Posts tagged with "staycation"

Dog and child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Backyarding Trends

The TurfMutt Foundation Predicts “Backyarding” To Become Permanent Trend

“Backyarding,” the new trend to move many indoor activities–from working in an office or classroom to dining and recreation–to the great outdoors, is growing. Under pandemic conditions, yards and other managed landscapes became a safe haven for social gatherings, celebrating milestones/holidays, working, studying, playing, exercising, relaxing.  
 
“Your own backyard is nearly limitless with possibilities, and homeowners got really creative as they expanded and enjoyed their yards over the last year,” said Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the TurfMutt Foundation. “We predict, long after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, our yards will become an even greater part of our lives. The notion of ‘backyarding’ is here to stay.” 
 
In 2020, home improvements – many of them in the backyard – skyrocketed. So did the demand for outdoor power equipment as homeowners invested in making their outdoor spaces fabulous, functional and flourishing. Overall, shipments of outdoor power equipment increased 16 percent in 2020.
 
“Expect people to continue to invest in their outdoor life this coming spring,” said Kiser. “Many homeowners who put time and effort into their landscapes last year will be rewarded when that yard comes back to life this spring. But, even if you did little last year, it’s never too late to start – just start.”  
 
Here are some ways to bring more “backyarding” into your life:  
 
1.    Invest in your yard. Design a dream lawn and garden. Consider its purpose. Don’t design just for aesthetics. Do you have kids and pets who need a place to play? Will you be hosting safe gatherings? Do you need a place for rest and relaxation and/or games and recreation?
 
2.    Get the whole family involved. Create a game or a friendly competition with your family to help identify all the ways you can move your indoor life to the great outdoors – and right out your backdoor. Can you take office calls and video meetings to the patio or porch? Can your kids do their online learning outdoors? How often can you take dining outside? Keeping safety in mind, can you gather outdoors for family celebrations, birthdays, graduations and reunions? 
 
3.    Plant something—as early as you can. (Or plant more). Adding trees, bushes, grass and flowering plants is a good yard investment, but they often take time to grow. Plant as early as recommended so you can enjoy the benefits faster.  Just remember “right plant, right place.”  Location, maintenance, sunlight and watering needs should all be considered, as well as your climate zone.
 
4.    Stretch winter-weary muscles. Take workouts, yoga classes and meditation sessions outdoors. You also can let off some steam by mowing the grass, trimming the hedges, or edging the lawn. Working in the yard not only helps our living landscapes look better and stay healthy, it also gives us a sense of accomplishment and control in trying times. 
 
5.    Plan a staycation. A makeshift “resort” or vacation spot could be just out your back door. Pitch a tent, build a campfire, hang a sheet between trees to make a movie screen, set up games – these are just a few ideas to make the backyard a vacation spot. 
 
6. “Level up” nature care. Add flowering plants, trees and shrubs to give wildlife and pollinators food and shelter. Your yard is part of the larger ecosystem, so check your climate zone for landscaping options that support your birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. Don’t forget to take time to just sit and drink it in, observing the wildlife and nature around you.
 
Research shows simply spending time in nature – which starts in your backyard – is good for reducing stress, boosting heart health, boosting Vitamin D levels, and enhancing memory.  Thanks to the family yard, the health and well-being benefits of being outside are just a few steps away.
 
To learn more, go to TurfMutt

Film fest illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Vilnius International Film Festival Winners

Vilnius International Film Festival Announces 2021 Award-Winning Films

Vilnius Film Festival’s 26th edition concluded April 5, 2021 with the announcement of European Debut, Short, and Audience Award competition winners. This year’s innovative, COVID-safe festival format was a collaboration between the film industry and the Lithuanian capital’s six top hotels, creating a vacation-at-home experience, where audience members enjoyed a virtual opening ceremony with a red carpet and collaborations with local talent, and watched a program of the year’s top international titles from the comfort of luxurious local hotels. “The opportunity to book hotel rooms to watch movies came just in time for an audience hungry for travel, new places, and experiences. According to the hotels, their occupancy rates reached pre-pandemic levels over the course of the three-week festival,” says Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskiene. Preliminary data also reveals that 100,000 viewers tuned in to this year’s diverse lineup of titles.

