Posts tagged with "staycation"

360 MAGAZINE, outdoors, Vaughn Lowery, travel, adventure

Winter Staycations In The Lake District

Sometimes there’s nothing better than going on holiday but making it a staycation. After all, the UK has so much to offer that we often forget about when it comes to booking a holiday. This season, the Lake District in particular has so much to offer; from cosy pubs with roaring fires to traditional Lake District hotels set amongst the fells.

A winter staycation has a certain romance about it, especially in an area as beautiful as the Lake District. With that in mind, here are some top tips on how to enjoy a winter staycation in the heart of the Lake District National Park.

Pack your walking boots

The temperatures may not be high, but get out amongst nature anyway and enjoy the crisp winter weather. The scenery is stunning all year round, and gives you the perfect excuse to switch off and enjoy being outside; just remember to wrap up! 

The Lake District National Park was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status, joining the likes of the Grand Canyon and Machu Picchu; and it’s right on your doorstep! 

Get on the water

While we don’t recommend getting in the water during a winter visit to the Lake District, you can certainly get on the water! There are a number of lake cruises and boat trips you can book on your winter staycation, allowing you to take in the true beauty of the area. 

The Ullswater Steamers in particular are very popular, with a history spanning 160 years of operating on Ullswater. It operates 363 days a year and gives you a chance to experience some breath-taking views across mountains like Helvellyn. 

Check out the local food 

After you’ve spent a day exploring in the cold wintry weather, treat yourself to one of the many local pubs and restaurants that offer a great gastronomical experience. There are many restaurants in the area that have won awards for their food and drink menus, as well as décor and service.

Unwind in the beautiful surroundings of towns like Keswick and Penrith as you sample local cuisine like sticky toffee pudding and Cumberland sausages. From AA Rosette restaurants to cosy village pubs, you’ll find something to suit every budget and every taste!

Soak up the culture

In the winter months, you might find the Lake District much quieter which can be lovely for exploring some of the heritage sites in the area. Just north of Ullswater you will find the Aira Force waterfall, while just outside of Penrith you will find Lowther Castle. Near Keswick, you will discover Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the country’s earliest stone circles.

There are also a number of Roman forts left behind, dotted in various areas of the Lake District. No matter where you are staying, it’s worth travelling to the likes of Hard Knott or Ravenglass for a fascinating look at the area’s history.

vacation homes, rentals, condominiums, cooperatives, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home

If you’re in a financial position where you are considering a vacation home, it can be exciting. Maybe your family has a favorite travel destination, or you’ve come across a great deal, and you think you might be ready to dive in.

Last year according to the National Association of Realtors, around one in eight homebuyers were purchasing a second home.


There is a lot that goes into buying a vacation home in terms of finances and logistics that you need to keep in mind. Sometimes it can sound dreamy, but the reality is different than you expected it would be, and the following are five important things to consider and weigh before buying a vacation home.


How Much Is It Really Going to Cost?


You may be looking at just the cost of the property itself and thinking it’s a great deal, but that only tells a small fraction of the story.


For example, is the house close enough to drive to, or will you be flying? If it’s somewhere you have to fly to, then you may have to buy an additional car to use when you’re there, and that comes with its own set of costs beyond the purchase price, such as carrying auto insurance for a rarely driven vehicle.


If you have to fly, you also have to factor in how much those airline tickets are going to cost you every time you want to go to your second home.


You’ll need other types of insurance along with auto insurance, such as homeowners’ insurance, and if your second home is in a place where flooding or hurricanes are likely, you’ll have to add that coverage in.
Other costs that often come with a second home include utility bills, homeowners association fees, and maintenance for the lawn.


Are You Willing to Commit to One Travel Destination?


If you buy a second home in a place you love, you may be happy only to travel there but you have to ensure that’s the case. You may be very limited in where you’re able to go outside of traveling to your vacation home.


