Five Insider Secrets to Profitable Vacation Rentals

This guest post was written by Kris Getzie, Founder & Principal Consultant at Volo. She is a vacation rental expert and author of the recently published Vacation Rentals For Newbies.

I’ve talked to many vacation rental owners and managers over the years and have noted key secrets separating average properties from great ones. It’s pretty obvious that those who maintained consistent success (high occupancy and profit) have a great number of repeat visitors.

Insiders have shared five of their favorite secrets that contribute to distinctive success:

1. Competitive rental rate

Tripping.com allows travelers to search across all rental sites effortlessly.  Potential guests have already put in a lot of time comparing amenities, reviews and prices and are quick to call-out any rentals that are priced too high so it’s critical to remain competitive.  Fully occupied owners are acutely aware of their competitors and ensure their property offerings are more appealing than those at similar price points.

2. Consistent guest experience

Before the days of online reviews, people typically stuck to brands they were familiar with.  Hotel chains ruled the hospitality industry because they were able to master this seemingly small, but very important, task.  Not only does there need to be a consistent product offering (your home amenities, condition and cleanliness) for every guest, but also consistent communication, brand, and booking processes.  

3. Marketing strategy

The best vacation rental owners do more than list their homes on a few listing sites (such as Tripping, Airbnb and VRBO) and wish for the best.  While you can probably achieve a seventy percent seasonal occupancy rate by doing just that, the best managers view their home as a business, not a hobby, and drive a ninety plus percent annual occupancy.   

Your occupancy directly affects your ROI, so it’s critical to have a robust marketing plan that is evaluated often.  A great way to analyze your marketing sources is to divide the cost of each source into the rental revenue obtained. Listing sites also have insights into the number of times your listing is viewed and provide inquiry demographics. Compare these numbers to have a firm understanding which sites are working best, how adjustments made to your ad (and marketing) impact traffic, and who your guest is.

Lastly, team up with local businesses!  You are a community and local businesses can also benefit from increased occupancy.  Successful vacation rental owners don’t hesitate to call nearby restaurants, parks, music venues for discounted (or free) coupons to add to your vacation package.

4. Hospitality Best Practices  

This topic is congruent with mastering a consistent guest experience, but is different enough to speak to specifically.  Luxury hotels have, for decades, mastered the art of receiving guests and making them comfortable throughout their stay. As modern travelers opt for vacation rentals over hotels (due to practicality, affordability and the desire for more authentic experiences), real estate investors have the potential for a lucrative business.

The most successful vacation rental owners are well acquainted with hospitality best practices and willingly accommodate their guests at every step of their stay.

5. Authenticity  

Modern travelers want to feel connected to an authentic experience. These travelers are booking vacation rentals over hotels and owners are in the perfect position to feed this desire. The most successful vacation home investors willingly share insider knowledge of the local community with guests through their home ‘guide’, website FAQ and personal communications.

In addition to fluidly implementing these five secrets, I have learned that the most successful vacation rental owners have also built a solid business foundation. The industry is getting more competitive each day, but if proper attention is given to the details from the start, you will build a profitable vacation rental business.

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10 of the Midwest’s Best Vacation Destinations

World-class attractions, rich history, live entertainment and scenic shoreline backdrops; the Midwest has it all. Here’s a round-up of some of the best vacation destinations in the heartland:

Illinois

Situated along Lake Michigan, Chicago boasts world-renown restaurants, museums, theater, sports and entertainment. Tourists flock to the popular Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot long pier on the shoreline of Lake Eerie, for live music, shopping, beer gardens and dining cruises.

Photo of Chicago by mindfrieze via Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin

Once a wealthy resort for Chicago families after the Civil War, Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva features historic mansions and a 21-mile Shore Path around the lake and golf resorts. Spend your vacation on a scenic shore cruise, at the Geneva Lake Museum, zip lining or at a day spa.

Photo by Royakbroil via Wikimedia Commons

Embraced as “The Waterpark Capital of the World”, Wisconsin Dells  also draws spring breakers for its roller coaters, haunted houses, festivals and golf. Among the impressive attractions is a 200,000 square foot indoor and outdoor waterpark.

Missouri

Rent a boat at one of the dozens of marinas, hit the golf course or stroll the “Strip” for candy, fudge and souvenirs. Located in central Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks spans 1,150 miles of shoreline and was formed in 1931 after the historic Bagnell Dam was completed.

