Category Archives: Accommodations

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5 Easy Tips for Getting Amazing Sleep on the Road

If you find that your sleep quality decreases while traveling, you’re not alone. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that most adults prefer the comfort and calm of their own bedrooms over a hotel room—even a luxurious one. And don’t even get people started on the perils of trying to catch some shut-eye on an economy class flight.

Short of bringing their bed with them wherever they go, what’s a weary traveler to do? Whether you’re trying to catch some ZZZs on an airplane, in a hotel, or in a train or car, here’s how to get better sleep while on the road.

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1. Get comfortable.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep next to two other people in the backseat of a moving vehicle, you’ll know that this can be easier said than done. But sleep will come faster if you do what you can to make yourself comfortable. Try to wear loose-fitting clothing, take off your shoes, and cuddle up under breathable fabrics for the best chance at decent sleep. If you’re in a plane, train, or car, an inflatable or travel-sized pillow will also help.

2. Keep the environment cool, quiet, and dark.

Studies routinely show that people sleep best in spaces that are quiet, unlit, and cooled to less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While you may not be able to control the temperature wherever you’re trying to sleep (except in a car or hotel room), you can keep things quiet by packing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones or (at hotels) asking for a room that’s located away from the elevator, stairwell, vending machines, and pool (Also don’t forget to hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door). Limit your exposure to light by closing a hotel room’s curtains or packing an eye mask for flights.

3. Stick to your routines.

Consistency is key to getting good sleep, so do what you can to mimic your own bedroom environment wherever you are. Bring along your favorite pair of pajamas, a picture of your family or pet, and any other small items that will help you feel at home. Also be sure to stick to your normal bedtime routines, such as drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, listening to music, or practicing breathing exercises before closing your eyes.

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4. Avoid stimulants.

Caffeine, alcohol, and exposure to “blue light” (aka the glow emitted from electronic devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones) can all make it harder to catch some shut-eye. Try not to drink coffee in the afternoon or evening; don’t drink alcohol within a few hours of heading to bed; and turn off all electronics at least an hour before hitting the sheets. Avoiding these stimulants will help your body wind down so you can fall asleep faster.

5. Head to sleep-friendly hotels.

Reading reviews of hotels online prior to booking will help alert you to whether a hotel is known for having raucous guests or promoting quality slumber. Some hotels have even started investing in amenities to help guests get better sleep.

For example, the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Va. offers guests a “Dream Menu,” or a collection of services and products designed to help guests get better sleep (think hot water bottles, Snore-no-More pillows, and a Bed Wedge that elevates your upper torso). At the Fairmont San Francisco, guests can take advantage of a sleep kit complete with sleep machine, earplugs, eye mask, and slippers. Crowne Plaza hotels offer a “Sleep Advantage” program that lets guests elect to stay in quiet zones sans room attendant, housekeeping, or engineering activities from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. And Hampton hotels offer a “Clean and Fresh Bed” designed to provide guests with optimum comfort in the form of streamlined covers, four pillows per bed, and high-thread-count sheets.

Most importantly? Even if you find yourself tossing and turning, don’t lose hope. Fretting over lost sleep will only make you anxious, so try not to stress too much if you wanted to snooze through an entire eight-hour flight and only managed to catch an hour or two of ZZZs. A little bit of sleep is better than none. And if all else fails, never forget the power of a cat nap.

 

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How To Brave The Cold At An Ice Hotel (And The 4 Best To Try This Year)

Throughout history, hotels have continually pushed the bounds of what constitutes an exceptional night’s stay. Modern travelers’ desires for unique, authentic, and Instagram-worthy adventures have driven hotels to market themselves as destinations for unusual trips and immersive experiences. Perhaps no trend better encapsulates this movement than the rise of the ice hotel.

The original ice hotel—appropriately named ICEHOTEL and included on this list—was created in Sweden in 1989. Simultaneously an art exhibition and a guesthouse, the hotel is built out of natural ice and snow harvested from a nearby river. Newer iterations on the concept include igloo villages, art museums made entirely of ice, and a wide range of amenities. Here are four variations you won’t want to miss (just remember to pack the parka).

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1. Hotel de Glace, Quebec

The only hotel in North America made completely of ice, Hotel de Glace is open in the winter of each year—and then it melts away. As with the other entries on this list, each room in the hotel is carved from ice, meaning temperatures need to remain below freezing lest the rooms melt while guests are sleeping. But don’t worry about staying warm: The hotel provides beds and thermal sleeping bags rated for freezing conditions, as well as several outdoor hot tubs. Guests enjoy lounging on chairs made from ice, sipping on winter-themed cocktails from the hotel bar, and scoping out the ice carvings and mountain views.

