What did we ever do without the internet?
In one of my earliest voyages, having determined that Zihuatanejo, Mexico would be our vacation spot (based on the fact that it was the destination of choice for the protaganist in Shawshank Redemption), I set out to find us a nice place to stay. At that point, America Online (AOL) was the internet portal of choice. I searched for people in Zihuatenejo and stumbled onto a lady named Heike. As it turned out, they had a little villa with three bedrooms and a pool that they rented – perfect for our family. (Literally I don’t think their website has changed in more than ten years… it’s like a relic from the past).
Our Pacific Coast vacation was ideal – authentic tacos, cheap taxis, serene snorkeling on Isla Ixtapa, and catching three enormous sailfish all at once in the deep blue. Yet, what made it all the more exciting was the paradisical villa we stayed in.
It was there that I came to truly appreciate the hammock. Hammocks are furniture’s way of saying, “You don’t have shit to do.” Hammocks are the tropical equivalent of Lipitor. In fact, take a look at this picture… did you feel that? That was your blood pressure dropping. Now you’re starting to feel the wanderlust, aren’t you?
Aside from the hammocks, our villa had beautifully manicured grounds, a refreshing pool, a full kitchen, a rocking stereo and a feeling that it was uniquely ours. There it was revealed to me that hotels aren’t always the best option. Don’t get me wrong, they have their place, but the rental villa is serenity at its finest.
Since then I’ve let my AOL login lapse… the rental villa search is no longer so inefficient. There are many, but my preferred platform for searching out these hidden gems is www.VRBO.com. Some of these are rented by agencies, but a great majority are people like you and I who have the wanderlust, and haven’t been able to do escape full-time yet, so they invite you to stay in their place to help them pay the bills.
If you have frequent flier miles that are begging to be used, start daydreaming with a search of Bocas Del Toro, Panama on www.VRBO.com or HomeAway Vacation Rentals. If you don’t have frequent flier miles, shame on you! Get started with any of the cards we’ve mentioned in the many posts on www.worldwanderlusting.com.
If you don’t already have a well-established credit score and need a staple card that you can hold for a long time with no annual fee and some travel rewards, we like the American Express Blue Sky card.