Photo by James Carr via Wikimedia Commons

Dubbed Paris of the Plains, Kansas City has more boulevards than Paris and more working fountains than anywhere else but Rome. Topping the list of favorite places to visit in Missouri’s largest city is the Arabia Steamboat Museum and Country Club Plaza retail district. Kansas City boasts the best in barbecue, as well as hopping jazz and bebop venues.

Iowa

Okoboji takes its namesake from the West Okoboji Lake in the Iowa Great Lakes region. Explore wildlife preserves and parks, boat the Great Lakes or play a round of golf. Stop by Arnold’s Amusement Park for roller coasters, go karts and carnival games.

Ohio

The northern Ohio city of Sandusky is best known as the roller coaster capital of the world with Cedar Point amusement park. It’s southern Lake Erie shores were also a safe haven for runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad.

Photo by Dave Herholz via Wikimedia Commons

Michigan

The shores of Lake Michigan cradle Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bluffs tower some 450-feet above Lake Michigan for sensational views across the water. Visitors come both for the sloping bluffs and the 35-miles of sandy beaches.

Traverse City normally holds a population of roughly 14,000 that skyrockets to more than 500,000 during the National Cherry Festival. During the annual event, Lake Michigan serves as a backdrop against live entertainment, crafts and games.

Photo of Mackinac Island by Notorious4life via Wikimedia Commons

Voted one of the world’s top 10 islands by Condé Nast Traveler, Mackinac Island in Michigan transports visitors by ferry to the island for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and water sports. An automobile ban in 1898 still stands leaving foot, horse or bicycle as primary means of transportation.

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Tripper Anna Lysakowska: Making Career and Travel Work

1. When did you decide travelling and work was the path you wanted to pursue?

My dad was often working abroad, so I wanted to emulate him and I often said that as soon as I can I’m going to travel, study and work abroad. I worked hard to pursue my dreams and I spent all of my savings on travel. I used various scholarship opportunities to study abroad and while doing this I saved up the money to continuously travel.

2. How do you strike the balance between travel and work?

I’d never be able to have non-flexible job with only 9 days of holidays per year. Although being on holidays for me means being away from work, it doesn’t mean doing no work at all.

3. What are the best destinations for both travel and work?

I don’t think ‘the best’ exists, because it’s very relative. This is exactly what I’m trying to show people through my blog. I’d say it’s always useful to live and work relatively near a big airport, like those in Amsterdam, London, or New York. This saves you a lot of time and money on traveling.

4. What has been the most daunting experience?

It’s hard to say. I’ve experienced emergency landings, lost suitcases, credit card blockages and many other travel-related accidents. As long as you’re resourceful and think ahead, you’ll be fine. Have contingency plans such as carrying cash instead of only cards.

5. What has been the most rewarding experience?

I’m a big fan of wildlife so all of my close-up experiences with wildlife have been rewarding. I had a chance to hug lions, orangutans and tigers, swim with sharks and crocodiles, ride ostriches, and play with iguanas.

5 things everyone should know before leaving home

1. Don’t be afraid of going on your adventure alone. In the end you’re never alone because no matter where you go, there will be interesting people to meet.

2. Never close the door completely when you leave a place. You never know when you would like to come back.

3. You might be homesick, but that’s not a reason to go back home. You should use every experience you have to get the most out of your travels.

4. Always check if you need a visa or if there are any specific entry requirements before heading to your destination. The last thing you want is to be rejected entry when you’re already there.  Not only that, make sure that the things you want to see or do are actually open. Otherwise you may end up like a friend of mine who did not know that Macchu Picchu closes for a month every year and ended up heading to Peru without seeing its biggest landmark.

5. Study the geography of the place you’re going and research local prices for things you want to do or buy. Basically, beware of getting lost or scammed.

Anna Lysakowska is a blogger, editor and translator. She has visited more than 45 countries and lived in 7, including Mexico City, Boston, London, Cape Town, Florence and Leiden. Read more at annaeverywhere.com.

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Fab Accommodations for Festival Season

2014′s festival season has music fanatics tripping all over the country. Whether you’re heading down to So Cal to experience Coachella in all its glory or to New York City to watch your favorite artist perform at The Governors Ball, Tripping can ease your planning.

The Rolling Stones famously sang, “Gimme Shelter”, and Tripping has happily obliged. With over 1 million listings in nearly 50,000 cities worldwide, including these adored festival destinations, Tripping is the best place to browse, compare and book your next vacation rental.

