How to do Coachella in style (and comfort)!

California Music Festivals

#73996 Palm Springs #86024 Palm Springs #135749 Palm Springs #39411

It’s spring! The time when a young man’s fancy (and young women’s, for that matter) turns to thoughts of music. In the desert. In California. Of course, I’m talking about Coachella. Or as it’s more formally known, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its only slightly less edgy cousin, the Stagecoach Country Music Festival. Both events take place on successive weekends in April. If you like new music from any of the more rowdy genres, you might be making plans to attend Coachella. If your taste runs more toward the roots, blues, folk, and gospel side of things, perhaps you’re headed to Stagecoach. Either way, it doesn’t matter whether you’re going to see Lorde, Arcade Fire, Crystal Gayle, or the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, know this: You do NOT have to rough it! Gone are the days when festival goers had no choice but to camp in primitive, sludge-laden bogs. Wouldn’t you rather stay in a luxurious condo or town home in the nearby communities of Palm Springs, La Quinta, and Rancho Mirage? Of course you would! Shuttle buses are available to transport you from your accommodations directly to the gates of both festivals. And the beauty of the system is, even if you don’t yet know exactly which resort you’re staying at, your shuttle pass is flexible enough to get you to and from the festival with maximum convenience and minimum hassle. You can learn more about the Valley Music Travel Shuttle by clicking here: valleymusictravel.com.

#208878 - La Quinta, Palm Springs

Watch the sun set over the mountains and then take an evening dip in the pool

One way to get the most from your concert-going experience is to practice the buddy system. That is, to make sure you’re travelling with a posse of friends. They’ll help you wring every memory possible from the festival and the aprés-festival! And they all fit into this property (pictured above)! With four spacious bedrooms and a private saltwater pool, this property will definitely facilitate maximum relaxation and rejuvenation so you’re all set for the next day’s events!

#205817 - La Quinta, Palm Springs

Enjoy the backyard mountain view at the PGA West Golf Resort in Palm Springs, CA

With two master suites and 3,500 sq. ft. of luxurious living space, this vacation home would enable you to bring the whole family. Yes, it sounds crazy, but is it, really?! The kids could hit Coachella and you could stay on for Stagecoach (or the other way around!). And for those less musically inclined, it doesn’t hurt that the home is located on the 13th fairway of the Nicklaus Private Golf Course. You don’t even have to play golf to be entertained by the duffers making their way along your private patio.

#73996 - Palm Springs, California

Very private and serene master bedroom

If the only crowds you’re prepared to endure are at the festival grounds, you might want to look at staying in a smaller, more intimate vacation home. In other words, leave your kids (or parents) and your friends to fend for themselves! Meanwhile you can unwind and decompress from the day’s full-on sensory abundance in a quiet, oasis-like condo like this one. At least until the next day’s lineup beckons!

#77235 - Palm Springs, California

Relax in this fun, private pool house with mountain views and near downtown.

So what happens if you find yourself travelling with folks who are attending Coachella or Stagecoach, but you’re not? Well, naturally, you’ll want to ensure you’re vacationing somewhere that will let you get your groove on, too! This vacation home is located right in Palm Springs, minutes from downtown, casinos, outlet shopping, restaurants, and nightlife (in case you’re not totally exhausted by 7:00 or 8:00 PM!).

The world’s greatest dream trips

Dream Vacations

#135749 Palm Springs, California #203573 Canmore, Alberta #206028 Zrenj, Croatia #205800 St. Tropez, South Coast of France

Every place has its own beauty and mystery that needs to be unraveled. And for this reason alone, our list of the world’s greatest dream trips is going to be long. If you have the opportunity to travel, try to visit some of these places.

The Caribbean is a perfect destination, whether you are a beach lover or not. Get lost in its many idyllic island destinations and marvel at the beautiful and romantic island sunsets. If you love anything outdoors and natural, this is also a perfect place to visit. Explore their numerous coral reefs, as well as its beautiful and diverse marine life.

Japan is another great destination to explore. It is amazing how this country continues to advance in technology while preserving their oldest traditions and practices. Learning about their arts and culture is an experience you will absolutely enjoy. You might also want to admire those cherry blossoms in bloom.

The neighborhood - Unit ID 205591

The Tokyo neighborhood – Unit ID 205591

Cherry blossoms behind - Unit ID 205591

Tokyo cherry blossoms behind Unit ID 205591

 

 

 

 

One of the most adventurous destinations to discover is Australia. The Land Down-Under is blessed with pristine aquatic environments, popular with surfers. Koalas and kangaroos add to this land of diverse wildlife. And don’t forget the Sydney Opera House! Australia also offers many adventure activities such as hiking, skiing and cycling.

