America’s covered bridges

One of my favourite tourism excursions is visiting covered bridges. Although covered bridges are usually associated with romance – blame it on the role they play in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County” – these bridges were built out of practicality. The bridges allow people to cross lakes, streams or rivers. They were covered to protect not only the people using the bridges but also the bridge itself from any weather disturbances that might cause the wooden parts to deteriorate. This way and with a good dose of proper maintenance of the roofing, a longer life span for bridges was ensured. Covered bridges have been built in America for more than 200 years now, and the oldest covered bridge was built in 1825, making it a hundred and 88 years old.

Covered bridges are commonly located in the countryside and rural settings. They are usually parts of idyllic scenery and rustic beauty of non-urban places.  They act as extensions of main roads and provide access to areas that are typically not covered by main routes, making traveling easier for traders and travelers.  And most of the time, they are the very reason people travel that way.

In America, covered bridges are historical treasures. Every state has at least one that is still in use. Pennsylvania, having more than 200 covered bridges, holds the title for the most number of these bridges within the state. This state record represents about one-fourth of authentic bridges built and still standing in the United States.

The very first covered bridge in America was located in Pennsylvania. The Permanent Bridge was built as early as 1805, but was devoured by fire in 1875. It was never restored. Pennsylvania is also home to the world’s longest covered bridge, the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge. Built in 1813, this 5690 foot bridge crossed the Susquehanna River for 19 years until it was ravaged by ice in 1832. The bridge was never reconstructed. The rich history of Pennsylvania bridges gave birth to more bridges that withstood the roughness of time and nature.

Visit Doylestown - Property ID  204917

Visit Doylestown – Property ID 204917

One of the oldest covered bridges found in Pennsylvania is the Sachs Bridge in Gettysburg. Also known as the Saucks and Waterworks Covered Bridge, it was built in 1854 and was used in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War in America. It is one of the most historical bridges in Pennsylvania. A flash flood damaged the bridge badly but it was repaired in 1997. Another bridge in Pennsylvania is the Weaver’s Mill Bridge located in Lancaster County. It crosses the Conestoga River and is red-and-white painted, traditional to all covered bridges in Lancaster.

One of the most beautiful, and probably the most famous, covered bridges found in America is the Roseman Covered Bridge located in Winterset, Iowa. Made famous by Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, this particular covered bridge is one of the most visited of all. It was built in 1883 and some renovations were completed in 1992. Another famous covered bridge is the Wawona Covered Bridge in Yosemite National Park in California.

West Cornwall covered bridge is an attraction in Housatonic Meadows, a park in the state of Connecticut. Built in 1864, it underwent major renovations after the flooring in 1940 and was strengthened by steel bars in 1973.

One of the recently restored covered bridges is the Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge. Named after a Civil War captain, this specific bridge is a survivor. It is the last surviving masterpiece of Theodore Burr, a well-known bridge builder from the 19th century, famous for his Burr arch. It also survived relocation from North River to Lyonsville Road in Massachusetts way back in 1886.  For a long time it was left unused in its deteriorating state and was only reconstructed in 2005. Today it is open to pedestrians once more.

One of the oldest covered bridges is found in Covington, Virginia. Built in 1857, Humpback covered bridge is designed with an arc shape. The middle being four feet higher than both ends, it is designed to protect the center from floods, the usual reason for a bridge’s falling apart, therefore increasing its life span. This covered bridge became a favorite for tourists and photographers for its unusual design. Another covered bridge found in Virginia is the Meem’s Bottom Bridge in Mount Jackson. Built in 1893, it was functioning for eighty years allowing cars to drive across the North Fork River until 1976. It was destroyed not by flood or any natural disasters but by vandals who thought setting the bridge on fire was a good idea. The original woods were recovered and the bridge was rebuilt adding some reinforcements such as steel beams.

Chincoteaugue Island, Virginia - Property ID 11590

Chincoteaugue Island, Virginia – Property ID 11590

Another favorite covered bridge for photographers and painters is the Artist’s Bridge in Newry, Maine. Being true to its name, Artist’s Bridge is no longer open to traffic since 1958 but remains an inspiration for making beautiful pictures and paintings. It is one of the remaining nine bridges presently standing in Maine that survived the floods and disasters for a long period of time.

Do you have a favourite covered bridge you’ve visited?