2. ICEHOTEL, Sweden

Located just over a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle and near Sweden’s Torne River, the original ICEHOTEL welcomes adventurous guests from all over the world. Hotel guides lead guests across icy terrain atop horses, dog sleds, skimobiles, and even MINI Coopers. Food and drink is often served from plates and cups made of ice, and the hotel bar is to die for. The guestrooms are as varied as the hotel’s visitors—some are custom-designed while others include both ice and snow. In the winter, guests can enjoy an unobstructed view of the northern lights.

3. Eskimska Vas, Slovenia

While Slovenia makes for an amazing summer getaway, it’s worth coming back for the opening of the country’s Eskimo Village in December. Guests access the village by riding cable cars up the mountain, then hiking in on snowshoes (so it’s probably best to pack light). Anyone who isn’t exhausted from the trek can enjoy daily outdoor activities like snowbiking, snowtubing, and sledding. Tired visitors unwind at the village’s bar or Igloo restaurant, then hit the (snowy) sack in an individual igloo equipped with sheepskin to keep folks warm.

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4. Snowhotel, Finland

Easily accessible from the buzzing hub of Helsinki airport, the Snowhotel promises a quiet respite from Finland’s larger cities and the hum of modern life. Boasting “tranquil silence” and “beautifully illuminated ice art,” the hotel is designed to simultaneously delight and soothe the senses. At night, guests bundle up in thermal sleeping bags atop beds carved entirely from ice. Overnight stays include room wake-up with hot berry juice, buffet breakfast in a the warm “log restaurant,” and guided tours of the surrounding Snow Village, which features an Ice Restaurant, Ice Cocktail Bar, chapel, slide, and a network of corridors decked out in snow and ice art.

Tips for Staying in An Ice Hotel

Do

  • Learn how to properly use a sleeping bag. If you’ve never slept in a thermal bag before, consult hotel staff to learn how a few small tweaks can keep you warm for the night.
  • Participate in physical activities during the day. This will keep your circulation pumping (and physical tiredness will make it easier to sleep at night). It’s also a great opportunity to try something new. Snowbiking, anyone?
  • Hit the restroom before going to bed. Most rooms in ice hotels do not come equipped with private bathrooms; instead, communal restroom facilities are located around the hotel. No one wants to crawl out of their warm sleeping bag to walk the freezing halls at 3 in the morning!
  • Have a backup plan. Some folks can’t get enough of ice hotels; others decide they’re fans of slightly less adventurous overnights. If it’s your first time, consider booking one night at a time to gauge your affinity for wintry nights. Many ice hotels also offer more traditional (i.e. warm) lodgings nearby, so inquire about your options while booking.

Don’t

  • Expect a normal hotel stay. Ice hotels are different (that’s the whole point). You’re unlikely to find standard hotel-room amenities such as TV, minibars, or any furniture beyond the bed. You will be in a room made of ice, and that’s pretty much it. Try to embrace the tranquility this affords.
  • Wear cotton clothing. Because cotton traps moisture, breaking a sweat will result in serious chills not long after. Stick to breathable fabrics like wool. Also be sure to follow any other hotel guidelines for apparel.
  • Drink a lot of alcohol. While ice bars may be tempting, consuming too much alcohol before bed promotes heat loss and can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
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Traveling with Pets: How to Make Your Pet’s Hotel Stay Awesome

When it comes to traveling with pets on vacation, a little research can go a long way. It can be easier than one might expect to bring furry friends along on your trip and keep them happy and comfortable.

Before Arrival

Hipmunk has your back, as always, with your hotel search. Filter your results by amenities offered, or check out our Pet-Friendly Hotels Index to get a good sense of which cities and destinations offer the most pet-friendly options.

Communication with the hotel is essential for an easy and stress-free trip, and much of it can take place before arrival. When investigating a possible hotel, keep in mind that not all hotels accept pets, and that some may charge extra fees per night for furry companions. On the other hand, many hotels offer amazing pet perks for a small per stay fee. The Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, for example, charges $100 per stay for pet-walking and pet-sitting services and a room service menu for cats and dogs, as well as helpful items such as bedding, litter boxes, and leashes.