Start your search with these four favorites:

CoachellaIndio, CA

When: April 11th-13th/ April 18th-20th

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, more commonly known as Coachella, is an annual two-weekend, three-day music and arts festival. Its eagerly anticipated lineup features an array of popular musicians, representing various genres from folk-rock to hip hop. Enjoy Indio’s warm weather as you groove to your favorite tunes all day and night. Browse through Tripping’s pads in and around Indio here

The Governors Ball… New York, NY

When: June 6th-8th 

New York City’s Governors Ball Music Festival showcases some of the biggest and best acts in live music. This three-day concert is like one big, vibrant party. Find a comfy place to rest during this event-packed weekend in The City that Never Sleeps here.

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC)… Las Vegas, NV

When: June 20th-22nd

Convinced you can’t top your last Vegas getaway? Think again. This extraordinary event attracts electronic music fans from near and far to rage from dusk til dawn for three days to the world’s best electronic DJ’s and artists. Book your Vegas escape on Tripping here.  

Lollapalooza… Chicago, IL

When: August 1-3

Each year, Chicago’s historic Grant Park hosts the city’s biggest celebration of art and culture: Lollapalooza.  This massive three-day festival invites music enthusiasts to enjoy incredible live performances, delicious food, and The Windy City’s beautiful summer weather across 115 acres, from the heart of downtown to Lake Michigan. Find your Chicago rental here.

Continue exploring all of Tripping’s accommodations here.

This article was written by Alexa Perman, Tripping blogger.

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Book a Boat on Tripping

Ahoy! Did you know that you can rent an elegant yacht just as easily as a home on Tripping? Oh yes, it’s true. Whether you are looking to float aboard a luxurious boat stateside or in Europe, Tripping has you covered.

So pack your bags and get ready to set sail on the deep blue sea aboard these beautiful boats.

Here are four of our favorites:

Barcelona, Spain

This deluxe 68-foot yacht rests in Vilanova Grand Marina, just a short car or train ride from the fabulous city of Barcelona, home to Gaudi’s stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife and incredible restaurants and cafes. With multiple decks and 4 bedrooms, including 2 luxury suites, this amazing boat is great for a larger group looking for a unique and lavish getaway. Guests can explore the waters during the day then return to the marina at night to enjoy some of the marvelous nearby restaurants, bars, and beaches in the charming town of Sitges.

 

Le Grau-du-Roi, France

This charming boat, located in Le Grau-du-Roi, boasts all the conveniences of a home. With Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen that comes with a fridge, dishwasher, and oven, and a complete entertainments system including a TV and DVD player, guests will not have to sacrifice any of their favorite services while aboard this great rental. With 4 double beds and 3 bathrooms, this spacious vessel is perfect for a large group planning a memorable, luxurious vacation on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

 

Captiva Island, FL

Fiesta Forever, a 76′ Lazzara, rests in South Seas Marina, less than a five-minute walk from the beach on Captiva Island. Enjoy stunning Gulf of Mexico views from this huge 5br/ 6ba yacht. Since each of the bedrooms have their own private bath, guests can surely enjoy their privacy. The enclosed living room and large open sun deck, complete with a comfy couch and grill, provide ample space for guests to lounge together and even entertain. Guests craving extra adventure can also rent a 12 ft boat and 2 wave runners.

 

Miami, FL

Located steps away from South Beach’s finest restaurants and nightlife sits this deluxe 75′ Lazzara LSX. Each of its 4 guest cabins comes with a private bathroom and shower, flat screen TV with PlayStation, and iPod doc. Guests will be tempted to cook in the gourmet galley kitchen, equipped with full-size appliances including a refrigerator/freezer, stovetop/oven, microwave, dishwasher, espresso machine. Enjoy a nice meal together around the inside seating area or al fresco in the outside living space. Soak up the sun on the vessel’s deck during the daytime then explore South Beach’s vibrant nightlife once evening rolls around for the perfect Miami getaway.
Ready to treat yourself to the extraordinary? Tripping encourages you to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the serenity of the ocean on your very own boat.

Browse through and book your ideal accommodation now on Tripping.

This article was written by Alexa Perman, Tripping Blogger.

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Exploring Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah is perhaps most famous for hosting the prestigious Sundance Film Festival but there is far more to this town than the annual gathering of filmmakers and industry types. Park City is the perfect vacation destination whether you’re chasing an escape to nature, a luxurious getaway or an adrenaline pumping ski spot.