Survey & Dishes

There are lots of websites, articles and lists that claim to know what guests of vacation rentals are looking for. But we decided we wanted to know directly from our Ownerdirect.com guests what is important to them. So we have been conducting an online survey (quick and painfree) that was first distributed in our May newsletter, to ask guests about priorities and preferences. We will compile this into nice graphs for you, and we trust that you will find it helpful for your own vacation rental operations.

The survey can be found here. If you want to share your opinion as a guest of vacation rentals, please take 2 minutes to fill it out. This will help us generate useful information. It’s quick and online. Thank you. We will compile the results on June 10. Check back here after the results have been analyzed.

DishesLastly, here is one random tip that a vacation rental owner shared with me recently. I noticed that she was using a cup at home that was the same as the cups in her vacation rental. When I pointed it out, she said: “Oh, we always buy two sets of dishes for the rental so that we can replace broken dishes with the same kind.” Such a great idea to avoid the often random collection of plates and cups!

 

5 Tips For A Stress Free Family Vacation

The children’s break from school is the perfect time to plan that highly anticipated family vacation. Each member of the family is surely excited at the thought of enjoying a lazy day at the beach, going on a new adventure or, in the winter, enjoying a thrilling ski vacation with a picturesque view of the snow capped mountains. Family vacations are where memories are made.

BangTao Beach - Phuket - Unit ID 205909

BangTao Beach – Phuket – Unit ID 205909

It is definitely an amazing experience to travel with the entire family but it can also be unnerving and stressful at the same time. There are a few life hacks you might want to bear in mind to allow yourself a stress free time while in another country or in an obscure destination in the middle of nowhere. Here’s 5 great tips to have a stress free family vacation.

Travel Light

Nothing adds unnecessary hassle to your travel adventure than having to carry around huge luggage and bags. It can be time consuming to wait for them at airports and very inconvenient to move around, either on your backs or lugging them to different locations. The key is to pack light and systematically. Bring only those things you will actually need for your journey and leave those stuffed animals, extra shirts, or those huge books at home. Make a checklist so you won’t end up stashing everything into your backpack just to ensure you have not forgotten anything. You can also let the children carry their own bags, fill it with a couple of their clothes as well as with items that they might need a number of times while traveling, like wet wipes or their favorite binky or blanket, for example.

Color Coordinate Your Clothes

If you are planning to visit a number of popular tourist attractions, where people flock in like bees day in and out, it will be most convenient to color coordinate the entire family’s wardrobe to make it easy to spot your family members at any given time. Make sure you wear the same shade of tees or the same hat color while visiting a national park or a very populated beach. It will save you precious amounts of time trying to locate your son or your daughter in a throng of people.

Maximize Your Budget

While on vacation it is probably unwise to book yourself and family into a very expensive accommodation when you intend to spend the entire day at the beach or outdoors, anyway. Opting for those plush hotel rooms will just burn a hole in your pocket when you plan to make the most of the sun and outdoor adventures. It’s just money down the drain. Opting for vacation home rentals will allow you to enjoy a very comfortable accommodation at a fraction of a hotel room’s exorbitant price. Having kitchen facilities to cook meals can also save on costs too. The money you save from that hotel room can be spent on other things that will allow you to enjoy your vacation to the fullest, like a boat trip to a secluded island or snorkeling, perhaps.

In the heart of downtown Victoria, BC - Unit ID 205195

In the heart of downtown Victoria, BC – Unit ID 205195

Experience Local Food

Apart from the beautiful and amazing attractions, the local cuisine is also a pride of any destination you may be. It would be most practical, not to mention quite a welcome experience, to sample the local delicacies and dishes while on vacation. Try some of those local hole-in-the-wall restaurants and eateries that offer equally interesting and tempting food instead of opting for the famous restaurants or fast food outlets you otherwise see everywhere. Selecting a local restaurant will also allow you to possibly save on your food budget, learn more about your surrounding location and offers the option of meeting more locals too.

Plan Your Schedule

Of course, it goes without saying that you really have to iron out your schedule when you plan to go on a family vacation. Apart from clearing everyone’s schedule so you can all go on a trip, it is also a must that everyone has an ample amount of free time right after your vacation. It will allow for unplanned and unnecessary delays, like flight delays or booking mishaps. Naturally, you cannot schedule a weekend getaway to a far off island when your oldest daughter is scheduled to march to her graduation next Tuesday. It will surely be very stressful trying to catch the quickest flight when everything is delayed and the weather is not cooperating so your child will make it in time for her graduation.

