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10 Tips to Find a Dream Home in France

For the last two days, I’ve been staying just outside Laressingle, a minuscule bastide settlement with a tiny Romanesque church and castle. Hidden behind 13th-century walls, it’s officially one of les plus beaux villages de France–the country’s most beautiful villages. In the unspoiled Gers/Gascony departement of the Midi-Pyrenees region, Larresingle is an ancient stop on […]

Recession-Busting Summer Travel Deals–Save 55% or More

One of the only good things to come out of the global economic recession is increased competition…especially when it comes to travel deals. Everywhere you look, airlines, hotels and resorts, tour operators, even government tax agencies are cutting prices in order to attract your attention and grab some of your travel dollars. For example, some […]

Brazil Beach Condo for $56,100

Brazil Beach Condo for $56,100

I thought the beach condo I told you about two weeks ago would be my last quality beach pick in the $50,000 range for a long time. (And, as expected, the properties I told you about back then were gone within a day or two of my e-mail going out.)

Take a Look at What I Saw From my Dune Buggy…

Take a Look at What I Saw From my Dune Buggy…

The tropical sun was just about straight overhead. A gentle breeze blew in from the ocean, and the temperature was approaching the year-round normal high of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Final Day – Put me in, Coach. I’m Ready to Play!

June 6, 2009 Fortaleza, Brazil After the International Real Estate Investment Forum We should be in the “cool down” stage after being put through the paces here at the International Real Estate Investment Forum in Fortaleza, Brazil. As I’ve been reporting to you these last three days, it’s been quite a workout. But the truth […]

Day 2 – Crisis Creates Opportunity: Make Money No Matter Your Situation

June 4, 2009 Fortaleza, Brazil Live from IL’s International Real Estate Investment Forum There are two compelling reasons to be a real estate investor: 1) You have money to put into a secure investment. 2) You have no money to put into a secure investment. That’s sinking in now, after the second day of the […]

Day 1 – Grab Some of the Billions of Dollars Heading for This Country…

The night was hot and sultry…just what you’d expect in Brazil. Music blared, horns honked, kids played and lovers lingered on the beach long after dark. Later in the evening, a soft rain fell. The International Real Estate Investment Forum, being held in Fortaleza, Brazil, kicked off last night with a decadent “getting to know […]

Rentals Overseas: To Rent…or Not to Rent

Do you have a specific location abroad where you think you might like to move full- or part-time? We here at International Living recommend you rent there for as long as practical before you buy. Of course, if you’re after a pure investment in a hot market, this doesn’t apply. Buy when the deal is […]

Buy Your Dream Home on the Beach in Brazil for $63,000

Buy Your Dream Home on the Beach in Brazil for $63,000

I just bought a house on the beach in northeast Brazil. Now, for the first time, I can walk out my front door, cross the white sand, and dive into warm, turquoise waters. It’s on a large tropical island, and there’s a pleasant 1500s-era colonial town within walking distance.

Escape Plan #4: Go…and Stay Connected Around the World

For nearly three decades now we’ve been showing readers the best places to retire overseas to find a richer life that costs you less. This week, with our Ultimate Escape Plan series, we’re highlighting some of the greatest benefits of living in these good-value destinations. Today IL’s Publisher, Dan Prescher, talks about how our interconnected […]

Escape Plan # 3: Find Unexpected Rewards Overseas

Today we continue our Ultimate Escape Plan series. For 29 years we’ve been helping readers find their ideal retirement retreats overseas. This week, we’re sharing some of their stories–and the lessons they’ve learned–to help you follow in their footsteps. Yesterday you met a Seattle couple who are living “The Good Life” as proprietors of a […]

Retire Early and Open Your Own B&B in Paradise

Today we continue our Ultimate Escape Plan series. After 29 years helping readers retire early to find their ideal retirement havens, we’ve figured out a few shortcuts that can help you retire in the next 12 months–and we’re sharing them with you this week. Yesterday we told you how to retire early at 38. Today, […]

The Ultimate Escape Plan

You can own a beautiful home and live the good life without going into debt…in places where small-town values rule and neighbors still watch out for one another…and where the cost of health care won’t give you a headache. We know people who are doing this right now. And we’re going to introduce them to […]

Which of These Photos do you Like Best?

