7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Stay at a Short Term Rental

If you are going to travel on business or you just need a place to spend your time for a couple of days in another city, we suggest that you give a go to a short term rental. You have a lot of options to choose from, such as vacation rentals, hotels, sublets, and apartments, just to name a few. So, if you have plans to travel in the near future, considering the following 8 tips is a great idea. These tips may help you get the most out of your stay at a short term rental.

1. Don’t pack all your stuff

Before you move, don’t pack all the stuff that you need on a regular basis as the rental will offer you most of the commonly used things. So, you may not want to pack off-season outfits, soaps, kitchen equipment, and furniture. Taking these things with you will only add to the unnecessary burden on you.

2. Pack the stuff you Love

Although you may not want to take all the unwanted stuff with you, you may still carry things that matter to you. Do put them in your bags as they will make your experience a lot more comfortable and happier.

3. Don’t kill your Time

Typically, you may not want to live around a lot of unpacked boxes. If you are going to travel again after a couple of months, you can just put them in a safe place in your house. You don’t want to spend a lot of time packing those things. They will only kill a lot of your precious time.

4. Remove unwanted items from the boxes

On the other hand, make sure you pack things that you know are needed. And after careful consideration, you should take out all the things from the boxes that you can easily manage without.

5. Decorate the Space

Before you leave the rental, you don’t want to worry about the things that you will have to fix anyway, such as holes in the walls. Based on your lease terms and conditions, you may or may not have to make these changes. However, during your stay, you can decorate the space without making any physical modifications to it.

6. Throw a Party

You may not like to socialize a lot during your stay at the rental as it’s not your home. However, you can fight against these feelings and invite some close friends over. But make sure you don’t let things get out of your hands. After all, you don’t want to damage the property you are not the owner of.

7. Meet your Neighbors

Getting to know the people around is a great idea. In other words, you should meet your neighbors and even help them when they need it. This will help you feel settled in the new environment.

In short, living in a place temporarily can be a good deal of fun provided you have the right mindset. So, we suggest that you accept it for what it is. This can help you turn the place into an environment where you will feel at home.

Top Tips for Buying a Place in Javea

Long gone are the days when owning a place in the sun is only a possibility for multimillionaires and Eastenders TV stars; nowadays it’s a much easier and a lot cheaper to buy yourself a pad in the sun that would make Mick Jagger feel at home.

It is true that to a limited extent this sort of home remains something of a luxury, and really it always will remain so, but these days having a home in a sunny location is no longer something that only the very affluent can afford. With the opening up of the European Community, the comparative high worth of the domestic home market even in today’s days of austerity, and the birth of the internet to make it all much easier, finding yourself a property in the sun has never been easier.

The opening up of the international house market has made pockets for property development all over Europe, turning isolated, rural and out of the way little villages into areas of expansive property development. A prime example of this is Javea. Also known as Xabia, Javea is a lovely little place on the coast of the Costa Blanca, not far from the famous city of Valencia on Spain’s Eastern coast. Valencia has long been hugely attractive to tourists in addition to people looking for a place to live abroad, and this paradise offers all of the things that make Valencia so appealing to incomers. If you’re keen on accommodation in Javea, you are going to love its closeness to the Mediterranean as well as its location in-between two rocky outcroppings on the coast line and the beautiful climate for which the area is notorious.

Ideally for plenty of would-be expatriates, particularly older couples with teenaged and twenty something family members, Javea is also a relatively little distance away from Ibiza. This world-famous party town is only 90 kilometers away, can be traveled to by boat, and you can even see it on a cloudless day from the beaches of Valencia. This nearness to Ibiza shows that this place can truly offer something for a huge range of prospective purchasers- the calm market charm of Javea, the silent beauty of the “older” half of Ibiza, and the notorious parties of Ibiza’s fabled club scene. Villas for sale in Javea themselves are able to offer all things to all purchasers- there are homes of a scale and of a level of luxury that will suit all sizes of family, tastes and bankbooks.