In a field rich with exciting new films, several stand-out titles took home competition prizes. The five-star jury line-up for the European Debut Competition included Venice Film Festival Artistic Director Gaia Furrer, filmmaker/producer Denis Côté, MUBI VP of Content Daniel Kasman, M-films production company founder Marija Razgutė, and filmmaker Lili Horvát. Director Itonje Søimer Guttormsen’s feminist, tragi-comic fable Gritt took home two European Debut Competition awards—both Best Film and a Best Actress award for star Birgitte Larsen. Best Actor was awarded to Pierre Deladonchamps for his role as the sinister central drifter in Peter Dourontzis’ Rascal, while Ainhoa Rodríguez was named best Director for Destello bravió, her precise portrait of women in small-town Spain. Special Mention was awarded to Tim Leyendekker’s boundary-pushing reconstruction of a notorious case of deliberate HIV transmission, Feast.

Other awards include Short Competition winners, judged by film critic and Cannes Critics’ Week programmer Nanako Tsukidate, director and cinematographer Camille Degeye, and filmmaker Ignas Meilūnas: Best Film winner Places, Vytautas Katkus’ intimate portrait of friendship, and Special Mention awardee Fish Like Us, Raphaela Schmid’s short in which various lives and stories unfold at a Chinese restaurant. Viewers were also able to weigh in on this year’s program, awarding Audience Awards to Best Film Quovadis, Aida?, Jasmila Žbanić’s story of a woman caught in the male game of war; Best Short Film The Little Bird and the Bees, Lena von Döhren’s vibrant animated short; and Best Lithuanian Film Swamp, an intimate character study from director Klementas Davidavičius.

“We’re glad that the language of film transcended our physical separation, providing an unparalleled sense of community and closeness,” said CEO of Vilnius IFF Algirdas Ramaška, thanking fans for their support. “Together with our partners, we were able to provide safe experiences-following quarantine restrictions, such as the private screening rooms in hotels-that surely left indelible memories.”

EUROPEAN DEBUT COMPETITION 
Best Film: Gritt (dir. Itonje Søimer Guttormsen)
Best Actress: Birgitte Larsen (Gritt)
Best Actor: Pierre Deladonchamps (Rascal)
Best Director: Ainhoa Rodríguez (Destello bravió)
Special Mention: Feast (dir. Tim Leyendekker)

SHORT COMPETITION 
Best Film: Places (dir. Vytautas Katkus)
Special Mention: Fish Like Us (dir. Raphaela Schmid)

AUDIENCE AWARDS
BEST FILM: Quo vadis, Aida? (dir. Jasmila Žbanić)
BEST SHORT FILM: The Little Bird and the Bees (dir. Lena von Döhren)
BEST LITHUANIAN FILM: Swamp (dir. Klementas Davidavičius)

The Vilnius Film Festival is supported by the Lithuanian Film Centre, co-funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Vilnius City Municipality and Go Vilnius. Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris is an independent private initiative.

To learn more about Vilnius Film Festival, visit this website.

More info on tourism in Vilinius here.

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Tourism Trends in 2021

What’s Ahead for Travel and Tourism? 5 Trends to Look For in 2021 and Beyond

By: Stefan Read, SVP Engagement Advisory and Strategy Practice Lead at Jackman

As vaccines continue to roll out and people begin to see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, many consumers are starting to think of travel. A recent survey by CivicScience found that as of March 2021, nearly 6 in 10 US adults say they’d be willing to travel in the next five months. This is very promising, but much has changed in the past year and several aspects of consumer behavior have been permanently altered. In order to succeed in the new post-Covid world, travel and hospitality brands must understand the new and emerging trends impacting this industry. Below are the top trends and customer behaviors that we will see in 2021 and beyond as travel begins to ramp up again.