What a view from Unit ID 208267

View of  Surfers Paradise – AUS Unit ID 208267

100 Private Acres - Unit ID 207861

100 Private Acres in Australia – Unit ID 207861

 

 

 

Another dream place to be is Antarctica - if you want a unique and rare, albeit cold, adventure. Despite the chilling cold that will envelop you in this endeavour, it is a once in a life time experience. A trip to this majestic continent will allow you to meet some black and white animals that are endemic in this part of the world such as penguins and those mischievous but beautiful orcas.

Another two-toned species that you might want to get acquainted with are the cute and cuddly panda bears that are native in China. Conservation areas and sanctuaries are provided for this endangered species in this country. You might also want to walk the famous Great Wall of China. This is one of the Seven Wonders of the World for good reason.

Room to entertain - Unit ID 127487

Room to entertain in Hong Kong – Unit ID 127487

India is another stop you don’t want to miss. The home of the great Mahatma Gandhi, India is a religiously diverse country that people choose as a destination when travelling a deep and enlightening journey. Another reason to take this route is the magnificent Taj Majal. It is one of the finest architectural masterpieces in the world. You can also take a peek at the peaks of the Himalayan range which borders India from the neighboring countries.

Take in the sunset while dining in your seaside home - Unit ID 204062

Take in the India sunset while dining in your seaside home – Unit ID 204062

If you are interested in history, you might want to add Peru to your list. The fascinating Machu Picchu is a must-see. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this structure was built in 1450 by the Incas. There are other ruins to be examined and explored in this part of the world.

Another archeologists’ and historians’ paradise is located in England: Stonehenge is a pre-historic structure which is believed to be raised around 3000 BC. Despite the mystery that surrounds the monument, it has been a religious destination for pilgrims.

If you’re looking for some romantic locations, France is the place to be. Paris, being the most popular city in France, is considered one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. The City of Light is a haven for people who love arts, history, and fashion. Home to the well-known Eiffel Tower, Paris is also known for the most visited museum in the world, The Louvre.

The infamous Moulin Rouge near Unit ID 83492

The infamous Moulin Rouge in Paris near Unit ID 83492

After touring France, you might want to jump to another famous European country, Italy. Known for its arts and architectural contribution to the world, Italy attracts artists and students who want to learn more about their craft. Going to Rome, you might also want to visit The Vatican City. It is located inside the city but it is an independent country on its own.

People watch from your terrace - Unit ID 205485

People watch in Rome from your terrace - Unit ID 205485

Family Estate with swimming pool - Unit ID 115968

Family Estate in Rome with swimming pool – Unit ID 115968

 

 

 

The list could go on. There are so many destinations to choose from. Wherever you decide to go, just enjoy the trip and make the most out of it.

 

Spring Break Last Minute Deals

Spring Break Last Minute Deals

Disney World, FL #203030 Oporto, Portugal #207280 Victoria, BC #203153 Maui, HI #55616 Golden, BC #201867 Tofino, BC #205093

Save big with these last minute deals for spring break and transform the kids’ vacation week into a memorable and fun getaway for the whole family.

USA: Utah: Park City Ski Area: Park City: PowderWood Resort: Vacation Rental Condo ID 54064
Green, eco-friendly 2br/2ba remodeled condo with free wi-fi and self check-in 20% off

It’s no wonder that the annual count of visitors exceeds the number of Park City’s registered residents. Home to three world class ski resorts, it is definitely a great place to escape for spring skiing or just relaxing. Park City has several luxury retailers, clubs, bars, and restaurants, and has nearby reservoirs, hot springs, forests, and hiking and biking trails.

Stay in a green condo right at the PowderWood Resort, just steps away from Tanger Outlet mall, several restaurants and the Utah Olympic Park. Located at the ground level, this particular condo unit is easy to find, easy to enter and exit. It has been remodeled with new recycled carpet and eco-friendly pad, laminate and tile, and new locally-made mattresses. Organic linens, bedding, mattress pads, towels, and soaps are ready for use. Only eco-friendly cleaning products are used, and garbage is recycled at the end of every visitor’s stay.

