Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A houseboat on the Seine

Looking for a unique place to stay in Paris, and money is no object? For rates starting at a cool 430 euro (approximately $700 Canadian or U.S.) per night, you can hole up in a 1,050-square-foot houseboat in St. Germain, complete with grand piano. Like many houseboats, it will wobble a bit if a larger boat goes by, so give it a miss if you're prone to seasickness. recently added the houseboat to its roster of properties for rent.

Obama lives like a local

The concept of vacation home rentals got a shot of publicity earlier this month from Barack Obama (perhaps you've heard of him?). The presumptive nominee rented an $8-million home in the Honolulu suburb of Kailua for a family holiday. Hey, when you don't own a ranch in Texas or a seaside compound in New England, you just have to make do...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Meet the Brits!

VisitBritain is the latest tourist board to realize that many travellers are hungry to meet locals and get off the beaten path while travelling. Its Be a Brit Different website includes blog posts from enthusiastic Britons about their favourite places and activities. According to the Modern Agent website, VisitBritain also has a plan to promote "homecations"--options such as self-catering apartments and home exchanges.

While I loathe the current mania for variations on the words "vacation" and "honeymoon" (staycation and babymoon spring to mind), I have to give VisitBritain credit for highlighting accommodation alternatives.

By the way, if you're looking for other tourist board "tips from locals" websites, check out two excellent Pennsylvania sites: Uwishunu, pronounced "you wish you knew" and run by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation; and VisitPA, a Pennsylvania Tourism site where video bloggers share their favourites.