  1. Cleanliness: Unsurprisingly, travelers now say that cleanliness is their top priority when selecting hotels and flights. In November 2020, Booking declared that short-term or holiday rentals have to meet a minimum cleanliness standard by May 2021, or have their properties delisted. Airbnb and VRBO created new cleaning procedures for hosts to follow in the pandemic. Even after the pandemic ends, cleanliness will remain top of mind for travelers as the anxiety around COVID and other illnesses have now become part of our new reality. Travel and hospitality brands can do their part by communicating detailed and specific information with travelers about the cleaning procedures they have in place, and making sure the procedures can be clearly observed by guests. Hotels and property hosts should also adjust their change and refund policies to allow guests to cancel at the last minute in case of a future outbreak. Brands that prioritize the health and well-being of guests over profits will win when it comes to customer loyalty and safety.
  2. Wellness Tourism: Cleanliness goes hand in hand with wellness, and wellness tourism will keep growing over the next couple of years as people continue to seek out travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities. According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism will be worth $919 billion by 2022, representing 18 percent of all tourism globally. Brands should start to think about what services or experiences they can create or enhance that will attract these wellness travelers, such as transforming outdoor spaces to become open air yoga studios or hiring meditation or massage experts available for guests to utilize during their stay.
  3. Staying Close to Home: It’s no surprise that during the pandemic traveler preferences shifted toward the familiar. Backpacking through Europe was no longer feasible, so travelers instead opted for domestic destinations and were more thorough in their planning. A recent AirBnB survey revealed that 56 percent of consumers prefer a domestic or local destination and one in five Americans say they want their destination to be within driving distance of home. As a result, road trips will boom – in fact, 59 percent of families say they’re more likely to drive than fly on their next trip. Smaller hotels can compete with the big hotel chains by highlighting the local aspect of their experience and engaging meaningfully with the community they’re in. They might also consider banding together to help people plan fun road trips along specific routes. Travel and hospitality brands can help take some of the anxiety off of travelers by playing a more active role in the planning aspect of the guests’ travel.
  1. Traveling to Connect: The door is open for brands to play a more meaningful role in the travel plans for customers as Airbnb anticipates 2021 being the year of “meaningful travel.” It’s not the act of getting on a plane, standing in long line ups, and visiting crowded tourist attractions that people miss about travel. Rather, it’s the element of social connection – reuniting with old friends, spending time with family, and experiencing something new with loved ones. For a significant percentage of AirBnB survey respondents, their definition of meaningful travel has changed since the pandemic to become even more focused on being with loved ones. These people also say they intend to travel more after the pandemic, with nearly one in two (46%) saying they will travel more for pleasure, such as by going on vacation and to visit family. Brands should consider helping with family reunion planning and continue to be mindful of ways to bring families together while still maintaining a clean and safe environment.
  2. Eco-Tourism: Defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people and involves education,” eco-tourism is on the rise. Consumers are taking on the role of “concerned citizens” demanding responsible travel policies, and we’re seeing a shift in behavior and sentiment toward appreciating the earth and what it has to offer. Moving forward, people will be thinking more mindfully about the way they travel, why they travel, and where they go. Rather than trying to fit as many destinations as possible into one trip, many consumers will opt for longer stays, choosing to get to know the local communities, cultures, cuisines, and landscapes.

The world of travel and tourism has been forever altered by the pandemic and lockdowns. With some valuable insights into how customer behaviors and desires have changed, travel and hospitality brands can find new, creative ways to appeal to travelers. The five trends listed above are a great place to start when looking to understand the ways these industries will continue to change moving into 2021 and beyond.

Travel with Virgin Limited in 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been a year like no other and sadly for many of us travel plans were squashed and much of the travel industry was put on hold. Through the global grounding of so many travelers we saw new trends emerge and as we start to look ahead to 2021, Virgin Limited Edition, the luxury collection of properties owned by Sir Richard Branson, has rounded up the trends it has spotted from around the collection. With new vaccines around the corner, we can only remain optimistic that 2021 will bring back some normality and we can finally make up for those lost holidays, making next year one to remember.

NEW OPENINGS:

Necker Island – After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. With the BVI borders re-opening on 1 December, Necker is ready to welcome back guests. Those visiting in 2020 and 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.

Moskito Island – Early 2021 will see the much-anticipated launch of Moskito Island in the BVI’s, situated just two miles from sister island, Necker. Home to the Branson Estate which is newly available for rental, next year will see the full launch of Moskito Island in what has already been described as “the most exclusive homeowners association in the world”. As the island sets to launch with brand new uber luxury private Estates for rental, it is most certainly one to watch for 2021….

Trend – As well as commercial travel, both Necker Island and Moskito Island are accessible by private jet, a form of travel that saw a 27% increase in bookings in 2020 following the pandemic outbreak and is likely to continue in 2021 as passengers opt to travel exclusively within their bubble.

STAY FOR LONGER AND WORK REMOTELY:

Son Bunyola – Another trend that has emerged from the pandemic is guests looking to stay away for longer and take advantage of a work life balance with new surroundings as their remote office location. In light of this the much-loved Son Bunyola estate, located in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca with its three individual secluded villas set across a stunning 700-acre private estate, has created a long stay offer for guests looking to stay longer.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four weeks or more, will receive two free nights each week; a total of eight free nights.