Park City By Day

Naturally stunning year-round, the area is most popular during the winter months with a host of amazing skiing options to choose from. Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons Resort and Deer Valley Resort all offer world-class skiing just minutes from the heart of Park City.

In the warmer months the mountainous region is a fantastic place to get out and explore nature. From rafting to mountain biking to hiking there is no shortage of great trails to check out. If you’re looking for something particularly daring, the Utah Olympic Park is open all year and offers thrill seekers the chance to bobsled down the actual track used in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Any time of year is a great time to take a tour of Park City itself and explore its beautiful historic main street. From unique museums to fantastic restaurants to abundant shopping options, main street has it all in a stunning old west setting.

Park City By Night

Once its time to exit the slopes or hang up the hiking boots there are plenty of ways to enjoy your evenings in this town.

Return to your childhood with build-your-own s’mores at a host of locations including Montage Deer Valley, St. Regis Deer Valley and the Waldorf Astoria at Canyons Resort. Roast marshmallows around the resort fire-pit and create your own s’more with a huge selection of customized toppings and flavours. Purists can obviously stick to the traditional two graham crackers, marshmallow and slab of chocolate formula.

Another great evening adventure for adults is a trip to the High West Distillery. Whiskey may not be something most people associate with Utah, but the product here is definitely worthy of attention. Billed as the only ski-in gastro-distillery in the world, it runs tours during the day and by night you can pair your whiskey with, you guessed it, fresh s’mores. Apart from the distillery, the area has a huge selection of quality drinking and dining options to suit any taste.

Where To Stay

 

Venture away from the big resorts and stay in the heart of Park City with this beautiful Historic Main Street Miner’s Cottage. You’ll be seconds away from everything the city has to offer from shopping to dining to skiing to entertainment and nightlife. This beautiful home is full of amenities and is the perfect place to relax or entertain.

Instantly book this property right now on Tripping, thanks to our partner ZenRentals and explore Park City, Utah.

This blog was written by Ben Crock, Tripping Blogger.

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Spring in the City: Top 5 Urban Parks in the U.S

The polar vortex of winter has cleared and spring is swinging into action right across the country. Get out there and witness nature bloom from the heart of some amazing cities with Tripping’s top 5 urban parks in the U.S.

1. Central Park, New York, NY

It’s impossible to talk about great urban parks without mentioning Central Park. New York’s favorite green space was the first major landscaped public space in urban America and remains arguably the most popular.

Upper West Side Studio

This beautifully decorated Upper West Side apartment in centrally located and surrounded by amazing dining and shopping options. Everything from friendly diners to fine dining can be found easily within walking distance. Apart from Central Park, which is only a block away, this pad is a great base for exploring the American Museum of Natural History, the Lincoln Center and plenty of other cultural sights.

 

2. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

California’s answer to Central Park, Golden Gate Park is full of amazing local flora. Check out the wonderful botanic gardens, the Conservatory of Flowers, the California Academy of Sciences and the amazing view from the de Young Museum observation deck.

Haight-Asbury with Park View

Try this apartment just off bustling Haight Street with amazing views of Golden Gate Park. Explore the colorful history of the Haight-Ashbury area on your stroll down to the park and easily access everything else San Francisco has to offer with this convenient location.

 

 

3. Grant Park, Chicago, IL

Avid music fans will know this as the site of the huge Lollapalooza festival but to locals the 300-acre expanse is simply Chicago’s front yard. Home to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus, encompassing the Alder Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History and Shedd Aquarium, Grant Park is a fantastic place to explore year-round.

Chicago Penthouse

A truly unique offering just north of the park, this Chicago penthouse takes in some amazing views of the city with its floor to ceiling windows. Explore glamorous North Michigan Avenue and the artsy River North District from the heart of one of Chicago’s most exciting neighborhoods.

 

 

4. Washington Park, Portland, OR

Home to the Oregon Zoo, several museums, an arboretum, a Japanese tea garden, a popular amphitheatre and a host of sporting activities, Washington Park is basically everything a good city park should be.

Riverfront Pearl District Condo

Experience Portland from this centrally located riverfront pad with a stunning private deck in the heart of the Pearl District. Dine and drink at one of the many amazing local breweries in the district after exploring the park. The condo has plenty of amenities but really, the view says it all.