So if you are looking for a holiday home in the sun; somewhere to retire to overseas, or even a total change of life for you and your brood, then Javea really should be near the top of your list of desired locations. The little town itself is especially well placed for a laid back type of lifestyle, and this terrific location has ensured the area is also a target for people who wish to relocate but are still not of retirement age – there are good work possibilities for all ages and nationalities due to the large number of expats in the area.

Scouting Film Locations From Your Santa Barbara Vacation Rental

Santa Barbara vacation rental guests are often curious about film locations, and with good reason. There are a lot of iconic Santa Barbara locations that crop up in movies and TV shows. Read on to find out why our fair city is the setting of choice for so many popular productions and how you can recognize and visit famous filming locations in and around the Santa Barbara area.

A lot of visitors feel a strong sense of familiarity or belonging the first time they explore Santa Barbara. We’re not going to discount anyone’s claims of psychic powers or a past life lived on America’s Riviera, but chances are more like that they’ve seen one of the over 200 different movies and TV shows filmed in whole or in part here over the last 100 years.

Don’t leave your vacation rental in search of locations made famous on the silver screen until you read the Santa Barbara Film Commission’s full list. You’ve probably seen at least one or more of these popular productions:

2009 It’s Complicated

2006 Pirates of the Caribbean III

2006 There Will Be Blood

2006 Psych

2006 The Bachelor

2006 Top Chef 2, Bravo

2005 Monk

2005 Oprah Winfrey Show

2004 Flight of the Phoenix

2004 Monster-in-Law

2004 Sideways

2003 Hidalgo

2003 Seabiscuit

2003 Sorority Life

2001 The X-files

2000 Bedazzled

1999 Double Jeopardy

1998 Star Trek: Insurrection

1996 The Long Kiss Goodnight

1996 G.I. Jane

1996 Face/Off

1995 Nixon

1994 A Walk in the Clouds

1994 Congo

1994 Young Indy/Hollywood Follies

1993 Pelican Brief

1990 Rocketeer

1984 Scarface

1980 The Postman Always Rings Twice

1978 The Frisco Kid

1967 The Graduate

1964 Batman pilot

1923 The Ten Commandments

1914 The Perils of Pauline

It’s Complicated

The most recent high-profile film to come out of our region was last year’s Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin romantic comedy It’s Complicated.

The film’s director Nancy Meyers chose Santa Barbara for a definite reason that any tourist or native film enthusiast will be able to relate to. In an interview with Santa Barbara Magazine, Meyers said that “Santa Barbara felt right for so many reasons – the natural beauty everywhere you look, the state of mind I feel when I’m there, the calm…It feels as close to the good life as you can get.”

It’s Complicated is a beautiful film that seems to show off our fair city to its finest advantage.

The operative word here is seems. Most of it was shot on a sound stage in Brooklyn in the middle of winter. Only three brief scenes were actually shot here.

  • There’s a scene where Jane is jogging through her Montecito neighborhood and her architect friend Adam pulls up in his car. This was actually filmed in her little burg, as you can tell from the unique wooden street signs. If you want to walk in Jane’s Montecito shoes stop by The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, which may have been the inspiration for the hotel where Jane and her ex-husband had their aborted rendezvous.
  • When Jane lies in wait for her therapist at the fictional Santa Barbara Medical Center, she is actually lurking at the Anacapa Street back entrance of El Paseo, an outdoor Spanish-style shopping arcade.
  • While we have a dizzying array of Farmers Markets, the one Jane shops at was actually set designed for her outside the 1920s Spanish-Moorish style Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Anapamu Street.

Sadly, there is no such place as Jane’s luscious and comfy-looking business Village Bakery. The set was built inside Picnic House in Brooklyn. But hungry visitors will be able to find close facsimiles at Jeannine’s or Xanadu (temporarily closed until April, 2011 due to a fire) in Montecito or Renaud’s in downtown.