This offer is valid on new bookings for arrivals from 10th April – 11th June and 11th September – 31st October 2021 in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja and Son Balagueret. Rates are from EUR 7,500 for a stay in Son Balagueret on a self-catering basis. Rates are priced per week and are calculated based on receiving two free nights, per week. A minimum stay of four weeks is applicable.

SAFARI AND CONSERVATION:

Safari is always one for the bucket list and Virgin Limited Edition offers two world-class game reserves offering some of the most spectacular game viewing there is; Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, located in the Western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Mahali Mzuri, situated in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy of the famous Maasai Mara.

Today though safari isn’t just about the thrill of a game drive, it is very much about education and long-term conservation and nothing is more important to the Rangers and Guides at both Ulusaba and Mahali Mzuri. Guests on safari can expect to learn in abundance about endangered species and help in the work being done to protect them for our future generation. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, visit the local communities that both  game reserves support and witness some of the hugely important work both camps are doing to educate, develop and protect the livelihoods of those communities.

Offer – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free.

Valid for new bookings for arrivals from 2nd January – 30th June and 1st September – 21st December 2021. Stays at Safari and Rock Lodge start from ZAR 12,000 and Cliff Lodge from ZAR 22,200. Rates are quoted per person, per night, based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, all meals and drink (including a top quality wine list and champagne), twice daily game drives.

Offer – Mahali Mzuri – All new bookings of three nights or more will be treated to the final night for free.

Valid for arrivals from: 1st August – 21st December 2020 and 2nd January – 15th June 2021, 1st November – 21st December 2021. Rates from US$ 945 per person, per night based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares, all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), conservancy fees and unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, visits to the local markets, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and all taxes and local levies.

A TASTE OF LOCAL CULTURE:

Kasbah Tamadot – Situated in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this award-winning Kasbah has gained a reputation for the incredible work it does to support the local villages that surround it. With 99% of staff locals of the surrounding villages, the hotel is renowned for combining luxury whilst immersing its guests in community culture. For a true cultural immersion, guests are invited to join the Authentically Berber Experience. This includes a 2/3 hour walking trek in the Atlas Mountains, tea in a local Berber house, one hour Berber cooking lesson, Berber bread baking and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation set up by the hotel and Eve herself in 2005.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free. Those looking to stay a little longer, will be offered two nights free when booking seven nights or more.

This offer is valid for arrivals from 15th October – 21st December 2020 & 1st May – 30th September 2021, subject to availability. Rates are from MAD 6,000 per room, per night based on double occupancy and include accommodation in one of the luxurious bedrooms, suites or Berber Tents, a daily breakfast of hot and cold dishes and all taxes.

PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

Mont Rochelle – 2020 saw an increase in demand for villa and private residence rentals, something that is expected to continue into 2021 as families look for privacy and seclusion away from the crowds. The stunning private Manor House at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard, set in the beautiful vineyards of Franschhoek, offers the perfect oasis. Made up of four deluxe suites, and a luxurious bunk room for children, as well as two private swimming pools, it offers all the creature comforts of a home while allowing guests to indulge in all the luxuries of a hotel stay. Groups of up to eight people are welcomed to kick back and relax while a dedicated team of staff take care of the rest; from arranging private dining and spa treatments to horse-back riding and wine tasting, no detail is overlooked.

Offer – Groups of up to eight adults and six children will be welcomed to make the Manor House their own for long stays of one month or more.

Rates start from 35,000 Rand per night based on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Rates are inclusive of accommodation and access to all the luxury facilities at Mont Rochelle including the spa and two restaurants Miko & Country Kitchen, a dedicated villa manager, daily breakfast and daily housekeeping. There is also the option for guests to have their own chef or stay on a half board basis. Terms and conditions apply.

The Lodge – Perched high in the Swiss Alps of Verbier, The Lodge will be re-opening this December as Switzerland relaxes its quarantine conditions across most countries.  Groups looking to make the most of the winter season can do so in complete privacy from their own stunning luxury alpine lodge.

Offer – Guests can book the nine impressive bedrooms and suites exclusively from CHF 150,000 for a seven night stay and for the first time The Lodge is also introducing new rates for smaller groups whereby guests can book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000, or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 for a seven night stay. Stays of less than 7 nights are also welcomed in selected weeks of the season, as another first for The Lodge in 2021.

Rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a 24-hour driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes. Not to mention full use of the indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs.