We’ve written to you before about how to make some extra cash selling photos from your travels to magazines, newspapers and stock agencies looking for photos to illustrate their articles and/or fill their portfolios. But before you start snapping, consider this question: Which of the two photos above do you think would be more saleable: […]

Six Real Estate Secrets from Fortaleza, Brazil

I’m just back from my sixth real estate scouting trip to Brazil in 12 months. You might expect that with such a dense trip schedule, the volume and quality of deals would have started to fall off. But the truth is this market is moving at breakneck speed–and thanks to the new direct flights to […]

Paradise in the Philippines…Three Dream Homes in Brazil…Stay Anywhere for Free…and More

Steenie Harvey traveled to the Philippines for your May issue of the International Living Magazine. What she found was paradise. In fact, she was spellbound. “Tiny Boracay truly is one of the world’s most magical islands. So magical that even confirmed beach skeptics like me can’t help but fall in love with its laidback lifestyle,” […]

Don’t Wait–Do it Now

Carpe diem…seize the day. That was the unofficial theme of our recent conference in Quito, Ecuador. At the question-and-answer session at the end, one of the attendees asked our entire assembled panel of experts and expats to give their single best piece of advice for anyone thinking about living or investing abroad. We were all […]

Is This the World’s Best White-sand Beach?

I’m sitting at a table on Boracay’s White Beach making messy havoc of the crab part of a seafood feast. A bottle of chilled Australian Sauvignon Blanc in an ice bucket, the lull of waves, starlight glinting on the sea… Boracay is anchored between the Sulu and South China Seas, so I’m unsure which sea […]

Island Escapes–Asia’s 7,000 Tropical Hideaways

This winter, I took my first ever trip to the Philippines. It’s a land of tropical islands–7,107 to be exact. I’ll write about buying and renting in expat hangouts like Cebu, Manila and white-sand Boracay Island in the International Living Magazine (my first report will be published in four days). But I’ll tell you right […]

There’s Something About Mexico…

Dear International Living Reader, There’s something about Mexico. Something you can’t quite put a finger on. Something just out of reach…hidden beneath the surface that most visitors see. Even when you live here you’re always discovering something you didn’t know before. Like the old man who lives down the street who makes the most intricately […]

Seek Out–and Enjoy–a Local Expat Community

Dear International Living Reader, In every city, town, or village in Latin America where Suzan and I have lived, we’ve noticed an interesting expat behavior pattern. On one hand, the expats in town are usually intent on becoming as much a part of the local society and culture as they can. They take language lessons. […]

Dodge the Crowds–Have This Popular Caribbean Island All to Yourself

Dear International Living Reader, Floating effortlessly 60 feet below the surface in warm crystal-clear waters, colorful, mind-blowing eye candy abounds. A vivid purple stag coral waves lazily to your left, a giant iridescent spotted grouper hovers to your right. Just below, tiny orange-and-white-striped clownfish dart in and out of the crevices of a giant yellow […]

Can I Live Well in Panama on $1,700 a Month?

We recently heard from a reader who had a question about Panama: “Panama has been on your list of top retirement havens for years now,” he writes, “but in your Quality of Life Survey, Panama only got 64 out of 100. What’s the deal? Can I live well in Panama on my $1,700 per month […]

The Top Six Places to Buy on the Beach in Latin America

The sound of the rolling surf lulls you to sleep at night, and the sparkling sun glistening off the water awakens you in the morning… Who hasn’t dreamed of living at the beach? Watching the sun rise or set over turquoise waters…taking long barefoot walks in the sand…and dining on a steady diet of fresh […]

Small-Budget Buys in Asia…Beachfront in Ecuador…Castles in Europe…and More

Did you know that English is spoken everywhere in Kuala Lumpur…Malaysia’s colorful capital? That’s the first thing Steenie Harvey noticed when we dispatched her to Asia to write the cover story for your April issue of International Living Magazine. This Asian capital has all the conveniences of home, with an exotic flair. You’ll find Internet […]

Seven Travel Budget Tips From an Expert Scrooge

The best buy from my winter trip to Southeast Asia? An airline ticket with AirAsia. Flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, to Penang island cost an equivalent $9.45. Taxes included. That wasn’t a travel writer’s discount. If booked at the right time, those budget fares are available to everyone. Although freebies and discounts are part […]

Do You Really Want to Batten Down the Hatches?

