just watch the people go by. Make sure that you find your perfect Amsterdam holiday apartment with iStopOver!

New York City

A visit to the Big Apple is always memorable. Celebrity sightings, skyscrapers, and delicious meals are only a few of the experiences! New York short term rentals secured through iStopOver are the top choice to place you smack in the center of “the city that never sleeps” to explore the famous landmarks and neighborhoods.

Auckland

Ever thought of taking a trip to the wild and beautiful New Zealand? Auckland is the at the hub of it all on the North Island. Make sure you visit local coffee shops and stores. Any Kiwi will welcome you with a loud “Kia Ora, mate!” (which means Welcome! in Maori). Book an Auckland accommodation with iStopOver and be a part of the action!

Berlin

Let Berlin amaze you. With rich history and a vibrant arts scene – there is something for everyone. Make sure to get to know your area – every neighborhood has a story! You can find your quaint Berlin accommodation with iStopOver today.

Cape Town

We hear that Cape Town in December is the time to go! Don’t hesitat – iStopOver has amazing accommodation with hosts that are more than happy to show you around! Find your Cape Town Accommodation!

Dublin

You’ll have the luck of the Irish when traveling through Dublin! Make sure to swing by Guinness brewery for a nice pint of Ireland’s finest! Booking your Dublin short term rentals with iStopOver will have you living like a local!

Johannesburg

See some of the world’s best sunsets in Johannesburg, South Africa. Enjoy warm climates and friendly people! Find your Johannesburg accommodation today!

Los Angeles

Cruise the Sunset Strip and see if your hands match up with the stars’ along the Walk of Fame! Make sure to pack your sunglasses – you’ll get your fill of Vitamin D in the sunny streets of Los Angeles. Booking your Los Angeles short term rental with iStopOver will have you feeling like a local.

Miami

Bring your bathing suit and hit the beach! South Beach, that is. With culinary delights, amazing sunshine and cool drinks – you’ll find yourself relaxing in no time in Miami. For your perfect Miami accommodation – check out iStopOver’s listings!

Montreal

Visit one of Canada’s most interesting and vibrant cities – Montreal. Located in La Belle Province, Quebec, you’ll have a memorable experience. Make sure to grab a few pastries from a local shop and spend the days wandering the old streets. IStopOver has plenty of excellent Montreal accommodation for any budget.

Toronto

Pay a visit to the CN Tower – one of the world’s largest free-standing landmarks! Take a ride on the TTC and take in the beautiful waterfront that Toronto has to offer. Feel right at home in any one of iStopOver’s Toronto short term rentals.

Vancouver

Visit the West Coast and experience that cool breeze off of the water! Vancouver is home to some of the best and fresh sushi! So go ahead, and find yourself an affordable Vancouver short term rental!

Wellington

Otherwise known as ‘Wellywood’ (because of the smash success of Lord of The Rings – which was filmed throughout New Zealand and premiered in Wellington), Wellington offers cool culture and awesome ocean views! Find your affordable Wellington accommodation – suitable for any budget!

So the next time you’re planning a trip – check out iStopOver for affordable short term accommodation!

Stay in the Azure Alps of France

Not so far from Italy is Vence, France. I like Vence and its medieval offshoot St. Paul de Vence. Expensive, but this is where the beautiful people come. If you want some wine, you can duck into Italy to buy it. It’s much cheaper there.

Vence has literary and artistic roots. D. H. Lawrence died in Vence, unfortunately. Chagall did a mosaic on the outside wall of a chapel in Vence. Matisse did some stained glass at Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence. You should visit.

Yes, you should get a little place of your own and discover Vence. Spend a day in St. Paul de Vence. Hold on to your wallet. No, not because of the pickpockets. People make expensive things you probably want in St. Paul. Oh, the temptation of it!

St Jeannet - Vence Vacation Rental

St Jeannet - Vence Vacation Rental

Here’s where I’d stay. It’s called 152 Ch La Fontonne for some reason.
It’s just east of Vence. Doesn’t the picture on the left say “south of France” to you? Don’t you want to put a big bowl of olives on that table and one of those square bottles of water you use to pour over the ice and pastis to turn the whole deal all cloudy-white?

Then you rest. You maybe hear some cicadas in the summer, crying away.

Italy is just a hop, skip and a jump from here. The sea is not so far, either. You’ve always wanted to butter up your body on the Cote d’Azure, haven’t you? Well, now’s the time.

Here is what Provence Beyond says about St. Jeannet: “The village of St. Jeannet sits on a ledge beneath the towering Baou de St. Jeannet, with the Baou de la Gaude just to the right (east), and the Baou des Noirs and Baou des Blancs lined up to the west towards Vence. The village is beautiful, picturesque, authentic, and not overrun with tourists.”

That’s a lot of Baous. Don’t you want to be in the midst of them?

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Dutch Treat: A Rustic Apartment with a Horse

Friesland is a rural area in northern Holland. It has its own language.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to introduce you to an interesting proposition. First, there’s this apartment I want you to look at. It’s in a (former) stable.

Before you poo-poo the idea of staying in a stable on your vacation, let me remind you that a stable housed one of the most revered women in all of Catholicdom for a bit. She didn’t complain.

Netherlands Vacation Rental

Netherlands Vacation Rental

Ok, so there it is, over to the left. It’s called by the owners: Appartement. Ok, not very imaginative, but take note of the side benefits: On the property: horse stable, arena, deer park and house of the owner. You can ride on 2 Fries horses and/or 2 pony’s of the owner.

Now, I don’t know how deers park. Parallel, I presume, but here’s the thing: The nearby attractions to visit are Dokkum, Leeuwarden, “or a day trip to Ameland.”

Take note of Leeuwarden. Just today it was announced that city hall had lost or somehow misplaced their pornography archive, according to the Associated Press.  They hope to find it.

