It's time to book the private villa

December 04, 2005|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Although it may seem a little too early to start making summer vacation plans, now is a good time to start looking into booking a rental property overseas.

Instead of the usual hotel rooms, these days many travelers are opting to stay at private villas. And there are many online sites to help ease your search for that perfectly secluded retreat.

Try starting your search with Villa Leisure.

The 40-year-old Dallas company rents properties in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, France and Italy. Its Web site offers numerous pictures of each high-end property, along with some general information. Visit

Villas & Apartments Abroad is also a worthwhile place to check out overseas rentals.

The New York company provides pictures and details on everything from modest abodes to extravagant estates in the Caribbean, Hawaii, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Greece, Mexico, Asia and South America. Visit

Wimco is worth a look if you are searching for a place in the Caribbean. The Rhode Island company lists hundreds of luxury villas and some small hotel rooms at Caribbean islands.

Wimco also offers some properties in France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Visit

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