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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: Do you have any information or phone numbers on how we could rent a house in Florida? We'll be driving down in the spring and plan on staying a month to 6 weeks.

A: Two possible approaches that come to mind involve the Internet and the Florida Tourism Office.

Depending on your preferred destination, most counties and cities throughout the US have booklets detailing accommodations, events, shopping and restaurant listings. To obtain a free copy of the Florida Vacation Guide, contact Florida Tourism at 888-7-FLAUSA.

Florida is divided into several regions. For example, in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, the local tourism office here has a web site, FloridasBeach.com. Once on the homepage, click on hotel and this section separates accommodation information based on preference.

Once you choose Condo/Rental Homes, you will see a large listing. Kimberly Hartley-McMurray of St. Petersburg/Clearwater Tourism says that Calpalbo Rentals have an inventory of homes in her area.

Alternatively, several web sites are devoted to home rentals or home exchanges. Billed as "the largest and most user friendly open system home exchange service on the Internet today," Homeexchange.com is a search engine with a home rental directory available worldwide that has been in operation since 1996. Visitors can view listings for free.

So, how do you tell a good listing from a bad one? According to Homeexchange.com, a good listing response will include a description of the home, neighborhood and a bit about the family.

Compared to the high costs often associated with hotels, home exchanges can be good for the pocketbook plus the added benefit of knowing someone in the city of your interest. For more information, call Homeexchange.com at (805) 898-9660 or 800.877.8723 Toll Free.

For rental enthusiasts, perhaps Vacations-Abroad.com might help you find your vacation home rental. Based in Quebec, owner Linda Jenkins has devised a simple easy to use site with over 20 listings devoted to Florida plus a newsletter available if you wish to be kept up to date on the latest property listings.

For more info, contact 1-819-688-2228 or email prop@vacations-abroad.com

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