Europe: Italy: Tuscany: Arezzo Region: Castiglion Fiorentino: Vacation Rental Cottage ID 202867
Great value for up to 4, with shared pool 20% off

Visit Tuscany, Italy – where the Italian Renaissance began – and stay in one of these charming stone cottages. Carefully renovated by local artisans, these cottages retained the country setting whilst providing warmth and comfort. Enjoy the stunning view of the historic town of Castiglion Fiorentino framed through the cottage windows. Read a book or sip the best wines of Tuscany at a pergola by the pool side.

Surrounded by gardens, olive groves and natural countryside, this is certainly the perfect place to begin exploring Tuscany. Go sightseeing in the beautiful and historical towns. Visit famous museums like the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tour some of the finest wineries in the world. Go truffle hunting. Join cooking classes. Learn a little of the lingua Toscana (Tuscan language). There are various sights and activities to choose from to make your vacation truly enjoyable.

Canada: Ontario: Greater Toronto Area: Toronto: Vacation Rental Condo ID 204944
Elegant & modern 1 bedroom – in the heart of Toronto 20%off

Looking for a better accommodation alternative when you visit Toronto, Canada?

This elegant and modern condo is located right in the heart of Toronto. It has one bedroom and one bathroom, and contains a washer and dryer in-suite. There is a full kitchen so you can cook your meals and save extra money, a balcony for when you need some air, a 37″ LCD TV, DVD player, and a leather couch to relax on. The building is equipped with 24hr security and concierge, a 10,000 square ft fitness center, a full fitness track for jogging, and a swimming pool. Definitely better than a hotel accommodation at a much cheaper price! Spend more on having a fun vacation. Get sprayed at Niagara Falls. Conquer your fear of heights at the CN Tower. Explore museums and art spaces. Go shopping!

British Columbia: Okanagan: Big White: Big White Village: Moguls: Vacation Rental Condo ID 205912
Fantastic family getaway with breathtaking views and cozy creature comforts. 20% off (March 8-15)

This rustic ski-in ski-out condo at the upper village in Big White is complete with all the comforts of home. It is tastefully decorated with full bathroom and kitchenette that is complete with a two burner stove, bar fridge and toaster oven. Recently added is a 32″ SMART TV and wireless internet. The games room has foosball and air hockey tables. The building also includes a sauna and shared jacuzzi. You can request catering for your convenience. Located on the 8th floor, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Monashee Mountains.

Just a quick walk down the hall and out the back door, and you are on the Moguls Track. What a great place for family skiing!

Where are you headed for Spring Break this year?

Good news! There’s a storm brewing

Storm watching on the West Coast

Tofino, BC #205093 Nanaimo, BC #49725 Arch Cape, Oregon #206405 Ucluelet, BC #89115

Since when is “bad” weather good news? When it’s a winter storm lashing the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest.

Don’t get me wrong. The ocean-side highways of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon are spectacular during the summer months. But there’s nothing like making this trip (really more of a pilgrimage) from November to mid-March, better known to the locals as “Storm Watching Season.”

Truly hardy types might venture directly out into the elements, to feel the wind, the salt spray, and the “mighty ocean tossed.” But I prefer my storm watching from the comfort of a luxurious suite, preferably with a like-minded companion, maybe a fire or a hot tub, and definitely a glass (or two) of local wine.

From just north of the California border all the way up Highway 101 to Washington and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island, there’s hardly a cove along the Pacific Northwest coastline that doesn’t offer stunning access to some of the most powerful forces in nature. And the trifecta of rugged coastline, turbulent winter weather patterns, and gracious vacation homes combine to create a perfect storm of weather watching get-aways.

The west coast of Vancouver Island is arguably the most dramatic “must-visit” destination. And it’s no wonder. The landscape is a raw, wind-sculpted testament to the power and the beauty of the elements. Waves that have travelled, virtually unobstructed, across the Pacific can reach in excess of 12 metres. (For perspective, the tallest dinosaur who ever lived, Brachiosaurus, was about that height.) As a bonus, the area is rich with the legends of the First Nations people. If you can tear yourself away from the vistas, visit the Kwisitis Visitor Centre in Pacific Rim National Park to learn more about the Nuu-chah-nulth people, their traditions, and stories.

Tofino, BC #205093

Tofino, BC #205093

The closest vacation home to the Visitor Centre is this one: Located directly on famed Chesterman Beach right in Pacific Rim National Park. If it were any closer to the ocean, you’d need a life jacket!

Ucluelet, BC #63916

Ucluelet, BC #63916

South of Tofino, Ucluelet is just as stunning, but further off the beaten path. Ideal for travellers who want to feel like they’re off the grid even though they’re swathed in luxury.

If you’re not quite ready for the rugged isolation of Vancouver Island, Washington might be just the ticket. Consider a holiday rental that’s on the water, but also close to the bright lights and big city of Seattle.

