If you haven't yet decided where to buy your overseas home, it's a great idea to rent a property when you go on holiday rather than staying in a hotel, so you can really start to learn what it feels like to live like a local and help focus your mind about what you'll need from your home abroad.
And as we head for the long-awaited cold-snap we're due and it's an entire month since returning from the Christmas break, February seems like as good a month as any to escape the UK for a holiday abroad. Here we take a quick look at some of the destinations you could consider for your break in February and find out what late deals you can get for renting holiday accommodation through our holiday rentals partner, HomeAway.co.uk
If you're one of 1.4 million Brits that takes to the slopes during the winter months, the obvious get-away in February is a skiing holiday in the Alps, Dolomites or Pyrenees. Renting your own place gives you the flexibility to eat, drink, sleep and ski as you please, without the restrictions of group or hotel dining. If you fancy venturing a little further, the glitzy resorts of Aspen in Colorado and Canada's Whistler and Banff also offer plenty of vacation rental options for those able to extend their holiday budget.
Heading south to Brazil, February means just one thing and that's carnival time in Rio. With temperatures hitting an average of 30' in February it's a great time to get ahead of the world cup crowd and discover this buzzing city for yourself. Mix and match your city trip with a few days in a beachside apartment in Natal - 'The city of the sun' where you can find rental apartments right by the shore for around £250 per week.
If dancing all through the night sounds a little too tiring, then February is also a fantastic month to enjoy the laid-back surfer life on the western coast of Australia. Our favourite place to catch a wave is the chilled out town of Margaret River a couple of hours south of the cosmopolitan city of Perth, where you can hire a four bedroom house for around £500 per week.
If you simply want to soak up some sun then February is simply sublime in the Indian state of Goa where you can rent an apartment for a whole month for around £300 or if you fancy splashing out, there's a huge choice of uber luxury villas on any one of Thailand's islands, like this seven bedroom slice of heaven on Koh Samui - a snip at £28,000 per week.
For holiday options a little closer to home, £700 per week would rent you this riad in Marrakech, whilst both the Canary islands and Cape Verde are warm at this time of year where a budget of £300-400 will rent you a two bedroom apartment with access to a pool.
Get help buying a property abroadA Place in the Sun Live is a great place to start your journey to owning a home abroad. Taking place at Olympia London on 28th-30th March, A Place in the Sun Live is the official exhibition of the hit TV show and features over 150 estate agents and developers selling property in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Florida and many many destinations. There are also live appearances by the show's TV presenters Amanda Lamb, Jasmine Harman, Jonnie Irwin and Laura Hamilton.
Tickets to A Place in the Sun Live are on sale now at two for £15. Click here to book.