The wine-tasting buddy picture Sideways was a sensation when it was released in 2004. Filmed primarily in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley, it spawned a whole new appreciation for wines (just not Merlot!) from the area, and a cottage industry grew up around people who wanted to retrace the footsteps of the film’s questionable protagonists.

Fans of this movie often search for “the Sideways Map” which will lead you on a car tour through the movie’s highlights.. Many of the destinations even have a sign bearing the Sideways logo. If you want to travel by bike, the Sideways bike map will help you find the sites.

Different locations in Santa Barbara Proper

There are a lot of local locations that crop up in movies that aren’t even set in the area. This is because of the profusion of beautiful features in the area that blend so seamlessly into other locales.

  • Stearns Wharf is a 19th century landmark, located at the bottom of State Street. It is the oldest operating wharf on the west coast, and the second longest pier on the Pacific coast at just a hair under 2,000 feet. In the 1940s, actor James Cagney and his brothers were part owners of Stearns Wharf. It has appeared in A Date with Judy and My Favorite Martian and the 1966 version of Batman. “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”
  • State Street features many familiar landmarks. It has appeared in the movies Cutter’s Way and Steal Big, Steal Little, among countless others.
  • The Old Town Clock at State and Haley streets was featured in The Pelican Brief.
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Anacapa Street was also in Steal Big, Steal Little.
  • Mission Santa Barbara was in Sunset Boulevard and Cruel Intentions 3.

Different locations in the Greater Santa Barbara Area

There is so much more to this region than just the pretty red roofs of downtown. One of the reasons the region is so popular with filmmakers is its almost infinite variety.

  • Cold Spring Arch Bridge – Steal Big, Steal Little.
  • Lake Cachuma – The Postman Always Rings Twice
  • Gainey Vineyard – Seabiscuit and Of Mice & Men.
  • Downtown Los Olivos – Return to Mayberry.
  • Paradise Road – Seabiscuit and Star Trek Insurrection.
  • Gaviota Coast – Spartan.
  • Gaviota Trestle – Of Mice & Men.
  • Gaviota Tunnel – The Graduate.
  • Guadalupe Dunes – The Ten Commandments, Hidalgo, GI Jane, Pirates of the Caribbean III.
  • Santa Maria Airport – The Rocketeer and The Best Years of Our Lives.
  • La Purisima Mission – Seabiscuit.
  • Jalama Road – A Walk in the Clouds.
  • Surrounding Ranchland – Of Mice & Men.

Faking Santa Barbara

Sometimes a production may be set in Santa Barbara, but for whatever reason they can’t film there. In that case they may use a few stock footage-establishing shots, like the pier and tower seen in the TV series Psych.

In the movie I Love You, Man a wedding scene was supposed to have taken place at the fictional El Encanto Spa & Resort of Montecito. It was actually filmed at a private residence on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Sorry, a vacation rental concierge won’t be able to make you a reservation at El Encanto, but they’ll be able to find you a nice alternative!

Sometimes, scenes are shot with certain geographical liberties taken. In The Graduate, the scene of Benjamin driving south to Santa Barbara shows his car heading north through the Gaviota Tunnel, in the wrong direction. Even the church he banged on during the wedding was nowhere nearby. It is actually located in La Verne, east of Los Angeles.

Television Loves Santa Barbara

Moviemakers aren’t the only people infatuated with the area. Its glamour beckons on the little screen, too. Countless TV shows have been set in, had special episodes located in or just mentioned our name. There was even a nighttime drama in the ’80s called Santa Barbara.

More recently, our fair city has been featured or mentioned in episodes of Gossip Girl, Entourage, Victorious, Beverly Hills 90210, The L Word, Baywatch, Melrose Place, Privileged, L.A. Law, Zorro and Oceans Away.

Kind of Santa Barbara, but Not Really

Then there are the productions that are located in places that sound and look suspiciously like our lovely town, but are never overtly established as such. The television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a classic example.