Puget Sound, WA #207327

Puget Sound, WA #207327

It’s hard to believe this magnificent, cliff-top rental, with its unobstructed views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, is a scant 30 minutes from SEATAC International Airport!

If your storm-chasing adventures take you down the fabled Oregon Coast, you’re in for a real treat. Vacation accommodations include cabins, like this one, literally carved out of the rainforest on the edge of the sea.

Arch Cape, OR #206405

Arch Cape, OR #206405

And if your storm watching is intended as the backdrop for a proposal or milestone birthday or anniversary, why not go all out and treat yourself to a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Port Orford, OR #114129

Port Orford, OR #114129

This incredible vacation home, in Port Orford, Oregon, is perched high on a secluded bluff and offers every possible luxury you can imagine. So you can do it all or do nothing at all. Either way, it’s time to check the weather forecast, pack a bag, and head for the West coast.

Romantic getaways in BC

Romantic Getaways in BC

Kissimmee, Disney World Area, Florida #54906 Silver Star, BC #201340 Myrtle Beach, SC #203745 Disney World, FL #200944

Is winter getting to you and you need to recharge your batteries? Or perhaps you would like to enjoy a romantic weekend away, just the 2 of you? Picture yourself enjoying views of snow-capped mountains or the smell of the ocean from the comfort of your vacation rental. With all of the comforts and privacy of home, a vacation rental allows you to really relax and enjoy your vacation. Consider spending a weekend or longer at one of the following romantic getaways in British Columbia.

Ucluelet

Ucluelet - #143468Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island is Ucluelet, a small village popular for its variety of recreational activities.  Catch some waves surfing, kayak along the ocean shoreline or enjoy a day hike in the Pacific Rim National Park. Care to kick back and relax? Take a leisurely walk along Long Beach. Get cozy with a glass of wine by the fireplace of your vacation rental and watch the winter storms roll in. Enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the ocean or pick up some fresh seafood and a bottle of BC wine, and enjoy a fun, laid-back evening cooking and laughing together. Whatever you choose to do, the stunning natural beauty of the area will be certain to renew your spirit even after a few days.

Victoria

A short ferry ride from Vancouver  or Seattle, Victoria is a city with its own distinct charm and character. Victoria is well known for its mild temperatures, in fact so mild that flowers bloom all year long. But don’t forget your umbrella as it does get its share of rain. Experience its British heritHorse-drawn carrige ride in Victoria, BC #206745age with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride and high tea in a formal tearoom, or explore the city at your leisure by renting bicycles or kayaks. If shopping is your thing be sure to check out Antique Row, a street purely devoted to antiques and other collectible items. Experience Canada’s oldest China Town and walk North America’s narrowest street, Fan Tan Alley.  The city also has a lively night life and a culturally diverse community. Plan ahead and make sure to check out Victoria’s calendar of events to take advantage of all that is going on.

Kootenays

To really get away from your everyday life, consider taking a trip to the Kootenays. During the winter, the Kootenays offer amazing outdoor adventures including powder skiing and boarding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Choose a romantic and cozy one bedroom vacation rental in communities such as Kimberley, Fernie, Panorama or  Golden.

After a day on the slopes, relax those tired muscles in the privacy of your own hot tub or Jacuzzi.  If convenience is important, consider staying at Panorama offering a self-contained ski in/ski out resort. For backcountry adventures, consider Kicking Horse Mountain in Golden, the champagne powder capital of Canada. If you are looking for volume: it’s at Fernie Alpine Resort where they receive an average of 29ft of snow annually. No matter where you choose to stay, you will be sure to feel rejuvenated after spending so much time with Mother Nature.

The Okanagan

For couples with an adventurous spirit, the Okanagan, or the Okanagan Valley, is a perfect travel destination. Nothing is more romantic than exploring the ski village Apex Mountain #203654of Apex Mountain and enjoying the snow and exhilarating outdoor activities together. And how about spending some time in the wilderness by enjoying a hike in the spring or summer? It sure makes for a romantic day to be out in the open air and marveling at the wildlife with a romantic picnic for two. After your hike, you might want to try one of the many wine and dine activities hosted here or visit the many beautiful wineries and orchards, as well as sample the wines that these lovely places offer.

Do you have a favourite romantic destination in BC you would like to share?

Escape the cold this winter

Ready to escape the cold?