What tips do you have that has helped make your last family vacation stress-free?

iTravex – Host guests, travel often!

If you are already a user of iTravex, I don’t have to explain the benefits to you. If not, consider trading your vacancies for get-aways in locations you select and times your choose.

Example: You own a vacation home in Arizona or rent out a basement suite in Aspen. Your property is listed on OwnerDirect.com but you have not opted into the free membership to iTravex that the OwnerDirect listing comes with as an added bonus.

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As soon as you do, other owners like you can see your property in the iTravex listings. Let’s say it is near the end of the ski season in Aspen and your suite is empty. A couple from Denver (who own a condo in Maui that is listed on OwnerDirect.com) wants to spend a week there to enjoy some spring skiing and time away from work. After they inquire about your suite, you all decide to complete an iTravex transaction. Your suite usually rents for $300 a night, so your agreed iTravex points total is 7 * 300=2100 points. The couple transfers those points from their iTravex account to you, pays a 10% transaction fee ($210) as well as the cleaning fee you stated. Off they go onto a nice week-long trip to Aspen, all for $210 plus cleaning fee – while your property would have sat empty otherwise.

Now you start getting excited about the 2100 points in your iTravex account. The summer will be busy but you are thinking about a trip to Italy in the fall. You check the iTravex listings for Tuscany and Umbria, and send a few inquiries to properties that look romantic and are centrally located in the best wine region. A few days and some messages with the owner later, you have booked a week-long stay in a stone villa in Tuscany for 1800 points (and have paid the fee of $180). A win-win situation, trading your vacancies into vacation home stays in your dream locations.

I have been a regular user of iTravex, and have stayed in iTravex properties in Maui, Sun Valley ID, Missoula MT, Silver Star BC, Canmore AB and more. It works and is a great way to travel affordably. It works best in the off season when properties are not booked up with cash rentals, and closer to the travel date. iTravex is also incorporating new tools in the near future, such as Decision Day (the owner can determine on which day he/she would like to decide about the iTravex reservation) and a new website dashboard. All the information about your property from OwnerDirect.com transfers to iTravex without any extra work for you.

If you haven’t explored this opportunity yet, just opt into iTravex from your OwnerDirect.com dashboard.

Castles of the world

Whether you are a history buff, a lover of architecture or perhaps a royal family descendant, exploring the World’s great castles has never been easier with affordable accommodations that are unique and provide the comforts of a home away from home.

Ever since your Great Uncle Paddy shared that you are a descendant of an Earl from the infamous Kilkenny Castle in Kilkenny, Ireland, you have been itching to explore your family roots. When travelling in Europe, consider purchasing the popular Eurail Pass, or board a bus, and for the adventurous souls, rent a car and drive on the left side of the road! It is only a short trek from your Youghal, Ireland, accommodations to the grounds of Kilkenny Castle.

Waterfront Property - Unit  ID 202629

Waterfront Property – Unit ID 202629

Next head off with your Eurail Pass and make your way to Krakow, Poland. Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. It is a quick one hour trip to the ruins of the gothic Ogrodzieniec Castle, built in the 14th–15th centuries. This small town of approximately 4,400 people dates its origins back to the 11th century. The Ogrodzieniec Castle makes this quaint town not only a popular tourist destination but also a sought after spot for filming movies. It has been featured in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden’s video in 1984.

Two-Bedroom Flat Right at the Entrance to the Famous Kazimierz!

Two-Bedroom Flat Right at the Entrance to the Famous Kazimierz!- Unit ID 205560

While most of us generally think of Europe when castles are mentioned, what about Asia? The Himeji Castle, high a top a hill, is one of the finest examples of Japanese architecture. The Himeji Castle became Japan’s first registered UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. With Japan’s world-renowned public transit system, the largest metropolis in the world is at your finger tips: make Tokyo your base for adventures.

trendy and up-town mid-Tokyo neighborhood

Trendy and up-town mid- Tokyo neighborhood Unit ID 204922

Rounding off your great castles of the World tour wouldn’t be the same without a visit to the mystery shrouded Hogwart’s Castle in Orlando, Florida. There is something for everyone; old, young and for those of us who just want to act our own shoe size for a day or two. Shop, play and explore secret chambers before you board your ride. After a fun filled day come back to relax in your spacious self-catered Orlando, Florida home to unwind in the pool.

close to golf

Games room, pool, spa, can sleep 16! Unit ID 13715

While these examples of magnificent castles are merely a drop in the bucket, Owner Direct Vacation Rentals has accommodations in all corners of the World to cure you of your castle fix. Do you have a favourite castle and experience to share?