INTIMATE WEDDINGS:

Restrictions around the world saw wedding plans change drastically in 2020. Larger weddings were reduced to much smaller numbers, a change that has been embraced by many as they adapt their plans and look for a more intimate celebration. The Virgin Limited Edition collection of retreats lend themselves to privacy and seclusion; the ideal combination for couples celebrating their honeymoon or those looking for an intimate setting to say, ‘I Do’. From elopements and small ceremonies, to a private ceremony in the African bush, intimate nuptials in amongst the vines, or even a romantic soiree on a secluded beach of a private island, couples are sure to have a wedding that dreams are made of.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to re-open so many of our properties this year and begin to welcome back our much-missed guests. As we look ahead, we are very excited to be re-opening Necker Island and The Lodge as well as launching Moskito Island. While travel has been limited for so many of us in 2020, it is fantastic to see so many new trends and travel habits emerging. We hope that 2021 will see us welcoming the world back to our properties and our local communities; offering the opportunity to reconnect, celebrate milestones that have passed or simply just to get away from it all in a place that feels a million miles away from reality.”

No one wants to think that travel may not be an option next year, but if that is the case Virgin Limited Edition is offering guests the opportunity to postpone bookings for no fee, and refundable deposits so they can keep on planning and dreaming of their next escape with confidence.

360 MAGAZINE, outdoors, Vaughn Lowery, travel, adventure

Winter Staycations In The Lake District

Sometimes there’s nothing better than going on holiday but making it a staycation. After all, the UK has so much to offer that we often forget about when it comes to booking a holiday. This season, the Lake District in particular has so much to offer; from cosy pubs with roaring fires to traditional Lake District hotels set amongst the fells.

A winter staycation has a certain romance about it, especially in an area as beautiful as the Lake District. With that in mind, here are some top tips on how to enjoy a winter staycation in the heart of the Lake District National Park.

Pack your walking boots

The temperatures may not be high, but get out amongst nature anyway and enjoy the crisp winter weather. The scenery is stunning all year round, and gives you the perfect excuse to switch off and enjoy being outside; just remember to wrap up! 

The Lake District National Park was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status, joining the likes of the Grand Canyon and Machu Picchu; and it’s right on your doorstep! 

Get on the water

While we don’t recommend getting in the water during a winter visit to the Lake District, you can certainly get on the water! There are a number of lake cruises and boat trips you can book on your winter staycation, allowing you to take in the true beauty of the area. 

The Ullswater Steamers in particular are very popular, with a history spanning 160 years of operating on Ullswater. It operates 363 days a year and gives you a chance to experience some breath-taking views across mountains like Helvellyn. 

Check out the local food 

After you’ve spent a day exploring in the cold wintry weather, treat yourself to one of the many local pubs and restaurants that offer a great gastronomical experience. There are many restaurants in the area that have won awards for their food and drink menus, as well as décor and service.

Unwind in the beautiful surroundings of towns like Keswick and Penrith as you sample local cuisine like sticky toffee pudding and Cumberland sausages. From AA Rosette restaurants to cosy village pubs, you’ll find something to suit every budget and every taste!

Soak up the culture

In the winter months, you might find the Lake District much quieter which can be lovely for exploring some of the heritage sites in the area. Just north of Ullswater you will find the Aira Force waterfall, while just outside of Penrith you will find Lowther Castle. Near Keswick, you will discover Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the country’s earliest stone circles.

There are also a number of Roman forts left behind, dotted in various areas of the Lake District. No matter where you are staying, it’s worth travelling to the likes of Hard Knott or Ravenglass for a fascinating look at the area’s history.

vacation homes, rentals, condominiums, cooperatives, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home

If you’re in a financial position where you are considering a vacation home, it can be exciting. Maybe your family has a favorite travel destination, or you’ve come across a great deal, and you think you might be ready to dive in.

Last year according to the National Association of Realtors, around one in eight homebuyers were purchasing a second home.


There is a lot that goes into buying a vacation home in terms of finances and logistics that you need to keep in mind. Sometimes it can sound dreamy, but the reality is different than you expected it would be, and the following are five important things to consider and weigh before buying a vacation home.


How Much Is It Really Going to Cost?


You may be looking at just the cost of the property itself and thinking it’s a great deal, but that only tells a small fraction of the story.


For example, is the house close enough to drive to, or will you be flying? If it’s somewhere you have to fly to, then you may have to buy an additional car to use when you’re there, and that comes with its own set of costs beyond the purchase price, such as carrying auto insurance for a rarely driven vehicle.


If you have to fly, you also have to factor in how much those airline tickets are going to cost you every time you want to go to your second home.