Maui #1538 Kauai #12293 Cape Coral, FL #201367 Calpe Coral, FL #201360 Mahahual, Mexico #204634

Have you had too much of the cold and snow? Perhaps you’ve been snowed in longer than you actually enjoyed. Yes, the pristine white all around is just too hard to ignore! And although sunny snow days can have their fun moments like making those cute snowmen and having entertaining snow fights, it can also get to be too much. If the weather has been uncomfortably cold for more than a month, the snow will begin to get you down until it finally gets on your nerves and affects your mood, too.

So after a few weeks of enjoying the snow capped grounds, you will soon crave more sun and a little bit warmth just to cheer you up! There is something to be said for a little extra Vitamin D that the warm sunshine can provide as a mood lifter. That’s why you have to fly somewhere warm and sunny. Plan you trip now!

Here are a few destinations and accommodations you might want to consider when you plan that brief yet unforgettable break to flee from the cold and snowy weather.

Castaways Cove in Grand Cayman

Beachside relaxation at this 2 bedroom condo at Castaways Cove in Grand Cayman – #203029

 1.      Grand Cayman’s Castaways Cove. It’s hard to think of sunny days and sandy beaches without giving this Caribbean island a thought. In fact, it is one of the most popular island beach destinations because of its many magnificent beaches that would appeal to the most selective of tourists and vacationers. Anyone can simply choose from one of their many  attractions and find the perfect place that suits their tastes as well as their budget. Grand Cayman’s Castaways Cove, located on the less populated portion of the island in the East End, has all the elements of one perfect holiday including a breathtaking view of the Caribbean. Enjoy one of those top floor condos and be ready to vacation like a VIP. Select one of the rooms with a king sized bed and bathtub and get ready to have your best vacation ever. It’s easy to spend the lazy hours of the night lounging in one of those cool patio chairs as you take in the soothing and relaxing island breeze. There are also provisions for a kitchen, as well as a grill area where you and your family can enjoy your very own homemade barbecue recipe.

Bangtao Beach - #207336

So much to do on Bangtao Beach – #207336

2.      The Residence Resort and Spa at Phuket’s Bang Tao Beach. Phuket has become one of the most popular beach destinations in recent years and it is no surprise that this Thai island has become a top choice for both local and foreign tourists. The unspoiled beauty of Bang Tao Beach is considered by many the best Phuket has to offer, not to mention, it is also the longest beach in the country. If you ever find yourself heading to this side of Thailand, one of the best places to get accommodations from is The Residence Resort and Spa. Not only do they meet the flawless European standards with their luxurious villas, it is also a top choice for its proximity to the beach and the airport. This world class, 5 star resort is set in a very reclusive tropical garden which is the most featured appeal to those who value their privacy even while on vacation. Notable amenities also include provisions for a barbecue, Wi-Fi, a gym, a large private swimming pool and a spa – which all aim to give any visitor a vacation of a lifetime.

#202808 in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Sunset from the 3rd floor patio in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico – #202808

3.      The Penthouse Delfin in Mexico’s Nuevo Vallarta. Some parts of Mexico are known for their hot, dry climate which makes it another top pick for a warm getaway during the wintertime. Idyllic sandy beaches are one of its most popular attractions. You can’t go wrong choosing any of Mexico’s sunny destinations if you aim to escape the snow and the cold in your country. A notable choice will have to be the Penthouse Delfin situated in Nuevo Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. This one bedroom penthouse allows any tourist to vacation like a king with its very own private jacuzzi and a stunning view of the dolphins taking a swim below. A panoramic view of Puerto Vallarta, as well as the enthralling sunset view are but some of its added charms.

Maalea vacation rental #204782

Come to Maui, enjoy life and know why we say “Maui No Ka Oi” (Maui is the best!!!) – #204782

 4.      Maalaea Yacht Marina in Maui. Hawaii still is and always will be a leading destination if you are yearning for the sun, the sand and the surf. Known for its many stunning beaches, it is summer all year round in this state. And the locals do not just say Maui No Ka Oi for nothing. At this accommodation, be blown away by the seemingly endless stretch of beaches just outside your windows. In addition, this island paradise destination is just a walk away from some of the islands famous attractions, including Haycraft Park, Kealia Nationa Wildlife Refuge, as well as your chance to enjoy a number of outdoor and water adventures. Here in Maalaea Yacht Club, their Posturpedic pillowed beds are just the tip of the iceberg.

Where are you heading to escape the cold this year?

