Architect Designed Vacation Rentals

Burford Cottage

The travel section of The Guardian is always worth reading. This weekend they had an article about a new vacation rental agency that lets people rent modern architect-designed houses in unique locations in the UK. High design, low price: UK holiday homes, Alain de Botton’s set of cutting-edge, affordable holiday homes is bringing modernism to the masses, by Hannah Booth, The Guardian, Saturday 2 October 2010 Alain de Botton, the author of The Art of … Continue reading Architect Designed Vacation Rentals

A Short Trip to the Loire Valley

In July we did a short trip to France – five nights in the Loire Valley followed by four nights in Normandy. We are currently living in England, so flew from Bristol Airport to Paris, picked up a rental car and drove four hours to the Loire Valley, west of Tours. We stayed in a vacation rental (gite) in the countryside north of the Loire River. It is flat in this part of the country, … Continue reading A Short Trip to the Loire Valley

Going to the Loire Valley and Normandy

Eastleach Turville, Cotswolds

I have booked a short vacation to France in July, from our temporary home in the Cotswolds. We are flying from Bristol to Paris, then driving to the Loire Valley for five nights. Then we drive up to Normandy, stopping on the way to see the Bayeux Tapestry, something we have both always wanted to see. Four nights in Normandy, then back to the Paris airport to fly to Bristol. In the Loire we will … Continue reading Going to the Loire Valley and Normandy

A Year in England

View towards Minchinhampton Commons

For the past several years Steve and I have been planning to do “A Year in England”. We love England for many reasons – the beautiful countryside, the abundance of good walking and hiking trails, the charming villages, the people, the tea – and we want to do a longer stay. We spent five months in England in the late 1980s (fall and winter) but did not return until 2000 when we spent a month … Continue reading A Year in England

Vacation Rentals and HomeAway

Italian Villa in an Olive Grove

This is a big weekend for vacation rentals. is running an ad in the Super Bowl! This will introduce vacation rentals to millions of North Americans and put vacation rentals in the travel accommodation mainstream. My website gives you the tools you need to find and book vacation rentals in Europe, but I am not running a Super Bowl ad. Instead I am writing this blog post to give my view of vacation … Continue reading Vacation Rentals and HomeAway

Sant’Antonio in the Heart of Tuscany

Apartments at Sant'Antonio

Nico and Elena Pannevis run the Sant’Antonio Country Resort, an estate outside of Montepulciano, in Tuscany. Thirteen vacation rentals (villas, cottages, apartments) and six languages (Italian, English, Swahili, Dutch, German, French) on an idyllic olive growing estate that started life in the 12th century as a Monastery. The estate has large gardens (with over a kilometer of Bay Leaf hedges), views north to Lago Trasimeno and south to Monte Amiata, a large pool, underground parking … Continue reading Sant’Antonio in the Heart of Tuscany

HomeAway Puts Vacation Rentals on the Scoreboard

View from our balcony in Cetona, Tuscany

updated January 29, 2010 HomeAway, the Austin TX based company who owns most of the major Rent-by-Owner websites (,,, etc.*) will have an ad in the 2010 Super Bowl! Finally, vacation rentals will be on the scoreboard! The ad features Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reviving their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold in the 1983 movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” about a family on a vacation to “Walley World” (a great movie!). Brian … Continue reading HomeAway Puts Vacation Rentals on the Scoreboard

Find Vacation Rentals in Germany

Heidelberg, Germany

Germany was once the dividing line between Western and Eastern Europe, but now sits at the heart of the new Europe. November 2009 is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. When East Germany was reunified, five new regions in the north-east became part of Germany. We have added German vacation rentals to Slow Europe. We searched to find agencies with vacation rentals in Germany and good directory sites with rent-by-owner listings for … Continue reading Find Vacation Rentals in Germany

Home Base Holidays

Recently, on Twitter, I ran into Lois Sealey who lives in London and runs Home Base Holidays, a home exchange website. I know Lois from my SlowTrav days. Lately I have been interested in the idea of home exchanges, which in many ways are similar to staying in vacation rentals when you travel. You are staying in a home, not a hotel, and are based in a neighborhood where you experience a place as a local … Continue reading Home Base Holidays