International Travel Tips and Articles

Travel Tips

worldwide real estate siteIf you are considering buying an overseas property, you should travel to the country, experience it and visit the property. It is not recommended and quite risky to purchase a property that you have not physically toured and inspected.

To simply the process, we prepared our traveler's checklist in bullet points.

  • If you are interested in investing or moving to a new country and have not been there, you should research the country itself, its pros and cos, culture, general acceptance of foreigners (sometimes called expats for expatriates), economical and governmental stability, currency, safety, weather and their handling of real estate owned by non-citizens. Thanks to the Internet, you no longer need to spend hours at the local library (though we do love libraries!), you can review multiple websites, some from the government of the country and other privately owned. Preferably you would also know people that are already owning property in your country of interest.
  • Check travel alerts and warnings before making your booking and again prior to starting your journey. Most countries have an official website which has updated travel warnings and alerts information. Alerts are typically short-term based on a current event while a warning should be taken more seriously and be a more permanent and ongoing issue. For warnings made by the US government click here.
  • Make sure you have all of the travel documents required. This of course includes an up-to-date passport (which is valid passed your return date) and in many cases a visa. In some instances, your travel may require a proof of citizenship to return home, a birth certificate and/or a vaccination card. For information about US passports click here.
  • Plan for an emergency. Emergencies happen at home and while traveling so be prepared by having travel insurance. Your homeowner, rental or umbrella insurance policy may also cover travel so check with your insurance agent as soon as you start planning your trip. Prepare a list of important contact information in the country you are visiting, especially the local consulate or embassy for your country of citizenship and how emergency services work in the visiting countries (example: which number do you call in case of an emergency?).
  • Another document of importance may be an international driving license. Many countries will not accept your "local" driving license and you may have to get an IDP known as international driving permit. Regardless of the purpose of your travel, make sure to carry with you copies of all of your travel documents: Plane and other transportation tickets, identification, where you are staying, traveler's check serial numbers if you are using this type of payment, and the itinerary of your entire trip. Also make one of your trusted family members or friends who is not going with you an emergency contact and include their information in the copies.
  • Health may be a concern where you are traveling to. In some exotic places, you need to get specific vaccination ahead of time. Remember not to wait until the last moment since some vaccines need to be given twice over a certain period of time. If you are an American you can visit the recommendations set by the CDC at this link.

Travel Articles

Ah! Fiji time… – Vanua Levu Island, Fiji Islands

Wine tasting in Sonoma County – California, USA

Picturesque South of France village – Malaucene, France

Ah! Fiji time… – Vanua Levu Island, Fiji Islands

fiji real estateBula vinaka,

If you have been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful Fiji Islands, you must have quickly realized that they have two time zones: Fiji Time and Fiji Time. What? The latest means that everything and everyone moves slowly without stress or tension. Maybe it is the heat, the humidity, the sounds of crashing waves or even the grog (a local traditional drink that makes you sleepy). Who knows?

But one thing is sure, when you are on vacation, you will come to appreciate this relaxed and happy attitude. The Fijians do not worry about tomorrow. They truly live for the moment. So don't expect super-quick and high-stressed service… expect slow–moving, genuine, warm and friendly service. We can't wait to go back!


From Vivian & Bill - New Zealand

Wine tasting in Sonoma County – California, USA

sonoma county real estateSonoma County is located in California's North Coast near the Bay Area about 45 minutes north of San Francisco and has always seemed to suffer from the Middle Child Syndrome. Okay, let's put all the cards out on the table. Sonoma County is not as well-known or touristy as the neighboring Napa Valley, which takes most of the credit for driving California's wine industry… but it offers wonderful wineries with high quality wines, spirits and even olive oils.With the crowds more and more filling the Napa Valley roads (Can we say "commercial"?), Sonoma's appeal is growing.

There are over 200 wineries to visit. If that is not enough for you, I guess you could go next door to Napa Valley when you are "done" in Sonoma County. Another good thing is that most wineries in Sonoma County do not charge for a "tasting" fee. That makes sense since you are not really drinking the wine; you are only tasting it, right?Joking aside, you will love Sonoma Wine County. Please have a designated driver or hire a limousine (Why not?).

From Catherine - Sonoma County (Yes, I am biased), California, USA

Picturesque South of France village – Malaucène, France

south of france vacation homesBonjour!I am originally from Malaucene, a village located in Provence (South of France) at the foot of Mont Ventoux. It was a great place to grow up and still a great place to visit and spend the summer. It is the perfect size, not too small (we have banks, shops, etc) and not too big (2,500 habitants + tourists). It is hot with a little breeze during the summer.The outside market every Wednesday morning is a must–see with its local merchants selling olives, salamis, potteries, handicraft, clothes and more "food items". They all want you to taste their products and speak with you.

In France, it is all about the food and the wine. Malaucène has many restaurants, cafés and wineries. You can also enjoy the summer festivals and outdoor balls (free). Many places exhibit local artists especially painters.The village itself dates from the 10th century so you can visit Medieval, Gallic and Roman structures (even prehistoric vestiges). This is an old village with lots of charm and beautiful building details. The best views are by far on top of the Calvère located in the middle of the older part of town. It is a climb but the access is free and worth the walk.

From Virginie - France

We are welcoming travel articles from our valued members and visitors alike. If you are one of the lucky people who have visited different places around the world or your own country, we would love to share your experience with our readers.

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