Featured Current Travel Bargains —

Current Featured Travel Bargains to NORWAY; PARIS; LONDON+PARIS; and LONDON or COTSWOLDS (England). Composite image © Home At First.

NORWAY: Save 24.8% ($849 per person) for 1-week, full-package travel to experience the Best of Norway from SEP into NOV 2024.
PARIS, FRANCE: Our Best Paris Sale Ever! Save 36.4% ($1,373/prs) for full-package SEP—NOV travel to Paris during prime time weather.
LONDON + PARIS: Save up to 32% ($1,325/prs) below 2024 rates for 8-night full-package for combined 2-city travel during SEP—DEC 2024.
LONDON & ENGLAND: Save 27.24% ($817/prs) for 1-week, full-package summer & autumn travel (SEP—NOV 2024) to London or Cotswolds.
see details
 
 

Realizing Your International Travel Dreams — 

Home At First makes travel dreams come true with high-quality, excellent-value,
full-service, personalized, custom, independent, international travel planning.
Next time you plan to travel from home, travel with Home At First.

 
Your journey begins in the immense sky.
Over the vast ocean, you sleep
high above the storm.
Begin Your Dream Journey Here…
 

SIX STEPS TO MAKING YOUR Custom, INDEPENDENT, international Travel DREAMS COME TRUE —

1. DREAM

Custom, Independent, International Travel.

Do you dream of custom, independent, international travel?
Maybe stories you have read or movies you have seen have inspired you.
Or, maybe tracing family roots is your ambition.
Or, maybe music, theater, or sports are your focused goals.
      Whatever your reasons to travel overseas, your travel dreams can come true. This is where the travel experts at Home At First come in.

2. DESIGN

Tell us your travel dreams. We will plan your custom, independent, international travel to make your dream trip a reality.

Tell us your custom, independent, international travel dreams. We design a free trip proposal for you, with all the right flights, lodgings, & ground transport you need to turn your custom, independent, international travel dreams into realities. When you accept your personalized trip design, send us your deposit payment. Then we arrange all the elements to make your dream trip come to life.

3. DAYDREAM

Reading & Daydreaming about your custom, independent, international travel destination will prepare you for the real thing.

Read & daydream about your trip! Before your trip begins you receive a comprehensive guidebook keyed for your destinations. Thirty days prior to your departure you receive all necessary trip documents (tickets, vouchers, passes) plus detailed arrival information, including your overseas addresses, contact information for your lodgings and your hosts, and specific meeting plans for arrival day. 

4. DEPART

Departure Day: Your custom, independent, international travel begins in the sky as you fly away from the familiar to a new land of adventure.

Departure Day. Check-in and Security and two hours of  Waiting-to-Board (sorry). Then the big bird soars, and the wise flier snores. Too soon breakfast interrupts rudely, signifying the approaching landing. Terra Incognito appears out the cabin window. A new world appears as if out of your airplane slumber. Dreams begin to transform into first impressions, but not yet hardened enough to be considered realities.

5. DECOMPRESS

Decompressing when you arrive at your destination: stress falls away and magic begins: your custom, independent, international travel dreams are coming true.

Arrival Day. In some prearranged way — train, bus, taxi, rental car — you find your foggy way to your first night’s lodging. Bed’s invitation wrestles with your curiosity to explore, and bed mostly wins, at least for a couple of hours. You wake in a new place where you barely remember arriving. Time seems as fuzzy as your mind is groggy. You are hungry. Your first meal will help reestablish order. Relaxation begins, and Peace happens.

6. DISCOVER

Discover: a first stroll lets you explore your surroundings. Everything is new, including you. Your custom, independent, international travel takes you to the places you have dreamed of.

Your custom, independent, international travel dream begins. A new morning — the first day of your new life. Take a walk. Eat a fresh pastry with a reassuring coffee or a change-up tea. Watch & listen closely. Hear strange language: even English words now sound foreign. Observe all around you. Dare to speak, to order, to shop. Can you find your way home? Home. Your new home. Comfortable. Roomy. You’re Home At First.

FIND YOUR CUSTOM, INDEPENDENT, INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL DREAM DESTINATION HERE:

Home At First Destinations

Our World of Custom, Independent, International Travel

Featuring Quality Hosted Lodgings in a large number of set destinations.

• 1-Week Full Packages    • Ground Arrangements Only    • Lodging Only

Jump ahead to see our Current Travel Bargains.

LONDONHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to London!

SUPERBLY LOCATED CENTRAL LONDON APARTMENTS:

Tower Bridge North

near historic Tower of London & Tower Hill tube.

• Tower Bridge South

in fashionable riverside Bermondsey.

• London Bridge North

near Monument tube station.

• London Bridge South

near London Bridge station.

ENGLANDHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to England!

COTTAGES IN FOUR
ENGLISH REGIONS

  •The Cotswolds

Heart of England

Cornwall & Devon

The West Country

The Lake District

Northwest England

The Yorkshire Dales

North Yorkshire

& by SPECIAL REQUEST:

Cambridge   • Oxford
Cheshire & Shropshire
The Midlands

Central England

SCOTLAND

Home At First does custom, independent, international travel to Scotland!

LODGINGS IN THREE SCOTTISH REGIONS:

The Central Highlands

 Scotland’s Heartland

Edinburgh

Scotland’s Historic Capital

Inverness & North

The Northern Highlands

& by SPECIAL REQUEST:

Glasgow
The Borders
Isle of Skye
Mull & Iona
Outer Hebrides
Orkney & Shetland

WALESHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Wales!

COTTAGES IN TWO 
NATIONAL PARK REGIONS OF WALES

Mid-Wales

Brecon Beacons Nat’l. Park

Northwest Wales

Snowdonia Nat’l. Park

& by SPECIAL REQUEST:

Southwest Wales
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

IRELANDHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Ireland & Northern Ireland!

COTTAGES & APARTMENTS IN FIVE IRISH REGIONS:

 Central Ireland

Tipperary & Clare

Southwest Ireland

Cork & Kerry

Northwest Ireland

Donegal & Sligo

 Northern Ireland 

Antrim & Londonderry

Dublin City Apts.

Dublin

PARISHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Paris!

LEFT & RIGHT BANK
 PARIS APARTMENT LOCATIONS:

 Central Paris
 Apartments 

in safe, attractive, desirable neighborhoods near attractions, the Métro, restaurants, and services:

Arrondissements 1-8, 11, & 18.

& by SPECIAL REQUEST:

Provence
• Normandy
• Alsace

ITALYHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Italy!

ROME, TUSCANY, & 5 SPECIAL REQUEST REGIONS:

Central Rome Apts.

Tuscany: Siena Estate

Tuscany: Hill Country 

& by SPECIAL REQUEST:

Amalfi Coast

Cinque Terre

• Florence

•  Venice 

•  Sicily 

SWITZERLANDHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Switzerland!

APTS. & CHALETS ACROSS THE SWISS ALPS:

Bernese Oberland Alps:

Mürren & Kandersteg

Italian Switzerland:

Locarno & its neighbors

The Valaisian Alps:

The Matterhorn & Zermatt

& by SPECIAL REQUEST:

• Eastern Switzerland:
Pontresina, the Bernina Alps, & the Upper Engadine
 

PORTUGALPortugal — Catch of the Day! Rodrigo Costa Duarte Photo © Cascais Tourism

PORTUGAL

Fly/Drive or Fly/Rail
Choose 1, 2, or 3 Regions:

Porto & the North

Apartments in central Porto with choice of rental car or rail pass

Lisbon & beachy Cascais

Apartments in historic Lisbon city or in seaside Cascais town. Choice of rental car or rail pass

Algarve, the sunny south

Apartments right for the beach, for golf, or touring by rental car.

DENMARK Home At First does custom, independent, international travel to Denmark!

 LODGINGS IN THREE DANISH REGIONS:

 Zealand: Copenhagen & Roskilde

Odense & Funen

 Aarhus, Aalborg, & Jutland

Classic lodging locations in Copenhagen & Roskilde. Special request locations throughout Denmark.

NORWAYHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Norway!

OSLO, BERGEN, &
THE FJORDS

Plus Stavanger, Kristiansand, Lillehammer, Ålesund, Trondheim, Lofoten, & Tromsø

Lodgings at 8 classic & 5 special request Norwegian locations including the World Heritage Site fjords.

SWEDENHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Sweden!

LODGINGS IN FIVE CLASSIC REGIONS:

Stockholm

Uppsala

Gothenburg

 Lakeland

West Coast

Boutique Hotels, Inns, & Apartments at 5 classic & 4 special request locations across Sweden.