Now, I figure there are quite a few of red blooded males who would like to help in this quest, most of them young enough to go scrounging around in musty cellars and attics and places where folks might hide such a stash.

So the deal is: rent the place, get on your horse, and help in the efforts to retrieve the porn, just like the lone ranger might have done. Wear a white outfit, a masculine one if you can find it.

For me, it would be enough to relax for a week in a place where the nearby city hall has an archive of smut related to the city. Priceless, even if you split the bill.

Santorini Slick

I like Islands. When I think about Greek islands, I think about renting a little shack just far enough away from the beach that I could have some solitude but close enough so the I could walk down and grab a couple of clams and an octopus and make a seafood stew.

I don’t think you can do that on Santorini.

Yes, Santorini had a thriving Greek (well, ok, Minoan)  population until the whole thing went up in smoke. You see, the volcano that was the island, ancient Thira, just blasted away in an enormous explosion. Somehow the Minoans escaped, or floated away or something, because archaeologists haven’t found their remains.

Today, Santorini is a hot vacation spot for reasonably well-to-do folks. Beach bums aren’t as welcome as they used to be. People gape at the archaeological sites, then head for the beach where they can butter up and worship some sun. They don’t want beach bums dragging octopii from the crystal clear waters. They especially don’t want to see them being pounded on a rock. Don’t worry, it tenderizes them, or so I’ve been told by a Greek with an attitude. He seemed to be having fun. His wife smiled at him strangely.

Santorini Vacation Rental

Santorini Vacation Rental

Anyway, there’s this incredible vacation home on Santorini. It’s exactly the opposite of a beach bum cabin. It’s the kind of place they film movies in when they want you to know that the people in the movie aren’t beach bums. The place is stark white, inside and out. Movie directors can play off this vestige of virginality by making a murder or something equally odious happen in a place like this. Ketchupblood shows up real good.

Sorry, I got carried away. La Ilios & Selene is  actually quite stunning. Stark even. The sea sets off the lack of color. It’s pure Greece. And it’s safe.

Here’s how they describe it:

“This smooth-edged architecturally restored “Canava” – cave house – has a stylish Mediterranean feel and is classified as a traditional Santorini ‘yposkafa’ dwelling. The villa affords two separate living areas and is perfect for a romantic get-away…”

Ah, traditional! Heck, it doesn’t look traditional to me, but I’m a curmudgeon who likes pounding an octupus on a rock.  On second thought, this place does offer a perfect romantic get away, you in a cave and your sweet honey in another part of a cave.  Of course, you could stay together, too, if you’re in that first, blissful stage of your romance and don’t want to unembrace each other. But then, you could do that in a Motel 6, couldn’t you?

Romance is odd, isn’t it? But Santorini is not.

La Stub – A Place in Alsace

Ok, I’ll admit it, La Stub isn’t a very romantic name, in English anyway. But what could be more romantic than staying in  17th century wine grower’s house in a small wine village in Alsace?

La Stub - Alsace Wine Route Vacation Rental

La Stub - Alsace Wine Route Vacation Rental

Lots of people drive through the Alsace Route du Vin, wishing they could quit their awful jobs carrying the large sacks of French Fries into McDonalds or replenishing the boxes of soy milk at Starbucks. But alas, they will merely pass through and return to their dismal lives.

But you, smart traveler, will have rented La Stub for a week or more, and will take your little walk in the morning to gauge the growth on the vines on the hill just out of town, then return for your real coffee at the neighborhood cafe, chirping a happy “bon jour!” to whoever’s behind the bar.

Of course, if you wish you could go zooming off in your Citroen for wine towns you can only hope to pronounce correctly:  Riquewihr, Hunawihr, Eguisheim.  But happy hosts will fill your glass with more wine, good wine, and the letters in those names will roll off your silver tongue like Scrabble tiles in a hurricane.

“Stub”, of course, refers to “win stub” where visitors can enjoy Alsatian dishes accompanied with Alsatian wines. Language is funny sometimes.

Switzerland Naked? Try the Appenzell Ausserrhoden

By now, the observant among you will have noticed that the teeny-weeny Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden has, in response to a bevy of body-loving German trekkers moving through the canton with unbridled nether bits, recently levied fines for naked hiking.

Boo to them. But what you may not know, or be able to pronounce, the adjacent and slightly larger canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden has, to my knowlege, not levied such fines.

Perhaps you are adverse to the human body being allowed unswathed into the stark woodiness of Switzerland. I’ve heard Puritanism is alive and well in some places. But we’re talking Switzerland here. These people are known for their high-quality pocket knives. Sure, I know, if you’re buck nekid there’s no pocket in which to place one, but that’s beside the point I was going to make. See, just about every knife the Swiss make has a corkscrew embedded between its red plastic handle. Ergo, the Swiss must be a fun loving people who enjoy a little wine-induced hedonism from time to time. No?

Haus Aeschlimann - Switzerland Vacation Rental

Haus Aeschlimann - Switzerland Vacation Rental

Well, naked or not, this little part of Switzerland is a veritable Eden. Mountains, lakes, virgin florests and the like provide the “ahhh” factor. Hey, weren’t folks naked in Eden?

So, maybe rent a house in Appenzell Ausserrhoden somewhere. How about renting the cute little place in the picture on the right? It’s called Haus Aeschlimann and it’s located in the village of Walzenhausen, which is also referred to as the “balcony above the Bodensee.” Nice.  It’s close to the town of St. Gallen, which is a great little town to visit (see the Abbey library, the world’s oldest, and notice all the ornate oriel windows).

And it’s on the edge of a vast woods. Go ahead. Shuck them clothes. You’re only on the balcony above the Bodensee after all. Who’s gonna see?


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