You might think that with all the U.S. headlines preaching gloom-and-doom that we’d have had a hard time attracting folks to our Ultimate Event here in Ecuador these past few days. But in truth we had nearly 300 readers fly down to meet with our panel of experts. They believe–as I do–that now is NOT […]

The Best Beach City in Brazil

I was determined to find a city that I liked better than Fortaleza on this trip to Brazil. But it didn’t happen. True, I traveled to several new hotspots on this visit that will be perfect for a lot of readers. João Pessoa will attract retirees and second-home buyers with its laid back, sophisticated ambiance […]

Best and Worst Airfare Deals Right Now

The top three destinations on your travel wish list right now should be: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Fortaleza, Brazil; and Paris. But if you book with the wrong airline, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars more than you have to. Here are the cheapest deals on offer…and the ones to avoid. 1. New York […]

Day 4: The Best Ideas We Heard All Week…

It’s all over. Elvis has left the building and the fat lady has trilled her final aria. Then again, it’s all really just beginning for all of us… If you’ve been reading these dispatches these past four days, you know the mother lode of information that’s been shared here in Quito this week at our […]

Day 3: Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes

“See that tall guy standing over there?” the redhead standing next to me asked at last night’s VIP cocktail party. “He’s from Texas. But he owns an apartment in Panama and some land in Costa Rica. And he’s thinking about buying something here in Ecuador on the beach…” I let her talk. “He has a […]

Fund Your New Life Overseas With the Best Job in the World

In your March issue of the International Living Magazine, Steenie Harvey unveils the secrets of getting the best live-anywhere job in the world. A job that can help you fund your new life overseas. And although you can live anywhere and still work in this profession, Steenie does provide the five best places to base […]

Day 2: The Ultimate Lowdown From the Ultimate Showdown

It may be gray and gloomy where you are (and no, I’m not talking about the economy), but here in Quito, the mood is bright and shiny. The snowstorm that blanketed the U.S. on Monday and shut down airports and delayed flights around the country delayed some of the conference attendees at the International Living […]

A Dramatic First Day–The "Best of Times" is Here

It is the worst of times, it is the best of times. I couldn’t help taking Charles Dickens’ words and description of the French Revolution and twisting them to fit the occasion. This may very well be the worst of times financially and economically. On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average sunk 300 points to […]

Brazil’s Top Colonial City by the Sea

The taxi came to a halt after winding through a series of narrow and steep cobblestoned streets. We got out of the cab, and entered a colonial world that was different from anything we’d seen so far in Brazil. The smell of baking bread wafted from the French bakery on the corner as we walked […]

Fly Brazil for $138

I’ve discovered a cheap way to fly around Brazil. A few weeks ago I was on a real estate scouting trip to this country, and my meetings were spread over four cities. I wasn’t flexible on the dates I could fly so the four internal flights… Rio – Salvador – Recife – Fortaleza – Rio…would […]

IL Readers Flock to Uruguay’s Best Beaches

The most beautiful beaches in Uruguay lie between the famous resort of Punta del Este and Uruguay’s border with Brazil. And thanks to its natural beauty and reasonable prices, an ever-increasing number of IL readers are deciding to buy on this part of the coast. This is the Uruguayan department of Rocha, and the beaches […]

Mexican Beachfront, 25% Off

The last time I visited Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, I stayed at the Marival Hotel. We’ve told you before about the mega resort plans the Mexican government has for this stretch of coast and it seems that sellers are already getting carried away–I saw a small vacant lot for sale on the beach close to the […]

Three Magic Words to Get a Better Hotel Deal

From time to time our readers send us travel tips I think you might enjoy. Here’s one from a “hotel insider” passed on to me by reader, Bonnie Caton, about seven tips to get a discount or upgrade on the next hotel room you book. My favorite is the three simple phrases that work like […]

Get Free Hotel Stays

Here’s a low-hassle hotel rewards program that’ll benefit any frequent traveler: When you sign up to join’s “welcomerewards” program, you can stay one night free in any hotel you book through them after you stay 10 nights in any of their above-$40 hotels. What I like about this rewards program is that there aren’t […]

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