When making a reservation, requesting a ground floor room is a good idea for dogs — it will enable easy walks and potty breaks, and will avoid disturbing downstairs neighbors with scurrying. For cats, a handicapped accessible room is ideal because of the larger bathroom, which offers easy clean up for a litter box.

What to Bring

There are a few essential things to bring along when traveling with pets. Identification tags and medical records are particularly important, especially if traveling by air. Bringing pets’ favorite toys will help them feel more at home in the new environment, and chewing toys for dogs and scratching toys for cats especially will distract them from chewing or scratching any hotel furniture. To make pets comfortable and avoid GI distress, keep them hydrated with bottled water and bring some of their normal food from home.

Many hotels require that pets be kept in a crate when left alone in the room, and even if it isn’t required, it’s a good idea for the happiness of travelers, pets, and hotel staff. It will avoid unwanted accidents in the room and prevent animals from rushing out the door if housekeeping visits the room.

Helpful Tips

Just in case, it’s a good idea to leave a cell phone number with the front desk staff of the hotel so that they can alert pet owners to any complaints or mishaps. For the general well-being of pets and owners, making sure that pets get a little exercise before arriving at the hotel can make them much happier and calmer once in the room. Maintaining a steady routine on the trip can also help make them more relaxed in a new atmosphere. A little advance preparation and communication with hotel staff can make traveling with pets an easier than expected experience for everyone involved, and can ensure a happy trip for both humans and animals.

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4 Gluten-Free Hotel Groups That Care About Your Health

Though more people are embracing the gluten-free lifestyle, it can be difficult to find hotels that cater to specific dietary needs. Luckily, a few hotel chains have rolled out gluten-free menus in all of their hotels, so travelers with gluten sensitivities can be taken care of.  Here our four gluten-free hotel groups perfect for those with special dietary needs.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

At Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, chefs have been trained specifically to offer up a wide variety of special dietary and allergy specific meals. Fairmont now offers a new menu called Lifestyle Cuisine Plus, available upon request. Lifestyle Cuisine Plus not only offer gluten free options, but heart healthy, vegan/vegetarian, and macrobiotic meals as well. Guests may speak with the chef directly to plan their meals for the entirety of their stay. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts can be found in major cities such as Chicago, Toronto, Dallas, and Santa Monica.

Grand Hyatt/Hyatt Regency Hotels

Hyatt hotels are committed to using only the healthiest locally sourced ingredients. They design their menus to be portion controlled and while regulating fat and sodium contents (without sacrificing flavor!).  Not only that, they have gluten-free and vegan options on every menu. With 587 properties worldwide, Hyatt prides themselves on bringing hospitality and health all around the globe from New York to Chicago to Orlando.

Sandals Resort

Gluten free travelers looking for a more tropical destination will find what they need at Sandals Resort. With multiple locations all with sun and sand, relax knowing that Sandals works with guests to fit their individual dietary needs. Sandals’ Gourmet Discovery Dining culinary teams are responsible for offering gluten-free and lactose intolerant options, as well as options for guests with specific food allergies — 24 hours a day. Find Sandals resorts in Negril Beach, Montego Bay, and St. Johns.

Omni Hotels and Resorts

With over 45 Omni Hotels and Resorts nationwide, each one has been equipped with gluten-free options for even the most sensitive of travellers. Breakfast includes an assortment of gluten-free breads and muffins, and even includes protective sleeves for toasting. Even more impressive, Omni Hotels take care to keep gluten-free foods separate from non gluten-free food in order to prevent any cross contamination. While each Omni Hotel and Resort is different, the gluten-free options are always available. Omni Hotels and Resorts can be found in major cities such as Atlanta, San Diego, Houston, and Boston.

 

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The 4 Best National Parks for Glamping

Sweeping majesty, untouched wilderness, astounding isolation: phrases like these don’t do justice to the amazing variety of U.S. National Parks. And there’s plenty more to do at these destinations than getting away from it all. So we highlighted four fantastic parks that are beautiful year-round, offer plenty of activities beyond “hiking until sore,” and don’t require a plane ride from the nearest major city. One visit to these natural treasures is all a city slicker needs to become a glamping convert.

  1. Yosemite National Park, CA 

This legendary park is home to deservedly famous valleys, 1,500-year-old sequoia trees, and the highest waterfall in the North American continent, Yosemite Falls. There are guided hikes, bird-watching tours, and even photography workshops for those newer to exploring National Parks. The nearest cities are San Francisco and Sacramento, but and if you don’t have wheels, Yosemite is easily reachable by train, and the park’s free shuttle system makes it easy to get around the South Rim.