NEW ZEALANDHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to New Zealand!

 NORTH & SOUTH ISLANDS — A ROAD TRIP OF DISCOVERY:

Individually planned itineraries using boutique lodgings with outstanding hosting in:

6 North Island regions

6 South Island regions

BERMUDAHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Bermuda!

BETWEEN BRITAIN & 
THE CARIBBEAN:

 Bermuda offers much
 more than its famed pink sand beaches. We offer cottages & inns across the island.

ICELANDHome At First does custom, independent, international travel to Iceland!

AMAZING ROAD TRIP

Small Hotels & Inns along Iceland’s Ring Road, starting from Reykjavik. See volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, waterfalls, & black sand beaches.

Independent fly/drive itineraries combine with most European destinations. 

Home At First does custom, independent, international travel to much of Europe!

CUSTOM EUROPEAN TRIP PLANNING 

Do you have a unique travel goal for Europe? Home At First researches and custom-plans individual itineraries to your specific dream destinations, with all the lodgings, flights, and ground transportation needed to accomplish your goals.

WE CUSTOM-PLAN DREAM TRIPS TO:

England Scotland Wales • Ireland  Isle of Man

 Austria France Germany Greece  Italy

Netherlands  Portugal Spain Switzerland
Iceland  Denmark Finland Norway  Sweden

d

A Letter from Home…

Are You Rich?

          “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor, and rich is better.”
          I like the quote, which I first heard as a college student. It was then attributed to Mae West, which probably added a certain suggestive sly humor to its audacious obviousness. Later, when I heard the same quote attributed to Sophie Tucker, its flavor changed from daring to simply loud, and lost its appeal. Now I read that many others – including silent film actress Fannie Brice – all have been tied to the quote’s origins. So, I’m back to square one – I like the quote but am completely unsure of its origin.
          Equally, I’m not sure of its application. As a personal financial statement, its value addresses the practical economic realities of human existence, especially in modern times. Money, for many, is the root – not just of evil, not just of success, not just of lasting fame. Accumulating money becomes the point to living. One judges and is judged by one’s accumulated wealth. One’s legacy is tied inseparably to one’s bottom line. Ascetics, hermits, and other renouncers of personal riches who seek meaningful lives apart from possessions, power, and press are viewed as outliers, oddballs, or simply as the exceptions that prove the rule: trading all of one’s potential to gain riches for a life of poverty and suspect hygiene convinces most observers to throw their hats in with the Kardashians and not with the Gandhis.
          Organized religions often speak ill of wealth. But many religious organizations display their ostentation zealously. The Vatican is much less about sackcloth and ashes than it is Michelangelo and Bernini. St. Francis and Buddha are revered for their renunciation of lives of material pleasures and their acceptance of lives of basic subsistence. But despite our admiration for these spiritual and intellectual models, few of us have known anyone who has purposely made this lifestyle trade. Moreover, almost none of us believes that anyone who is homeless is seeking enlightenment.
          If being rich is the better option in the minds of most moderns, then what defines rich? Many of us know of people for whom their estates, possessions, and bank accounts are burdensome complications. Tales of fame and fortune being ruinous to character are commonplace throughout literature, probably because they surprise us as unexpected, convince us we are correct believing that too much of anything is probably bad for you, or let us enjoy a healthy feeling of Schadenfreude. If comedy celebrates common people achieving unexpected success, then tragedy often recounts how the mighty have fallen.
          If being rich means courting disaster — there’s nowhere to go but down — then maybe being rich isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
          But maybe being rich isn’t just about money, power, and fame. Maybe being rich is just as much about being unsatisfied, unfulfilled, unsure, and unrecognized, while at once being curious, challenged, and daring, and then becoming intrigued, inspired, and amazed. But most of all being rich is about being and staying positive.
          I’m rich. I explore the world and wonder at what I find. I sample the prized foods and traditional customs offered me by welcoming strangers I meet. I share conversations with people whose different lifestyles and locations introduce me to new points of view. I see marvels on the largest and smallest scales. I am honored by the acceptance of others in their homes. I walk in beauty – other persons’. And they share it willingly.
          I live simply. I require little. What money I have provides for my practical necessities. I take great pleasure whenever the world reveals its mysteries to me. And I seek opportunities for that magic to occur.
          I’m rich. I travel.

_____________________________________________________________________________

How to Get Rich: Independent, International Travel, Simplified.