A great vacation idea: Catch a Broadway play or musical

This way to the theatre

London, England #205337 Wimbleton, England #204608 Las Vegas, NV #206475 Downtown Vancouver, BC #205096

Some of us love the theatre and try to take in a play or show whenever possible. Others need to be gently pushed to “to give it a try”! Years ago my gentle pushes paid off when I convinced my other half to take in a show. It was a dinner theater production, but that was my strategy: The ‘dinner’ was my leverage and I figured he would appreciate having the excuse card (“I went because of the food”) in his pocket should he ever have to tell his buddies about it.

Fortunately, he’s never used that card. In fact, I receive random texts every so often from my husband that are all in caps so that I know he’s serious, saying, “WICKED IS COMING TO VANCOUVER, WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO?” I smile to myself over what I have unleashed!

The majority of us immediately thinks of New York City when considering a Broadway show. Not only can you enjoy an authentic Broadway experience, you can shop, take in the sites and experience the sounds of New York City while staying in your home away from home.

Lovely 2BR apt in Brooklyn Historic Neighborhood 20mins from the CITY

Lovely 2BR apt in Brooklyn Historic Neighborhood 20mins from the City – Property ID 207480

All Broadway tickets for musicals, plays and even for off-broadway showings can be found through Broadway.com; you never know what movie star you may get a chance to see!

In the hip and trendy city of Vancouver, BC, theatre abounds with world renowned shows. With Owner Direct Vacation Rentals offering a wide variety of accommodations guaranteed to suit everyone’s needs, taking in a Broadway play or musical should really be on your list of “to-do’s”.

Million Dollar View - Downtown Vancouver - Unit ID 123023

Million Dollar View – Downtown Vancouver – Property ID 123023

What about skipping across the pond to London and spending the evening listening to all the greats by the Beatles?! Featuring “Let It Be” at the  Savoy Theatre, this theatrical musical concert will be a sure hit for everyone. Check out the London Theatre Guide for all listings and to purchase tickets.

Wonderful Covent Garden one Bedroom Flat in the Center of London - Unit ID 205337

Wonderful Covent Garden one Bedroom flat in the Center of London – Property ID 205337

So with that, I challenge anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to go to a play or a Broadway show to step out and do so. You will be pleasantly surprised. I wonder if I’d be pushing my luck if I sent a text to my husband saying, “THE OPERA LA TRAVIATA IS PLAYING, WANNA GO?”

For all of your vacation needs, pop by and visit Owner Direct Vacation Rentals.

 

These ski vacation rentals will make you jump for joy!

Ski season is here!

We love those lovely winter breaks and vacations! Time to reward ourselves for an entire year’s worth of hard work, or to gather our parents and siblings for one unforgettable family getaway that is sure to go down in the books. It is time again to stock up on boots and parkas, and whisk the family away to where it is cold & white, and where just the mere sight of snow capped mountains can take anyone’s breath away!

If you have not planned your winter break yet, do not fret or despair. Sure, it is peak season and you can assume that rates are higher and accommodations might be hard to come by at this time. But thanks to last minute deals, you can still pull off an awesome winter vacation for the family without having to break the bank or stressing out unnecessarily.

Although it pays to reserve your ski vacation rentals a few months back to get the perfect home, it might also be a wise decision to hold off until the last minute, as a number of vacation home owners are dropping their rates at the last minute if otherwise vacant. This will allow you to go on that well deserved ski vacation at a fraction of the original price! An awesome vacation plus great savings, what more can you really ask for?

Should you decide to bring the family to a snowed-in adventure at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, Owner Direct Vacation Rentals has a large assortment of vacation homes to choose from including some fabulous Okanagan last minute deals if you are running out of time. Check out this cozy, modern ski in/out condo with private deck and hot tub that can sleep 6. Starting at $295/night.

Cozy, modern ski in\ski out condo at Big White with private deck and hot tub.  ID# 104881

Cozy, modern ski in\ski out condo at Big White with private deck and hot tub.
ID# 104881

If you would rather ski at Silver Star Mountain Ski Resort, you are in for a treat if you choose any of OwnerDirect’s perfect accommodations such as this 2 bedroom suite in a duplex. These bedrooms have large windows that will allow you to have a great forest view, just perfect for your getaway!

Beautiful forest view home

Large windows afford you forest views from all rooms. ID# 104959

In case you would like to experience the amenities that Sun Peaks offers, apart from the award winning ski slopes and many boutiques and relaxing spas, go ahead and find the right OwnerDirect accommodation for you and your family. This property is well-maintained to cater to great family gatherings. It has all the amenities you could ever need: 3 bedrooms and a total of 6 beds, a beautiful living room, dining area, kitchen, bedrooms plus a bar area and hot tub inside. What more could you ask for? Get your 4th night for free, except during President’s week, Christmas and New Year.