  1. Olympic National Park, WA 

Coming in at nearly one million acres, the beauty of Olympic National Park is that it contains three distinct ecosystems: subalpine forest and its wildflower meadows, lush temperate forest, and stunning beaches. Almost all of it is untouched by man; in fact, the park is so pristine it’s considered a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. There are plenty of ranger-led programs and events for park first timers, and it’s reachable from nearby Seattle.

  1. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Five million people visit this park each year, and it’s easy to see why. Almost any vantage point offers an astonishing view of the Grand Canyon, which plunges through layer after layer of kaleidoscopic rock, exposing nearly two billion years of prehistory. Reachable from Phoenix, Flagstaff, or even Las Vegas, the park has plenty of accommodation options, and activities range from guided hikes and mule rides to white water rafting. Believe the hype.

  1. Channel Islands National Park, CA 

This isn’t your typical national park. Less than a two-hour boat ride from Los Angeles, the Channel Islands lie just 11 miles off the southern California coast, where five beautifully preserved islands await. Bird watching, whale watching, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling comprise just a small slice of the all-terrain activities available. Can’t bear to leave after just one day? There are plenty of great hotels in nearby Ventura. Why not stay awhile?

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8 Hotels That Are Excellent for Last Minute Booking

Sometimes, it’s not the early bird that catches the worm–it’s the late one! The days of super advanced booking are over, which is great for travelers who prefer spontaneity over early planning. Many hotels offer generous deals for day before or same day reservations; check out our list below to see some of the great hotels that are excellent for last minute booking!

1. Hotel Nikko  — San Francisco, CA

Just steps from Union Square in San Francisco sits Hotel Nikko, a sleek and cutting-edge hotel that offers 532 spacious rooms, a 10,000 square foot health club, and a top-tier nightclub theater, Feinstein’s at the Nikko. Though a night at the Hotel Nikko is certainly not cheap, they’ve got great last minute deals where upwards of $100 can be slashed from the normal price.

2. Aloft — Brooklyn, NY

Located in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, Aloft Hotel is a cool spot for vacationers looking for a twist on the typical New York holiday. Offering premium loft spaces, an amazing rooftop bar, and easy access to the best offerings in Brooklyn, the Aloft is also great for last minute booking because of it’s removed location from the over-packed touristy areas of Manhattan.

3. Casulo Hotel — Austin, TX

Known for its effortless blend of urban chic and zen simplicity, the Casulo Hotel is a popular spot for Austin-bound vacationers. Situated between downtown and the Austin airport, the Casulo is not only hip and trendy, but also conveniently-located. Plus, last minute bookings here are easy to finagle and can often be cheaper than an advanced booking.

4. Hotel Lincoln — Chicago, IL

Set on a gorgeous tree-lined street near Lake Michigan, the Hotel Lincoln offers its patrons a hotel that is in parts hip, trendy, vintage and wholly Chicagoan. With great amenities and a large rooftop bar with a view of the leafy Lincoln Park, it’s no wonder this hotel is a dream for tourists, whether booking in advance or snagging a last minute deal the day before.

5. Motif Seattle — Seattle, WA

Located just minutes away from some of Seattle’s best tourist sites, the Motif Hotel embodies the spirit of the Emerald City. Offering a plethora of packages to its guests, such as a Romantic Getaway Package and a Style Package, the Motif is also great at offering last minute deals for travelers who can sometimes save up to $75 on day-before bookings.

6. Portofino Hotel & Marina — Los Angeles, CA

With a laid back SoCal vibe and a nautical aesthetic sure to please sea-lovers as well as land-lovers, the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Los Angeles is the perfect spot for a relaxing beach vacation. Known for its breathtaking sunset views over the sea and the dolphins that dip in and out of the marina, the Portofino is also known to leave rooms vacant for same-day booking.

7. Hudson Hotel — New York, NY

Energetic, dynamic, and unconventional are a few words vacationers use to describe the Hudson Hotel, a new hotel that has sprung up near Central Park in New York City. Complete with a lounge, rooftop garden, and some seriously spacious rooms, the Hudson is a great place to stay while taking a bite out of the Big Apple. It’s also great with last minute deals, where quick travelers can save up to $50 on same day booking.