You’ll need other types of insurance along with auto insurance, such as homeowners’ insurance, and if your second home is in a place where flooding or hurricanes are likely, you’ll have to add that coverage in.
Other costs that often come with a second home include utility bills, homeowners association fees, and maintenance for the lawn.


Are You Willing to Commit to One Travel Destination?


If you buy a second home in a place you love, you may be happy only to travel there but you have to ensure that’s the case. You may be very limited in where you’re able to go outside of traveling to your vacation home.


If you’re someone who likes familiar routines, this could be fine for you, but if you are someone who has the travel bug, you might want to save your money and put it toward trips around the world versus locking yourself into one destination.


Are You Going to Rent It Out?


Some people who buy a second home will use it as a source of income when they’re not there, by renting it out. It can be a good way to cover some of the costs of owning a second home, but it’s a lot of work to own and rent out a property.


First, you have to ensure you can even rent it out at all. Certain neighborhoods or condo buildings might not allow this.


You also have to think about how you would rent it out—some locations in the country don’t allow Airbnb, for example, so you may have to pay an agency to handle it for you.


You also then have to pay for additional maintenance, insurance and cleaning services.


Plus, the most demand for your rental is going to be during the high season wherever it’s located, and that’s going to cut into your ability to enjoy your home.


What Will the Taxes Be?


A vacation home is a personal residence according to the IRS if you rent it out 14 days or fewer a year. If you rent it out more than 14 days a year, it’s considered a rental property. Either way, you have to report the rental income, plus there are issues like property taxes to take into consideration.


Are You Being Realistic?


The biggest thing to think about aside from the financial considerations is if you’re being realistic about the potential value, monetary and otherwise, that a second home will bring to your life and the life of your family.


There are snowbirds that love their vacation homes, and they use them for months at a time.


However, if you have a young family and you’re working full-time, this just isn’t going to be feasible.


What can initially seem like a dream may turn into something that you rarely get time to go to, and a vacation home can quickly become a burden.


You want to make sure you have the time and willingness to use your vacation home before you make such a big purchase that’s going to impact your finances and your life in so many ways.

Tuscan Women Cook

A Culinary Immersion Vacation Experience

Have you ever wanted to learn to cook in Italy, to participate in Tuscan cooking classes? And return home with recipes handed down over generations and collected by us since 2000? Each spring and fall, Coleen Kirnan and Rhonda Vilardo welcome guests from around the world to live, breath and cook as Italians do. Taking advantage of their years of business experience and knowledge, as master event planners, they create an insider’s Tuscan itinerary filled friendly, knowledgeable tour guides, translators, drivers and private cooking classes that only a local resident could access.

Indulge yourself in the Tuscan lifestyle and discover the region’s passion for food and wine in a small group of 18 people or less. The best cooks in all of Tuscany, the local women, or “nonnas,” teach their classes. They’ll share regional techniques, ingredients, and family recipes that have been passed down over the centuries. Put on your apron, gather around the old farmhouse table, get wrist-deep in pasta dough and learn Tuscan cooking from the source. You’ll learn first-hand how to make gnocchi, tagliatelli, and pici— thick strings of handmade eggless pasta made originally in Montefollonico.

Your week with Tuscan Women Cook includes six night’s accommodation at Agriturismo Belagaggio, a restored farmhouse in Montefollonico, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, cooking classes, daily sightseeing, visits to local artisans, cheese and wine tastings. Full day sight- seeing in Siena with a private guide who has a doctorate in Sienese history. Full translation is provided at all classes. Transportation to all activities is in a Mercedes minibus with private driver.

For wine lovers, Tuscan Women Cook is situated in the heart of Brunello de Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano country, and border on the Chianti wine region. This is the center of the new Italian wine renaissance and a dream locale for your next getaway with family and friends. Wine connoisseurs plan the ultimate Bucket List trip here to sample new wines and visit the spectacular vineyards. Tuscan Women Cook hosts will provide you with exclusive introductions to renowned Tuscan vintners and opportunities to purchase their award-winning wines for their personal cellars.

To learn more about Tuscan Women Cook and view beautiful photos and videos, visit www.TuscanWomenCook.com.

Tuscan women cook, 360 MAGAZINE, Italy, wine, Vaughn Lowery

Tuscan women cook, 360 MAGAZINE, Italy, wine, Vaughn Lowery

Tuscan women cook, 360 MAGAZINE, Italy, wine, Vaughn Lowery