Three that make a difference

As a frequent renter of vacation homes, due to my work in the industry, I have seen various levels of “fully equipped” homes. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly fine with a clean, pleasant place that has what was advertised and shown in the pictures.

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However, frequently I find myself inquiring before I leave as to the “nice-to-have” items that not every rental features. For me, a few small additions make the difference between “as advertised” and “could not have wished for more”. I understand that this is purely a personal observation and preference but here are my top three non-essentials that do make a difference:

Coffee grinder. I know not everybody drinks coffee or is picky about their coffee. But I do know that being able to grind beans makes a big difference for a lot of folks. Why not spend the $20 and have one available for your guests? This is the one item I always ask about, unless it is listed in the property description.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 12.48.49 PMLaundry detergent. Most homes have washers and dryers but some do not provide detergent. If laundry soap was something that we frequently travel with and that is easy to pack, I would not pay so much attention to this one. But since it isn’t (one gallon soap container in your luggage, anyone?), and missing detergent can ruin your day when you have to fix a food mishap on your children’s clothing, I always appreciate having at least a load’s worth available at the vacation home without having to visit the nearest store. And by all means, if you use a lot, please replace it.

Basic bathroom supplies. Most of us bring their favourite shampoo or lotion on vacation. However, just in case you forgot or (especially when flying to your destination) are planning on purchasing it locally the next day, it is nice to have some supplies for that first shower or after the first hot tub visit.

What have you appreciated when arriving at a vacation rental? What tips can you give other owners?

The best trail running destinations

Hit the Trails

Property #205147 Oliver, BC Property #125959 Whistler, BC Property #119020  Dunster

Trail running is one of the most popular sporting activities of many tourists, and it’s definitely on top of my favorite things to do during a vacation. With the many different trails I have been on, I find that each of them is different. Each trail offers a unique experience. Different scenery, different terrain and different challenges but in the end, each of these experiences give the runner the same rewards: satisfaction from completing it and many life lessons that have to do with taking risks, persistence and hard work. Here are some awesome trail running destinations I would like to share with you, each of them offering something different, something fresh and something exciting.

Kalalau Trail in Kauai, Hawaii No photograph can ever capture the beautiful experience of running on the Kalalau Trail. This is an 11 mile trail which was built in the late 1800s. The starting point is the Ha’ena State Park and the end point is the beautiful Kalalau Beach. Before reaching the final destination of the trail, you will traverse through 5 beautiful lush valleys. There are many reasons to run this trail. Among them are the beautiful sights of towering sea cliffs, waterfalls, beaches that have pure white sand, fruit trees especially lots of guava trees as well as some ancient Hawaiian ruins. But the main reason you should travel this trail is for you to see a beautiful view of the Napali Coast. The trail is the only land access to the Napali Coast which is on the northwest part of Kauai. The Napali Coast is the most famous coastline in Kauai and features emerald green pinnacles along the shoreline and a scenery that is to die for.

Lovely Sandpiper 2BR Condo - Sleeps 6 - DSL - Ocean View, Princeville, Kauai - Unit - ID 9134

Lovely Sandpiper 2BR Condo – Sleeps 6 – DSL – Ocean View, Princeville, Kauai – Unit – ID 9134

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Issaquah, Washington Operated by the Regional Trail System of King County, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is based in Issaquah, Washington, with a huge area that spans from the Cascades and Seattle and from Bothell and Auburn. This is one of the country’s most wide range multi-purpose off road systems and boasts of more than 175 miles of trails which are perfect for different outdoor adventures including bicycling, horseback riding, walking and hiking. The Regional Trail System covers an area from Seattle to the Cascades and from Bothell to Auburn. The system provides endless of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoor as well as numerous venues for recreation.  King Country Trail is the perfect choice for those who are looking for pleasurable and fresh way to enjoy the region, as well as communing with nature, exploring and living a much healthier and more active lifestyle.

