Dubai is a blinding jewel in the rough that is the United Arab Emirates. Nothing is done halfway here; instead, world records are broken (and so are the banks of those who come to visit). The largest manmade island – the Palm Islands – is currently in the works, but for now set your eyes on the world’s tallest hotel and largest manmade marina. The restaurants, spas, nightclubs, sporting events, golf courses, and shops in Dubai are unparalleled, and that’s intentional. You’ll be treated like royalty wherever you go and wherever you stay (including Dubai vacation rentals).
If you feel like splurging but don’t want to schmooze with the snooty types, Sydney's your down-to-earth option. In this sunny Australian paradise, it’s virtually impossible to wake up on the wrong side of the bed (especially if you stay in a Sydney vacation rental). "Harbour City" is embraced by lush national parks, yet remains the cultural and artistic hub of the country, with the awe-striking Sydney Opera House drawing in tourists from across the globe.
3. Buenos Aires
It’s okay to indulge in an opulent meal in Buenos Aires, because you’ll dance off all those calories to the Tango later on. Few people share the same passion for life as Argentines, and fortunately you can absorb Buenos Aires’ vibrant vibes even if you’re on a budget – while the electric European-esque city is typically enjoyed by only the wealthiest travelers, there are many affordable Buenos Aires vacation rentals.
Though traveling to Greece is like traveling back in time, the luxury of your Athens rental will offset any separation anxiety from modern civilization you may experience. Meanwhile, the ancient ruins (such as the Parthenon, located at the top of Acropolis) and prodigious museums will take your breath away for days on end.
Could it be the most aesthetically pleasing city in the world? From the Eiffel Tower to the fashionistas on the street, Paris is overflowing with beautiful things. The art, the architecture, and even the food are always sights to see. Whether you’re biting into a delicious pastry at a French café, sipping a locally made wine at a gourmet restaurant, soaking up knowledge at the Louvre, or oohing and ahhing as you stroll through the City of Light, your romance with Paris will be worth every penny. That doesn't mean you should throw away all of your pennies on a hotel, though. Choose cheap Paris villa rentals instead.
Japan’s capital is arguably the most enigmatic metropolis you could visit – take a glimpse into future technologies and then roll back the hands of time in an ancient shrine; hold on to a loved one’s hand as you navigate a frenzied market, and then let go of all your senses as you try to achieve Zen in a Buddhist temple. Just as Tokyo’s constantly in flux, there’s no way you’ll stay the same after staying in a Tokyo vacation rental.
As far as upscale beach getaways go, the French Riviera promises one of the best, at least in Europe. While there’s plenty of museums to explore and history to take in here, it’s easy to waste the days away lounging around on the shore.
8. Panama City
Once upon a time, Panama City was just the way to get from North to South America. Now it’s a haven for bargain shoppers, beach bums, history lovers, culture buffs, anglers, and more. Panama City has always had the elements of a top tourist spot but because it’s only quietly emerged as one recently, there’s something special and understated about it.
Old and extravagant are good words to describe Rome, which has caused the jaws to drop of tourists for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The over-the-top Vatican and the ancient Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon ruins, as well as their slow-moving lines, are sure to humble you. Make sure your accommodation lives up to your exorbitant surroundings with a vacation rental in Rome.
A vacation to Spain isn’t complete without dropping by Barcelona, which always has something exciting going on from dusk 'til dawn. There’s no such thing as an uneventful walk through the city here; the architecture will immediately captivate you and the shops, museums, art galleries, and cafes will tempt you at every corner. Remember to tour La Rambla, a street brimming with fascinating places and even more fascinating people.