3 Bedroom , Sleeps 9, Hot Tub, and in-Suite Laundry!

3 bedroom, sleeps 9, hot tub, and in-suite laundry! – ID# 207749

Consider a Whistler Ski Resort getaway, where snow conditions are reliable and two new lifts have been installed for this winter season. Find the best vacation home rentals only at OwnerDirect such as this beautiful vacation rental townhouse in the village. You are sure to get a spectacular mountain view here as this property is located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Upper Whistler. Nice amenities await you whether you visit in the winter or the summer. Rent for 2 occupants on a 3 night stay is only $704.

Cozy two bedroom townhome, walk to ski lifts, shopping, restaurants and golf

Cozy two bedroom townhome, walk to ski lifts, shopping, restaurants and golf
- ID# 201780


Fernie Alpine Resort
will not only let you enjoy uncrowded trails and a mild climate, perfect for all those exciting outdoor adventures, but you also get access to 2,500 acres of skiable terrain and the best après ski fun, as well as big discounts, especially if you are an RCR member. If you plan to visit Fernie, you can get access to some of the best OwnerDirect rentals. Check this mountain view suite which gives you a very comfy experience, just like at home. This spot is just a few minutes to downtown and the ski hill. You will never be bored. Love everything in this house especially the cozy electric fireplace in the living room.

Mountainview Suite - Experience Fernie!!

Mountainview suite – Experience Fernie!! – ID# 144950

A winter getaway to Panorama Mountain Village not only promises to be one beautiful vacation, but is also bound to be an unforgettable experience. Try blending in with the locals as you wander the idyllic snowed-in village or be ready for an adventure of a lifetime as you give skiing, snowboarding, and each of the outdoor activities offered on its 2,847 acres of skiable terrain, a try. For those who are highly adventurous this chalet rental will surely make your vacation more exciting. With the Panorama Mountain village being only 1 to 2 km drive from this chalet, you will have fun. Travelling with a group? This is just perfect as each of these chalets can accommodate up to 10 people. There’s enough room for everyone.

Panorama luxury cedar log chalets 2,000 Sq Ft

Panorama luxury cedar log chalets 2,000 Sq Ft – ID# 54254

Finally, no Mont Tremblant vacation is ever complete without braving the famous Linear Park of Le P’tit Train du Nord, considered the longest linear park in Canada, which will allow you to immerse yourself in your experience of Mont Tremblant and the Laurentians. For your vacation, we recommend this executive lake front stone chalet which is only 10 minutes away from the number #1 ski in the east plus 10 minutes to the national park. Staying here will give you a comfortable, peaceful and unforgettable experience with your loved ones. Whether you visit in the summer or the winter, you are guaranteed to have a beautiful view everywhere you look. There’s even a private pool for you to enjoy and a beautiful lake front view. Visit here to find out more.

Supreme stay - Canadian wilderness at its best - Ten minutes to #1 ski in the NE

Supreme stay – Canadian wilderness at its best – Ten minutes to #1 ski in the NE
- ID# 205444

With a variety of last minute winter travel deals it is no wonder more and more people are taking on those 11th hour trips to select winter destinations. These promos and travel deals not only give you more value for your money, but also allow you to experience each travel adventure to the fullest.

Featured destination: Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island

Kailua Kona #74659 Kailua Kona #140662 Kailua Kona #142934 Kailua Kona #112939

This week we have a guest post from Discover Hawaii Tours:

The Big Island is definitely one of Hawaii’s most beautiful spots. Though Oahu is usually the first island most people think of when Hawaii is brought up, there is just as much to see and do on the Big Island – if not more! With beautiful rainforests, beaches, volcanoes and wildlife, the Big Island certainly has its own unique sights and landmarks to experience. Spending a day, or even a few there is definitely a must do when visiting.

Nature awaits with many surprises in Hawaii and on the Big Island. But not only does the Big Island have many natural sights, it also has a rich history. Guided tours can shed light on times past, when the Hawaiian natives developed the traditions and rituals that remain to this day.

With regards to beaches, there are many great ones to stop at and take a swim at, such as Onekahakaha Beach Park near Hilo, Kahaluu beach near Kona, or Kealakekua Beach south of Kona. Don’t forget to visit the Punaluu black sand beach as well. You can even visit the Kapoho tide pools if you’re looking for something besides the beach.