 

 

5. Boston Common, Boston, MA

The starting point of the Freedom Trail, Boston Common is the oldest park in the country and also the jewel in the Emerald Necklace, a series of interconnected parks that wind through Boston’s neighborhoods. As well as being a beautiful green space, the park has an extraordinary history from the American Revolution to civil rights rallies involving Martin Luther King and much more.

Elegant Beacon Hill Apartment

This Beacon Hill location is an elegant one bedroom apartment just a short stroll from Boston Common. It’s the perfect location to explore the rich history of the Boston area from one of the cities most sought after neighbourhoods.

 

These properties and over 1 MILLION more are available now at Tripping.

This article was written by Ben Crock, Tripping Blogger.

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Cherry Blossom Season in D.C.

Washington, D.C. is perhaps most popular among tourists for its political history, grand monuments, and countless educational museums. In April of each year, however, the city’s thousands of cherry blossom trees take center stage. Their beautiful blossoms, which colorfully decorate the Tidal Basin, attract visitors from near and far. The budding of these delicate flowers marks the beginning of springtime in D.C. and reminds us of their important history, as these beautiful trees were gifted to the United States in 1912 from Japan as a symbol of friendship.

This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, which spans three weeks from March 20 – April 13, will host an exciting array of events, including an elaborate parade down Constitution Ave, city tours, music performances, and an evening fireworks show. Once downtown, make sure to explore the Smithsonian’s renowned museums, from the Natural History Museum where you can brush up on your science knowledge, to the National Portrait gallery, where you can enjoy some of the world’s best art, free of charge!

Whether you hope to stay in a cozy apartment or a large home during your visit to the nation’s capitol, you’re sure to find a great place on Tripping, where you can search, compare, and book over 1 million vacation accommodations.

Here are four of our favorite D.C accommodations:

Kalorama Triangle Deluxe Apt

This spacious art deco style 1 bedroom apartment comes with a beautiful garden view, a panoramic rooftop deck with views of the city’s famous monuments, and a fully equipped chef’s kitchen. Located between Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, and near U Street, guests are only steps away from some of the city’s most popular restaurants, cafes and bars. The living room’s pull out sofa-bed provides additional space for guests to stay comfortably. Guests looking to get some exercise can work out in the private fitness center or go on a scenic run through the National Mall, home to beautiful museums and sprawling green lawns- perfect for picnics.

Capitol Hill Spacious Studio

This large studio apartment is located in the heart of Capitol Hill, home to great cafes, bars, and unbeatable views of the stunning Capitol building. The unit is extremely spacious and its queen bed, twin day bed, and futon together accommodate up to 4 people comfortably. Its slew of desirable amenities include a beautiful kitchen, dining area, washer/dryer, dishwasher, living area with cable TV, Wi-Fi, and the list goes on.

Fabulous Dupont Circle Penthouse 

This Dupont Circle penthouse is located near famous art galleries, fabulous restaurants, and popular bars. Towering 15ft ceilings and large skylights invite in beautiful natural light. The apartment boasts a rear deck and rooftop deck, which spans the entire building and offers ample space for entertaining and breathtaking views of the beautiful Washington Monument and the Capitol.  With all housewares, towels, and linens included, guests can save space in their luggage for tons of D.C. souvenirs.

Modern Adams Morgan Apartment

This 2-bedroom apartment rests in a historic row in Adams Morgan, known among locals for its great restaurants and fun nightlife. Guests can prepare a lovely home-cooked meal in the fully equipped kitchen and enjoy it together with friends in the living/dining area. Its great location is near the National Zoo, one of the city’s most popular attractions, and just a short walk to quaint cafes, bookshops, and even a metro-stop that will help you travel through the city.

These great properties are available on Tripping thanks to our trusted partner, FlipKey.

This article was written by Alexa Perman, Tripping blogger.


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Vacation in the land of La Pura Vida: Costa Rica

Situated in a skinny stretch of Central America between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea lies the beautiful country of Costa Rica. This small nation is home to gorgeous beaches, dense rain forests, and incredible wildlife. Its rich biodiversity and bountiful natural beauty have made Costa Rica one of the most popular destinations for ecotourism in the world. Whether you wish to zip line through the treetops, volunteer to conserve sea turtle habitats, or lounge on the beach all day, Costa Rica provides unlimited options for outdoor activities.

Some of Costa Rica’s most popular attractions include Palo Verde National Park, a great spot for bird-watching; Manuel Antonio National Park, known for its large monkey population and pretty beaches; and Tortuguero National Park, whose maze of canals and over 20 miles of Caribbean coastline provide a safe place for sea turtles to lay their eggs.