If you’re someone who likes familiar routines, this could be fine for you, but if you are someone who has the travel bug, you might want to save your money and put it toward trips around the world versus locking yourself into one destination.


Are You Going to Rent It Out?


Some people who buy a second home will use it as a source of income when they’re not there, by renting it out. It can be a good way to cover some of the costs of owning a second home, but it’s a lot of work to own and rent out a property.


First, you have to ensure you can even rent it out at all. Certain neighborhoods or condo buildings might not allow this.


You also have to think about how you would rent it out—some locations in the country don’t allow Airbnb, for example, so you may have to pay an agency to handle it for you.


You also then have to pay for additional maintenance, insurance and cleaning services.


Plus, the most demand for your rental is going to be during the high season wherever it’s located, and that’s going to cut into your ability to enjoy your home.


What Will the Taxes Be?


A vacation home is a personal residence according to the IRS if you rent it out 14 days or fewer a year. If you rent it out more than 14 days a year, it’s considered a rental property. Either way, you have to report the rental income, plus there are issues like property taxes to take into consideration.


Are You Being Realistic?


The biggest thing to think about aside from the financial considerations is if you’re being realistic about the potential value, monetary and otherwise, that a second home will bring to your life and the life of your family.


There are snowbirds that love their vacation homes, and they use them for months at a time.


However, if you have a young family and you’re working full-time, this just isn’t going to be feasible.


What can initially seem like a dream may turn into something that you rarely get time to go to, and a vacation home can quickly become a burden.


You want to make sure you have the time and willingness to use your vacation home before you make such a big purchase that’s going to impact your finances and your life in so many ways.

Tuscan Women Cook

A Culinary Immersion Vacation Experience

Have you ever wanted to learn to cook in Italy, to participate in Tuscan cooking classes? And return home with recipes handed down over generations and collected by us since 2000? Each spring and fall, Coleen Kirnan and Rhonda Vilardo welcome guests from around the world to live, breath and cook as Italians do. Taking advantage of their years of business experience and knowledge, as master event planners, they create an insider’s Tuscan itinerary filled friendly, knowledgeable tour guides, translators, drivers and private cooking classes that only a local resident could access.

Indulge yourself in the Tuscan lifestyle and discover the region’s passion for food and wine in a small group of 18 people or less. The best cooks in all of Tuscany, the local women, or “nonnas,” teach their classes. They’ll share regional techniques, ingredients, and family recipes that have been passed down over the centuries. Put on your apron, gather around the old farmhouse table, get wrist-deep in pasta dough and learn Tuscan cooking from the source. You’ll learn first-hand how to make gnocchi, tagliatelli, and pici— thick strings of handmade eggless pasta made originally in Montefollonico.

Your week with Tuscan Women Cook includes six night’s accommodation at Agriturismo Belagaggio, a restored farmhouse in Montefollonico, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, cooking classes, daily sightseeing, visits to local artisans, cheese and wine tastings. Full day sight- seeing in Siena with a private guide who has a doctorate in Sienese history. Full translation is provided at all classes. Transportation to all activities is in a Mercedes minibus with private driver.

For wine lovers, Tuscan Women Cook is situated in the heart of Brunello de Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano country, and border on the Chianti wine region. This is the center of the new Italian wine renaissance and a dream locale for your next getaway with family and friends. Wine connoisseurs plan the ultimate Bucket List trip here to sample new wines and visit the spectacular vineyards. Tuscan Women Cook hosts will provide you with exclusive introductions to renowned Tuscan vintners and opportunities to purchase their award-winning wines for their personal cellars.

To learn more about Tuscan Women Cook and view beautiful photos and videos, visit www.TuscanWomenCook.com.

Tuscan women cook, 360 MAGAZINE, Italy, wine, Vaughn Lowery

Tuscan women cook, 360 MAGAZINE, Italy, wine, Vaughn Lowery

Tuscan women cook, 360 MAGAZINE, Italy, wine, Vaughn Lowery