Buffy’s hometown “Sunnydale” is described as being a coastal town, two hours north of Beverly Hills – check. Both towns are homes to branch campuses of the University of California. The architecture of Sunnydale looks very familiar. Both towns abut the Pacific Ocean, and suffered devastating earthquakes between the two world wars. Sunnydale was also described as being the home of the Chumash tribe who were indigenous to Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and many of the show’s establishing shots were of…you guessed it.

Most convincing of all is the fact that on several occasions throughout its seven-year run, characters used maps of Sunnydale that were in fact of…Santa Barbara. Now, we want to assure anyone staying in a vacation rental that there is no such thing as a hellmouth lurking under our utopian city. But you might want to bring a garlic necklace if you plan to wander around a lot after sunset.

Santa Barbara’s 100-Year History in the Movies

2010 marks the 100-year anniversary of a lively and thriving film presence in Santa Barbara. Starting in 1910 the Essanay Film Company made regular visits from Chicago in search of better weather and appropriate locations to shoot their wildly popular western genre short films. They were followed in July, 1912 by a permanent western branch of Flying “A” Studios, which was also looking for better weather and relief from the stranglehold of the Edison Trust in the east. They chose our town because they could find both urban and rural locations so close at hand.

Flying “A” took a big hit due to the combined effects of World War I, the flu pandemic and the beginning of the Great Depression. But we were already well established as a choice filming location. In 1923, Cecil B. DeMille shot The Ten Commandments on the sandscapes of Guadalupe (also used in Pirates of the Caribbean III), once again launching us back into the movie vanguard.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Coming up Next from Santa Barbara

The entertainment industry is alive and well here. Last June, the cast and crew of a new film called No Strings Attached set up shop at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore. Billed as a romantic comedy, the film stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher and is scheduled for release on January 21, 2011.

There are a lot of famous filming locations to visit. If you want to go out exploring on your own, SantaBarbara.com offers three different itineraries that will lead you through the area, scoping out locations from some favorite high-profile films. And when you’re done for the day, you’ll have a Santa Barbara vacation rental to return home to, living a life the movie stars envy.

Phuket Villa Rentals and Hotel Bookings – Great Tips To Have a Satisfying Phuket Getaway

In the past 20 years, Phuket Island has become one of the world’s hottest tourist spots in Asia. It is located in the south of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Most of the foreigners like its clean beaches and the relaxing lifestyle. They love swimming in the blue water under the sun.

In the recent years, the market demand for villas is booming. A lot of vacationers love to enjoy their long holidays in the luxurious villas because the rental offered is very reasonable. For people who are always on their business trips, they usually find that the hotel accommodations in most of the countries are more or less the same in term of facilities and features. However, when you spend your holiday in Phuket, you will be experiencing a totally different environment when you stay in the villas. The amenities available are very unique and impressive.

Why are the villas so great?

First thing first, you need to ask yourself whether villas are really suitable for you. To be frank, villas are specially catered for vacationers who travel in groups or for those who intend to stay longer in the particular place, say 2 weeks to one month or even more. For your information, the villa rentals will be higher during peak period due to high demand. However, if you travel in groups, staying in villas will be much cheaper because the cost is shared among a group of people. You can even enjoy better rates if you lease the place for longer duration.

If you want to know more about the Thai culture and its natives in Phuket, staying in villas will be your wise choice. Most of the villas in this island are adopting traditional and genuine Thai designs. You are able to experience a totally different culture in this small island. For people who are very concern about their privacy, they can enjoy their vacation without being disturbed by anyone when they stay in villas. They can even choose to stay in villas which are facing the sea.

On the other hand, for those travelers with limited budget, Phuket Island is also a great destination for them because there is a wide selection of inexpensive hotels in this island. During non-peak period, you can even get a 4-star hotel for less than $50 a night. In order to enjoy such great deals, you are suggested to spend your time surfing the internet. There are many great offers waiting for you when you go online. You can compare the prices among different hotels before you make your booking.

Last but not the least, in order to enjoy your trip to Phuket at an optimum level, you are advised not to visit this island between November and March because your mood may be spoilt by the rainy season. For people who love outdoor sports activities, it is really important for you to take note about this.