8. Le Pavillon Hotel — New Orleans, LA

Sitting adjacent to the French Quarter in the heart of New Orleans, Le Pavillon Hotel is a classy, historic landmark in the city. Grand in scale and refreshingly un-modern, the Pavillon provides its guests with a traditional stay with all the trappings of an old world Parisian hotel. Plus, they accept last minute booking and even sometimes offer reduced prices on their otherwise expensive rooms.

4 Best Cities in the Us For Your Next Golf Vacation

Whether you are looking to enjoy the ocean air at a links style golf course, or to accept the challenge of one of America’s toughest courses, the US has plenty of incredible options for a golf vacation. In fact, of the 34,000 golf courses worldwide, over 15,000 are in the US. Here are five of the best golf cities in the US.

1. Colorado Springs, CO

Along with dozens of public and private courses, Colorado Springs promises three-hundred plus days of sunshine per year, making it an inviting destination for golfers. While the peak golf season is from April to October, Colorado Springs’ location at the base of the Rockies keeps it shielded from most of the extreme weather affecting the rest of the state. The Broadmoor Resort plays host to the US Women’s Open and boasts three courses, luxury accommodations, and three swimming pools. If you prefer something quainter, the Cheyenne Canon Inn is a Bed and Breakfast less than a mile away from the Broadmoor Golf Club.

2. Kohler, WI

Kohler is home home to five of the midwest’s best golf courses, all within 20 miles from each other. The Whistling Straits, a walking-only, links-style course will host the 2015 PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup. The American Club, a five-diamond hotel located in between Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits, is a great option for those looking to hit both courses. A half-mile north, is the Inn on Woodlake, a small boutique hotel on the shore of Wood Lake.

3. Kiawah Island, SC

In a 2014 poll, Kiawah Island was voted No. 1 island in the US and No. 2 island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler Readers, and the Kiawah Island Golf Resort had a lot to do with it. With 90 holes, and five championship courses designed by the likes of Klaus, Johnston, Fazio and Player, many will choose the torture of playing what is widely considered the toughest course in the US, The Ocean Course. Designed by Peter Dye, the course has superslick greens, massive sand dunes, and trying pot bunkers.

4. Pebble Beach, CA

Pebble Beach Golf Links was once again voted America’s Number 1 Public Golf Course by Golf Digest. Providing sweeping vistas along the coastline, this course has undoubtedly made it into many a golfer’s must-play list. The Lodge at Pebble Beach encompasses the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links, and it’s only five minutes from Spyglass Hill Golf Course. The Inn at Spanish Bay overlooks The Links at Spanish Bay — a true links course, rooted in Scottish tradition — as well as the Del Monte and Peter Hay Golf Courses.

 

we hostels interview

An Interview with Diego from @WeHostels

Today we’re talking to Diego Saez-Gil, the founder of WeHostels; an innovative app that allows you to book a hostel directly from your phone. One of our primary goals at Oh Hey World is to connect like-minded people with each other. Being a co-founder of a tech company in the travel industry, one of my personal interests is learning more about other entrepreneurs building travel tech companies, which is how I came across Diego in the first place. We’ve had the chance to meet in person several times, first in San Francisco at a Startup Chile meetup and then in New York for lunch more recently, and he’s as smart an entrepreneur as they come.

If you’re keen to connect with Diego further, you can find his current location on his OHW profile.

Without further adieu…

1) What do you do?

we hostels interview

At WeHostels we are working on helping travelers find affordable accommodations to stay in their trips right from their mobile devices. We connect our users to more than 40,000 independent lodgings including hostels, bed&breakfasts and budget hotels. We make it easy for them to find places around them available last-minute and book them on the go. We also feature events (festivals and concerts) that people might want to travel for and hope to connect travelers going to the same destinations.

2) Why do you do what you do?

We believe that when we travel in a genuine way we open our minds and our hearts to new realities, and this leads to making us better citizens of the world. Our mission is to inspire and help more young people to travel the world, connecting with others and becoming better persons.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

We are very excited about the widespread of Internet connected mobile devices and the empowerment that it represents. We believe that mobile brings an opportunity to create innovations needed in the travel industry. The exponential growth of mobile represents as well an opportunity for startups to reach a wide growing audience.

4) What’s next for you?

We arriving to Android and iPad this month and are very excited about it. After that the goal is to continue growing our community and keep helping them have amazing travel experiences.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Besides helping people to travel, I am passionate about technology and education. I’m a member of Coderise, a non-profit organization that aims to empower kids in developing nations by teaching them to code. I believe that education can be the driver of positive change in the world at a massive scale.