One of the Big Island’s most amazing landmarks has to be Mt. Kilauea. One of the most active volcanoes on earth, visiting this mountain and the Volcanoes National Park gives you the chance to see the lava flow, walk through a lava tube, and learn many things about volcanoes at the museum.  You could even take the Big Island Hawaii Volcano Eco-Adventure Tour, which can get you an amazing view of the volcanoes!

You can purchase locally made products, such as Kona coffee and raw organic honey right from the Big Island. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, the Hilo Farmers Market is open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Featuring over 200 local farmers and crafters, this market is certainly an amazing one, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, many of which are grown on the Hawaiian Islands.

There are also a few Eco tours available that will take you to and from the Big Island. One of them, for example, takes you around the island to various sights and then to the Volcanoes National Park. Some include Waipio Valley, an amazingly beautiful and remote valley, not accessible by car. Zipline tours are also available. If you want to be adventurous and see the beauty of the Big Island in an exciting way, you should consider going snorkelling, going out to see whales in the ocean, swim with the dolphins or going on a sunset cruise that departs from the Kona Coast. The options for fun things to do on the Big Island are endless.

There are many things to do! Check out Discover Hawaii Tours to get started. You can experience many things on the Big Island, making it a trip that will be an experience of a lifetime.

Top 5 destinations to view fall foliage in North America

Get ready to enjoy the fall colours

Tuscany, Italy #39339 Canmore, AB #102154 Mont Tremblant, QC #50734 Hockley Valley, SW Ontario #203112

Fall season is the time of the year when I get more comfortable staying inside the house watching movies, baking, cooking or sleeping. Sometimes I could just lie all day on the couch while reading a good book.

But there’s one thing that makes me look forward to this season and want to go outside: getting to view the fall foliage. The changing colours of the leaves, the smell of the trees, and the autumn sky are enough to lift my spirits up and inspire me to get going. It gives me hope, vitality, and zest to continue with life, happily with enthusiasm and passion.

Because of this, I would like to share my top 5 list of destinations in North America which are perfect for viewing fall foliage:

  1. Vermont, USA – Nothing shows a more perfect view of fall foliage in North America than Vermont. To view the beautiful fall foliage scenery in Vermont, follow Route 100 which winds through the middle of Vermont from North to South. While traveling the route, you will also drive through the Green Mountains where some of the best fall scenery in the area can be viewed. Travelers have noted that the best view in Vermont can be seen when you take a trip in the Killington Gondola up to Killington Peak – a journey 4241 feet long.

    Fall foliage in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

    Fall foliage in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec – Property ID # 200299

  2. Quebec, Canada – One of the top places to go to have a good view of fall colors in Quebec is from the Laurentian Mountains. This place is found in many top fall foliage destination guides and for a good reason. You should check it out. The Mont Royal Park in Quebec City is a place where you can enjoy a stroll while watching the fall foliage. The beautiful contrast between the skyline of the city and the colors of the trees is indeed eye-catching and very uplifting to the spirits. I love going here again and again. Plus if you have kids, you can have them play and stroll around in the park while you marvel at the beauty of the colorful trees or take pictures of them.
  3. Michigan, USA – The Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan offers an especially spectacular scenery of fall foliage in Michigan. Various places in Michigan are highly advertised in televisions and radio for their natural beauty and scenery, and I could not disagree with it. The place is just beautiful, especially during fall season when the colors of the leaves are especially stunning.
  4. Colorado, USA – When you visit Colorado during fall season, you will find that it has a striking difference to the other places you will visit. Commonly, you’re going to see strong shades of red and oranges but the trees found here give out a striking yellow color which is quite unique. You will still see red and orange trees but a great part is yellow forest which is quite pleasing to the eyes and creates a sense of interest. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, you can view fall foliage in Colorado by car, by foot, by bicycle or even by horse.

    Autumn garden in Burnaby, BC

    The front garden in autumn at this award-winning dutch colonial heritage home for rent in Burnaby, BC. ID# 115322

  5. British Columbia, Canada – The West Coast is usually not included in lists when thinking about viewing fall colors. This is because of the abundance of coniferous trees which maintain their green colors throughout the year. But there are great places to view fall colors here. Vancouver is one of these places. Vancouver is a perfect fall getaway destination. Visit Stanley Park, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and Queen Elizabeth Park where you get the best views of fall foliage. The Okanagan is another great place to visit in BC during the fall season which is also their harvest season. You’ll be welcomed not only by beautiful colors of trees but also by delicious fruits, rolling hills and many wineries to choose from within the area.

Where is your favorite place to visit during the autumn season?