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Travel Tips: How to Rent Your Dream Home This Summer

By Alexandra Strick

Traveling to Europe is one of the greatest ways to spend a summer vacation. As a major Europhile, I travel to my favorite continent every chance that I get. However, as I’ve gotten older the thrill of staying in youth hostels has worn off, and I find hotels disappointing as they keep one emotionally at a distance from the essence of a culture. 

In my opinion, the greatest way to immerse oneself into a new culture is to acquaintance oneself with the home of a local. Opting to forgo the hotel path, renting a vacation home can be an affordable and most ideal option to spend a summer. By having one’s own temporary home, one can feel like a resident of said area, rather than just an average tourist. In addition, by having the opportunity to utilize the kitchen of the home, one can prepare meals using local ingredients and recipes, and enjoy them in the comfort and privacy of their own space. 



Finding such a rental home may sound daunting, however the process is actually quite easy. It can actually be much more affordable than staying at a hotel as well. As long as one knows how to navigate the internet, they should find it quite easy to land the vacation rental they have always dreamed of! The following list of websites all work as reliable resources to helping to plan your trip. 




As a frequent traveler, I can attest that each of these sites function quite well! The websites I have chosen are: 

www.tripadvisor.com/vacationrentals
www.airbnb.com
www.roomorama.com
www.vrbo.com
www.venere.com 
www.homeaway.com




If you’re looking for a memorable and exciting summer vacation that is a bit off the radar I would highly recommend a trip to Jurmala, which is the oldest and largest resort town in the Baltics! I recently summered in Jurmala (located just 25 kilometers west of Riga, Latvia), and found myself delightfully amazed by vibrant lifestyle the town had to offer. 

35 kilometers of inviting white sand beaches, dunes and pine trees sits along the placid Riga Bay. Jurmala is internationally known for its spas, mud baths and mineral springs, which have kept tourists returning for centuries. The pedestrian streets are lined with charming shops, restaurants, bars and casinos, and the summers are kept lively through the production of many cultural events, including concerts by many famous performers. 


Jurmala, Latvia 
The beautiful, and colorful, nineteenth century architecture is sure to leave you impressed as well! Although Jurmala gained its fame in the 1930’s for being the hot place for prominent USSR leaders to vacation at, in recent years the town has lost its reputation for being associated with the Communist Party, and has gained popularity amongst all European tourists. The greatest selling point as to why one should make Jurmala their summertime destination, in my opinion is the price! Flights to Riga from New York are significantly cheaper than flying to almost anywhere else in Europe, which really makes this vacation a steal. 

Until next time fashionistas, bon voyage! 



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