A big thanks to Diego for sharing his motivations and current projects. If you’d like to connect on social media with Diego or WeHostels:

WeHostels on Twitter and Facebook

Diego on Twitter

Travel quote from We Hostels

We’ll be featuring a number of other travel tech entrepreneurs in the coming weeks. If you are an entrepreneur in the travel vertical, and want to be profiled, please sign up for an OHW account and add “travel tech entrepreneurs” as an interest on your profile — then shoot me an email (drew at ohheyworld).

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting

Ultimate Guide to Housesitting

I met Dani and Jess (the Globetrottergirls) in Chiang Mai earlier this year and could instantly tell they were full of life and energy to explore the world, and as genuine as you get. Since they departed in March (I think?), they have pretty much traveled around the entire world by housesitting, and now they’ve written a book so others can learn how to do the same.

I plan on writing a book someday, and know that it’s going to be a massive commitment of time when I do. Congrats for a job well done!

For those interested in housesitting, you can buy the Kindle version for $9.99 on Amazon – Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting (affiliate link)

The description on Amazon:

The housesitting movement is quietly exploding…

People around the world are discovering this unique win-win arrangement where people can live free rent in exchange for caring for someone’s home and pets.

But housesitting is so much more than that! It allows you to travel the way you always imagined you would, but never knew how to make it work.

Ever have a dream trip not turn out how you expected? Like a trip to Paris you thought would be filled with wine, art and sophistication, but when you finally got there, you were crammed into the only generic hotel you could afford, slogging from museum to museum with blistered feet and a sunburnt nose, not feeling very sophisticated at all.

Imagine instead you spent a few weeks housesitting in a luxury condominium in a quiet neighborhood, entirely rent-free. You walk the dog to the corner bakery where they know you by name, and no worries if you don’t get to the museum today. You can always go tomorrow.

If not Paris, this could be anywhere, from two months on a private beach in Mexico, a few weeks in your own Manhattan apartment to a luxury cottage in the Scottish Highlands.

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 CEO, a rock star or a billionaire to travel the world this way.

Break Free authors Jessica Ainlay and Dani Heinrich should know. Since 2010, they have been traveling around the world, housesitting in dream locations across four continents, like a Caribbean beach house in Mexico, an LA apartment right in Hollywood, a B&B in Tuscany, a house in northern Thailand and a luxury condo in the most exclusive neighborhood in Santiago de Chile, to name just a few.

Even if you own a home, you can still escape on extended getaways. There is no need to feel frustrated about focusing on climbing the career ladder, buying a house, but deep inside sill wishing you taken off on an adventure after college.

You can still visit the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, stop off in Tokyo and spend a few months traveling around Australia – all while knowing your house and pets are in the good hands of the housesitter you handpicked before you left. You just need to get started with housesitting.

Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting has over 100 pages packed with everything you will ever need to know about housesitting. It addresses concerns that might hold you back, such as the safety of having a stranger in your home and answers questions like ‘what is it like to live in someone else’s house?’ Most importantly Break Free guides you through the entire housesitting process from:

1. How to find housesitting opportunities
2. How to find the right housesitter.
3. How to get a housesit, even with no experience
4. How write a stellar profile
5. How to get your housesitter up to speed before leaving for your trip.
6. How to deal with issues of homeowner’s insurance, contracts and emergencies

Also included is an in-depth expert analysis of over 20 housesitting websites including membership rates and pros and cons of each, plus samples of profiles and applications to model yours after and detailed checklists to use during housesits.

Throughout the book, the authors also share many of their own personal stories, offering readers an inside look into the world of housesitting.

As a special gift, those who purchase Break Free will find a discount membership coupon inside for one of the most popular housesitting websites, meaning the book practically pays for itself.

By the end of Break Free you’ll wonder why in the world you wouldn’t get involved in housesitting and you will have all the tools to start right away!

I haven’t bought or read the book yet, but plan to. That said, I trust Dani and Jess enough to recommend this as a valuable resource for long term travelers.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Looking to Stay at a Hostel in Seattle?

If you’re looking at hostels in Seattle, you probably don’t want to stay at Second Home Hostels (more info). It says that it’s within walking distance from Seatac airport — but what they neglect to mention is that the airport is no where near downtown Seattle. You’re looking at a 30 minute ride on the light rail (for $2.50) or a cab ride (for $55) to get to the city from the airport.

Oh Hey World

Oh Hey World -- Share your location with the people, communities, and services that matter. Now working on Horizon.

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