In the process of wrapping up rentals in Australia and the South Pacific…Photos coming soon…

The blooming season for flowers is fading at this time of the season.

Although, it may seem as if we’ve been searching for a home in Australia for only a short period, over the past month we actually spent many days wrapped up in intense research. There are literally tens of thousands of listings throughout Australia on numerous vacation rental websites.

The owners are sending us their photos this weekend when they are off work and we’ll post them as soon as they arrive.

A hibiscus.

With the poor real estate market worldwide, many frustrated homeowners have turned their homes that didn’t sell into vacation homes listing them with one or more of the many vacation rental sites.  

With our cruise ship at sea for 18 days sailing from Oahu, Hawaii to Sydney, Australia in less than a year, arriving on June 11, 2015, we’ve been determined to find an affordable home with an ocean view on what appears to be a very expensive Australia.

Most homes on the island have a view or a partial view of the ocean.

Not having a home booked a year out can be cause for concern when one has no home at all. By no means, do we panic. Knowing that we have a place to live in a year definitely provides a degree of peace of mind.

I realized I’ve mentioned this in the past, but some of our readers have inquired as to why we book properties so far in advance. Why not “wing it?” For us, the answer is clear: Would you wait to book a long term holiday/vacation at the last minute expecting to get what you want, where you want, during the season you want, and for a price you want? Probably not. That’s our reason. Plain and simple. 

Is this a papaya tree?

As we peruse properties booked on owner’s calendars, often kept up to date on the various websites, it’s easy to see how quickly the properties are snapped up. Waiting until a few months prior to the time we’d need it, results in slim pickings and overpriced “leftovers.” Even in this poor economy, people are still traveling.

Over the past few days, we’ve begun the process of firming up rental agreements, paying deposits, and logging all the information on our spreadsheets, backing everything up on the cloud, the hard drive, and both computers, one means of backing up after another.

A scene from our veranda at sunset.

By the end of this week, we’ll be booked out all the way to March 4, 2016, which sounds like a long way out but it’s in only 21 months, about the same amount of time since we left Minnesota. 

Some vacation rentals require payment in for the entire rental period, others require half and a few are content with a small token amount deposit. Since at this time, we’re booking for almost a year beginning in June 2015, the outlay is more than we would have liked at this time. 

Another view from the cliffs.

Of course, once we arrive at each location, it’s satisfying to be paid up but then, we begin paying deposits on future homes so it’s all a wash. The odd part is paying one’s rent a year in advance is required as we travel.

After these past several days, we have two definite rentals, one of which we’ll share over the weekend with photos and the other which we’ll share in a few days, once the deposit has been received. We’re awaiting the app the manager uses in which we can pay the deposit using a credit card

It’s not easy to identify some of the unfamiliar vegetation when we can’t ask to find anyone to ask that speaks English.

It is imperative to pay deposits and balances using a credit card.  If one of the rentals proves to be a scam, at least with a credit card, there are some means of recourse. Some property manager/owners require wire transfers of which we’d done a few at the beginning of booking our travels but no longer do under any circumstances.  

We were lucky not to experience any issues as a result of doing this but, we’ve learned a valuable lesson. If a property owner has no means of by which we can use a credit card, we’ll pay using PayPal. 

PayPal is simple. With one’s own account linked to credit cards, PayPal’s secure site, we simply send the payment to the manager’s email address. Once they receive it they open their own PayPal account (easy), entering their bank account number and the routing number of their bank. 

Surely, these must be grapes. 

Once completed, the funds go directly into their bank account, available to them in approximately three to four days. Once we send the payment through PayPal, the funds are immediately charged to our credit card on file with PayPal.

There are fees associated with PayPal. If the manager/owner has discounted the rent for us due to our long term rentals, we pay the fees. The house we booked in Trinity Beach, Australia is signed, sealed, and delivered and had PayPal fees of US $98 which we gladly paid.

A garden flourishing in the temperate weather and occasional rain.

Although we’d ideally like to share our negotiated rental amount on each property, we only do this if we paid “full price” which is listed anyway, online at the link we post for the rental. 

More times than not, we receive a good discount due to two factors: one, the length of our stay; two, the fact that we’ll be promoting their property over and over again through our posts. With our readership fast approaching 200,000 worldwide, this can provide them with future rentals.

A tiny house tucked away in the vegetation.

If we were to post our discounted price, this may have bearing on the manager/owner future, shorter-term rentals. If a prospective renter chooses to book it the property they may be expecting to pay the same amount that we negotiated based on these two unique factors.

In any case, once we leave a property, we always post our total costs for our entire period while living in the rental including; rent, the rental car or taxi fares, groceries, dining out, entertainment, tips, fees, and taxes. If you’re curious about any specific costs, please email me directly.

I was so excited to see this cute kitten on our stone wall that I failed to hold the camera steady when taking what could have been adorable.  Shucks!

Please check back for photos and details of our future rentals over the next week or so, as we continue to wrap up details. We’re very excited about finding these wonderful properties and equally excited to share them here with all of our readers!

Last night when Tom came to bed his head hit the pillow and he said, “Safari luck!”  I agreed, falling to sleep with a smile on my face.

Photo from one year ago today, June 26, 2013:

We took a road trip from our home in Boveglio to the village of Bagni de Lucca driving across this narrow bridge to the town’s center. For details of the story with more photos, please click here.