El Morro Canyon Loop in Laguna Beach, California An 8.9 mile loop trail near Laguna Beach California, this trail is rated as moderate or intermediate, which means it’s not too easy and not too difficult. The trail is set in a forest setting so expect to see different types of animals while you run the trail. This trail is accessible all year round and can be run, hiked or biked. Some even complete this trail riding a horse. It can be quite gruesome when the weather is too hot, particularly during summer. There are lots of steep climbs for you to surmount. But, once completed, it will make you feel very satisfied and accomplished. Somewhere on the trail, you will find a cave where you can have a restful break and be recharged before you complete the rest of the trail. Make sure you have plenty of water to rehydrate your body while running this trail. A solution for the hot summer season is to run this trail early in the morning. The beautiful ocean view you’ll get to see on this trail is going to be all worth it.

Hermosa Beach Accommodations - Close by Laguna Trail Unit ID 203518

Hermosa Beach Accommodations – Close by Laguna Trail Unit ID 203518

Long Trail, Winhall, Vermont Considered as the United State’s oldest long-distance trail, the Long Trail situated in Winhall in Vermont, was built between 1910 and 1930 by the Green Mountain Club. The trail prides itself of its 273 miles of routes that spans the length of Vermont, running from the Canadian border to the state line of Massachusetts, including some of the state’s densest of forests and highest of peaks, following the main path of the Green Mountains. Any run on the Long Trail may require a lot more patience, as well as walking and hiking expertise, because of the steep and unexpected climbs and falls. Some adventures folks were able to conquer the entire trail in less than a week, including the Pennsylvanian carpenter, Jonathan Basham, who finished it in four and a half days back in 2009. Most of the trail system’s milder climbs and running trails can be found in the southern portion, like the first 10-mile run from Massachusetts to Congdon Chelter just near Bennington.

Never lose your socks again!

Full disclosure: We are not sponsored or in any way affiliated with the company whose products we feature here. We simply love them because we travel a lot and they have become indispensable. There might be other products around that achieve the same but in this “experience” report, we will focus on the products we know. We took the photos ourselves.

eaglecreek1

We have packed many bags and backpacks over the years. When you leave home, everything is usually very tidy and organized. After a few days of travelling, maybe multiple stops and destinations, or after unpacking at your destination, your luggage and clothing is not quite as tidy anymore. Have you been caught digging wildly through your duffle bag, trying to find that one missing sock or pair of underwear?

eaglecreek2Enter the Eagle Creek universe (@eaglecreekgear). This company has a wide array of products that are lightweight, affordable and help you stay organized and never lose your socks again. Their Specter Cubes help me keep socks, underwear or cables together. The bigger size Specter Cube also works really well as a pillow for backpacking (just stuff any clothing into it) while weighing nearly nothing.

If you have bulky clothing items such as jackets, pillows or thick sweaters, try their amazing compression sacs (in different sizes). A thick pile of clothing disappears into a thin airless layer within a minute – and stays that way (the one-way valves do not let air back in). It can save you a lot of space in your luggage, and I don’t travel anywhere without it.

eaglecreek4 eaglecreek5 eaglecreek6 eaglecreek8 eaglecreek9

We have not tried yet but are jealously eyeing Eagle Creek’s luggage solutions such as carry on’s and duffle bags. I admit to being especially fascinated by the “2-in-1″ Morphus luggage solution. It turns from one bag into two, both solid and durable yet lightweight. Am I the only one that comes back from a visit to the parents with loads of chocolate and other goodies in my luggage (they live in Europe)? I would be in heaven if I could turn the one bag of clothing I bring into one bag of clothing and one bag of chocolate I return with :)

Within Eagle Creek’s product line, there are toiletry kits, travel wallets, laptop bags and much more. Every product is demonstrated in a video on their website. We encourage you to check out Eagle Creek, or find your own organization solutions. It will make a big difference for your next trip!

White or what? Thoughts on white sheets …

If you are the owner of a vacation rental, or have been a guest in a vacation rental, you probably have an opinion on this. It seems trivial but when I read this article, I realized I was nodding and exploring my own thoughts on this topic.

The Perfect White Vacation Rental Sheets

As I am writing this, I am spending time in Canmore, AB, in a very nice vacation rental with breathtaking views of the Rockies. And about a week before I even read this article, when I arrived here I felt myself admiring and enjoying the clean, soft white sheets on the bed in this rental.

I do agree that there is some psychology involved, and that we associate white with clean. And that this “no-color” is easy to maintain and combine with other design elements in a house. But mostly, I am just enjoying something special that I do not have at home (don’t we all have coloured sheets in our own home?).

So as an owner, consider this for your unit. As a guest, enjoy when you find it!

Inviting white sheets

Inviting white sheets!

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!).