          We anoint 2024 with a theme we believe fundamental to Home At First travelers, and the motivation behind independent, international travel: “Life, Simplified.”

What’s this all about?
          Modern life bombards our senses with a daily diet of stresses — health, financial, political, and more — as we attempt to navigate across a minefield of electronic distractions, social obligations, career demands, and family & social obligations.
          For for many people travel offers a way to temporarily take up residence in a life we would like to lead, a life optimized, a life simplified.
          We spend our lives searching for our happy places, where our interests are piqued, our relationships renewed, our energies invigorated, places where our numbed senses — paralyzed by the stresses of everyday life — reawaken with the thrill of discovery.

Travel is our purposeful search for happy places. We take the minimum with us: a few clothes, almost no food or drink, only basic medications. Half of us take mandatory make-up. Most of us — and this only for the past 25-30 years — bring one or more electronic lifelines (phone/camera with/without laptop). Otherwise, we abandon much of our lives: our cars, our houses/apartments, our work schedules, our hobbies, our shopping rituals, our social circles, and we deregulate our religious practices, eating habits, TV watching, & our sleep timing.
          In place of these vacated routines travel fills the vacuum, and does so according to whim, impulse, curiosity, instinct, and native urge. When traveling, we sleep, eat, drink, and bathe not according to the rigid schedules of our real lives, but only when we physically must or when we casually want. Almost nothing is done by rote repetition.
          Nearly everything is new, unfamiliar, and interesting, as when we were children or young adults just starting out. And our attention to the details of this newness brings us alive. Food tastes bigger; smells are more intense; colors appear more vibrant; new sounds command our attention as new sights turn our heads and demand focus. Even the tactile requires careful inspection: the feel of leather, of fabric, of stone, of wood. Suddenly we are in Wonderland where things apparently familiar are markedly different and draw us to them.

Overwhelmed with newness, travelers have little time for complexity. When green is suddenly greener, water sweet, morning dew bejeweled, and lingering evening light soft, there’s no time for incestuous political squabbles on TV, the neighbor’s dog on the lawn (again), rushing to the drugstore before it closes, or getting that coveted 8AM tee-time. When everything is new/weird/attractive/confusing — from the language you hear (I wish I paid more attention in high school French class), to the signage you don’t understand (no parking? one-way? pedestrians only?), to the food that smells inviting but you’re not so sure of (snails? goat? wild boar? horse? whale? reindeer?), to tipping (yes? no? when? where?), to finding aspirin (you mean they don’t sell aspirin over the counter in drugstores?!) — life becomes simple again. Successful travelers experience the delight of the new, the euphoria of the different, and the fresh-start joy of living simply.

Importantly, living simply and traveling well — and affordably — begin with a phone call or email to Home At First.

— Ron Fahnestock, Editor

Sign up for Travel Bargain Alerts!

  We’ll send you breaking news of special bargains for custom, independent, international travel to your favorite Home At First destinations — like the ones in the right-hand column. Notices come as we discover them — usually 1-3 times monthly — and typically offer savings of 17-30% off full-packages with flights, lodgings, and land transportation.

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FIND OUR BEST VALUES HERE:

Current Travel Bargains

 4 OUTSTANDING DEALS

FOR CUSTOM, INDEPENDENT,
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
DURING 2024!

PRIME TIME @ 36% OFF!  PARIS: SEP-NOV 2024 

RARE!  BEST of NORWAY: SEP-NOV 2024 

1st TIME EVER!  LONDON+PARIS: SEP-DEC 2024  

PRICE DROP!  LONDON & ENGLAND: SEP-NOV ’24

OUR BEST PARIS SALE EVER!

PARIS!

in PRIME TIME

LATE-SUMMER & FALL

TRAVEL 13SEP24 – 09NOV24

7-Day Independent Full Package

INCLUDED IN THE INDEPENDENT FULL PACKAGE —

7 Nights Centrally-Located Paris Apartment
Round-Trip Transatlantic Flights to Paris (CDG) 
Parisian public transportation pass
A Detailed Printed Guide geared for your trip

EXTRAORDINARY OFFER!

BOOK BY JULY 26, 2024

Friday Departures 13SEP24 –01NOV24

SAVE 36.42%! SAVE $1,373/prs!

$2,397

PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

PRIME TIME PARIS: FULL DETAILS

FIRST TIME EVER!
WORLD-CLASS COMBO!