As you start planning your adventure to Costa Rica, let Tripping help you find the perfect accommodation. Below are four of our favorites.

Lovely Tamarindo Villa

This beautiful 3br/ 4ba villa sits within a private, gated community on Costa Rica’s gorgeous Guanacaste Coast. Its prime location, just a 10 minute drive from Tamarindo and 3 minute walk from the beach, offers easy access to 6 great beaches, including the popular Playa Avellana and Playa Langosta. Each of the three beautiful bedrooms has its own bathroom, providing guests with extra privacy. Vaulted ceilings, handcrafted doors, and elegant wood detailing throughout the villa create a luxurious ambiance where guests can relax and enjoy La Pura Vida.

Tropical Villa with Ocean and Jungle Views

This spacious 3br/ 3ba villa in the Guanacaste hills boasts breathtaking ocean and forest views. The large covered terrace, thatched cabana, and pool deck provide tons of outdoor living space for guests to relax and enjoy Costa Rica’s warm weather. Listen to the birds sing throughout the day and watch amazing sunsets at night as you lounge around the pool. Make sure to sample the mango, papaya, bananas, and oranges from one of the garden’s mature fruit trees- that is if the little monkeys leave any for you!

Mediterranean Style Villa in Deluxe Resort

This premium 3br/ 3ba Mediterranean inspired villa in Herradura is primly situated near the ocean as well as the resort’s many attractions. With a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, spacious living room, laundry room, Jacuzzi, and pool within the property, and restaurants, a casino, golf, and spa nearby, guests here enjoy all the desirable amenities of a home and the luxuries of a resort all at once.

Luxury Beachfront Home

Casa Amore, an amazing 3br/ 3ba beachfront home, is tucked away in a quiet bay on the Nicoya Peninsula. This picturesque region is known for its beautiful beaches and international community, which brings world-class music, food, and art. With 20-foot waves just steps away, this home is a surfer’s dream.  Each bedroom has its own private entrance, making it a great accommodation for groups looking for extra privacy. Between the huge kitchen, ample living space, and pool, guests have plenty of room to entertain and relax together. Frequent appearances from howler monkeys, tropical birds, and many species of iguanas outside allow guests to enjoy Costa Rica’s exciting wildlife without even having to leave home.

These fabulous homes are available on Tripping thanks to our friends at FlipKey.

Check out all of our Costa Rica vacation accommodations here.

This article was written by Alexa Perman, Tripping blogger.


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April Tripping in Amsterdam

With spring approaching ever so quickly, it is time to shine a bright spotlight on the Netherlands. For those planning to travel through Europe this April, you’ll want to carve out time to visit this beautiful country. (And remember to pack your camera and plenty of orange clothing.)

Keukenhof, notably the world’s largest flower garden, is a must-see destination on your springtime visit to the Netherlands. Over seven million flower bulbs are planted annually in this picturesque wooded park, which mature into beautiful blankets of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells, and other pretty posies. Located southwest of Amsterdam in Lisse, Keukenhof makes a wonderful day trip from the capital city. Visitors looking to experience the marvelous flowers in full bloom should plan their visit between late March, when the gardens open, and mid May.

This restful visit to the gardens will help you conserve energy for the huge celebration and national holiday that is Koninginnedag, also known as Queen’s Day. At the end of April each year, enthusiastic tourists hit the streets alongside the Dutch, clad in orange from head to toe, to celebrate the Queen of the Netherlands’ birthday by partying and drinking with friends and family. If staying in Amsterdam the night before, get a head start on the weekend’s festivities with Koninginnenacht, the celebration that kicks off the lively Queen’s Day festivities.

Other popular Amsterdam destinations include the Van Gogh Museum and The Anne Frank House. While visiting this historical home, visitors can learn more about Anne Frank, the young Jewish diarist who bravely hid from Nazi persecution with her family, view her actual diary, and learn more about her story in the museum’s exhibits. Art enthusiasts and those looking to brush up on their art history should make sure to visit the Van Gogh Museum, home to the largest collection of the famous Dutch artist’s paintings.

Ready to wear orange, party with the Dutch, and experience some unforgettable sightseeing in Amsterdam? Search, compare, and book great vacation rentals in this charming city on Tripping.

This article was written by Alexa Perman, Tripping blogger.

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