8-NIGHT Independent Full Packages to:

London
+ Paris

TRAVEL 17SEP24 — 13DEC24

Independent Travel with r/t Transatlantic Flights
Departures DAILY between 17SEP24 & 13DEC24

8 Nights Apartment Lodgings — 4+4N or 5+3N
Airport & Railway Station Transfers Available

City TransPasses + Eurostar Train btw Cities
Detailed London & Paris Activities Guides
Available London–Paris or Paris–London

END-OF-SUMMER to the
HOLIDAYS SPECIAL!

SEP/OCT: The year’s best weather for visiting London & Paris
OCT/NOV: Avoid the stresses of the election & Thanksgiving

NOV/DEC: Ideal for Holiday Shopping, Customs, & Pageantry

TRAVEL DIRECTION #1 —  

LONDON+PARIS — ‘LONARIS’

$AVE UP TO 26.5% – $788/person!

$2,432

PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

BOOK BY JULY 29, 2024

TRAVEL DIRECTION #2 —  

PARIS+LONDON — ‘PLONDON’

$AVE UP TO 32% – $1,325/person!

$2,714

PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

BOOK BY JULY 26, 2024

LONARIS or PLONDON SEP-DEC: DETAILS

NEW PRICE DROP!

PRIME-TIME ENGLAND!

NOW! TRAVEL SEPT. 13 thru NOV. 2, 2024

7-Day Independent Travel Full Packages to:

CHOOSE FROM APARTMENTS IN CENTRAL

LONDON

• Independent Travel with Transatlantic Flights
• Central London Apartments near Tower Bridge
• London Transport Pass Included

OR IN CLASSIC ENGLISH VILLAGES IN THE:

COTSWOLDS

• Independent Travel with Transatlantic Flights
• Cottage Lodgings in England’s classic Cotswolds
• 1-Week Car Rental Included

END of SUMMER & AUTUMN SPECIAL!

DEPART FRIDAYS — 13SEP–25OCT 2024

$AVE 27.24% – $817/person!

$2,182

PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

BEST PRICE OF THE SEASON!

BOOK BY JULY 29, 2024

LONDON/COTSWOLDS AUG-NOV DETAILS

1ST TIME EVER ON SALE!

   The BEST of

Norway!

in Late-Summer & Autumn!

Cross Norway by Scenic Train & Fjord Ferry, overnighting in Oslo (3-4 nites); the Mountains & Fjord Interior (1-2 nites), & Bergen (2 nites)

Here’s a preview of this active 7-day itinerary:

DEPARTS DAILY 13SEP-2NOV24

The Itinerary in a Nutshell:

DAY 1 – FLY TRANSATLANTIC TO OSLO, NORWAY: the high-speed rail transfer to central Oslo.
OSLO: 2 or 3 nights lodging in a central hotel. Comes with Oslo transpass. Explore Norway’s beautiful & very walkable royal capital city. Sightsee, shop, cruise, dine, & more.
THE INTERIOR: Scenic trains from Oslo across Norway’s mountainous Hardanger Plateau. Stop for an optional night at this high point, Next: rail steeply down to the Sogne Fjord, deepest & longest in Norway. Ferry across the Sogne to your hotel in a waterside village. 1-2 nights here.
BERGEN: Cruise the Sogne Fjord 4 hours to Norway’s 2nd city on its west coast. Your hotel is walkable to Bergen’s World Heritage Site Bryggen Harbor and its historic Old Town. You have 2 days here to explore, shop, dine, people-watch, and relax, 
DAY 8 – FLY HOME: Depart Bergen early on a connecting flight to your transatlantic flight. Arrive home late the same day.

This 7-Day, Independent, Full Package Travel to Norway Includes Transatlantic Flights, Lodgings w/ Breakfasts, Most Ground Transport.

UNIQUE OFFER EXTENDED!

BOOK BY JULY 26, 2024

Daily Departures 13SEP–02NOV24

SAVE 24.8%; SAVE $849/prs!

$2,563

PER PERSON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

NORWAY SPECIAL — FULL DETAILS

HOW TO BUILD, PRICE, & BOOK YOUR CUSTOM, INDEPENDENT, INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL —

Contact HOME AT FIRST: (800) 523-5842 (toll-free USA & Canada) • +1 610 543 4348 (worldwide) • info@homeatfirst.com