Posted on June 21, 2017

Numerous studies have pointed to a glaring and worrisome trend: physician burnout is on the rise across all specialties, even when practitioners love their job. The good news is, according to the 2015 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report, 70% of physicians who reported they were not burned out said they took more than two weeks of vacation of year.

With this in mind, we researched to find some of the top spots around the world to own a vacation home. Owning a vacation home, as opposed to renting a property or staying in hotels, definitely has its financial advantages.

Let’s say you own a vacation home in Belize, one of the destinations on our list. In total, you stay there eight weeks out of the year. The other weeks you rent out your home to other vacationers and that rental income pays off your loan. By the time you’re set to retire, you outright own a retirement home in gorgeous Belize that’s all ready for you to move into.

The locations on this list offer the weary physician beauty, tranquility, a little adventure, and a great value.

Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

While drought was an issue in California for a while, the rains have come and Lake Arrowhead is looking as full and crystal clear as ever. The area draws huge crowds of visitors each year, all coming to enjoy the sights, shops, fine restaurants, summer concert series, car shows, and numerous other events.

The average home price in Lake Arrowhead is $241,000, which means owning a slice of California Heaven is more than affordable.


How to best describe life in Argentina? It’s never dull.

The economy the last decade has been a bit choppy. But the nice thing about the oscillating highs and lows is that there are always great real estate deals during the lows, and then the highs return almost immediately.

Argentina has been described as one of the most dramatically interesting and beautiful countries in the world, and Buenos Aires is one of the world’s premier cities. The city is a mosaic of old meets new. The people are friendly, the food is outstanding, and the other amenities are all you could hope for in any modern city.

Whether you choose to own a chic apartment in the heart of the city, or a breezy bungalow on the beach, you can’t go wrong in Argentina.

Orlando, Florida

The sunshine state has been an ideal vacation destination for decades. Each year, millions of visitors flock to the beaches and theme parks to rekindle their youth and imagination.

You’ll be happy to hear that property taxes and insurance are low, and there’s no state income tax. Add to this the warm weather and exceptional healthcare and you can understand why thousands of baby boomers are choosing to retire here.

But let’s take a closer look at Orlando, in particular, as our vacation home destination. You won’t ever be bored in Orlando. The city offers world-class dining and shopping destinations, perfect year-round weather, and theme parks and entertainment galore.

Because of this, you won’t ever have a problem renting out your home to tourists, who are willing to pay a premium. This can amount to a significant and steady rental income for most of the year.

Algarve, Portugal

You know a global destination is a good one when thousands of expats have chosen to call it home. Portugal’s Algarve has been attracting foreign retirees for decades and is now home to over 100,000 expats.

Let’s start with the obvious draw of the area: those stunning beaches. Soft sand hugs and azure coastline, inviting you to explore the rock formations and lagoons that punctuate the shoreline. The sun shines in Algarve almost 365 days a year, more days than anywhere else in Europe, which is why it is a top vacation destination for many sun-seekers and winter escape artists.

Imagine your days filled with swimming, snorkeling, boating or playing golf at one of the 42 gold courses in the area, and you get a picture of what life would be like in Algarve.

And, when it comes to budget, your money will go quite far here. You could purchase your own vacation home on a cliffside overlooking the bluest waters for roughly US$1,345 per square meter.

Austin, Texas

Not many cities can fit their whole mentality on a tiny bumper sticker, but Austin somehow managed to do it with their slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” Don’t let that put you off, though. It’s not so much that Austin or its inhabitants are weird (okay, maybe a few are), it’s that Austin is so cool it doesn’t care what people think. The city simply invites you to come and be whatever you feel like being.

Austin has certainly become popular as of late, though it still manages to transcend trendy. South By Southwest, the annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in the city in Mid-March have, in a way, put Austin even more on the map.

When you throw in the excellent weather (for much of the year), pretty hill country, authentically-friendly locals, and down-home grub, you’ll see why we recommend Austin as a vacation home destination.

The average price for a home in Austin is $223,400, just under the national average.

Tulum, Mexico

Cancun, Mexico tends to get all the love and attention from tourists, and that’s to be expected. The Mexican government has been spending money to build up infrastructure in this part of the Mayan Riviera since the 1970s. And it worked. Tons of visitors flock to these shores each year to see and be seen.

But there’s a new kid in town, and one that isn’t attracting so many tipsy spring breakers, and that is Tulum, Mexico. An hour south of Cancun, Tulum boasts a very pretty stretch of beach with a protected reserve on one side of town.

The great thing about buying in this area is that things are just starting to heat up. The government has now turned its sights to Tulum with plans to build the infrastructure and bring in services and amenities, with a goal of tripling tourism by 2020.

This makes it an absolutely stellar time to buy a vacation home, as you can expect home values to appreciate significantly over the next decade.

Ceara, Brazil

Magnificent mountain ranges, sweeping beaches, glimmering cities – Brazil has it all. The Ceara region of Brazil is a top destination for domestic travelers, with 60 million tourists visiting the white-sand beaches each year. While the numbers of International visitors have been steadily increasing, it’s nice to know that a rental property here does not depend on them to make a good return.

Much like Tulum, Mexico, the Brazilian government has given the green light and allocated a sizeable budget to improve infrastructure and expand the state highway. There are even plans for a new international airport, which is always a good thing.

And, when it comes to the real estate market, there are many good opportunities thanks to Brazil’s relatively weak currency against the US dollar.

Phoenix, AZ

If you enjoy the idea of playing golf on your vacation, then Phoenix may be the destination for you. Buying a vacation home in Arizona’s sunny capital means having your pick of over 200 excellent golf courses!

But Phoenix is more than just golf. The resplendent city offers an opera, symphony, several theaters, and three of the state’s finest museums: the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum and the Museum of Musical Instruments.

And, with a median home price of $188,000, you’re sure to find an ideal property to call “vacation home.”

Dominican Republic

Over the past 20 years, the Dominican Republic has become an internationally popular vacation destination thanks to its miles of picture-perfect beaches and near perfect year-round weather. It also happens to be one of the top Caribbean destinations for foreign property buyers. This is for two reasons:

The nation is attracting more and more expats, both full-time retirees and part-time vacationers. Also, compared to other parts of the Caribbean, property values are a tremendous bargain right now.

And speaking of properties, you have a lot of options. Right now, you could get a one-bedroom condo a short walk to the beach for only $100,000. That could be rented out for a solid and reliable yield.

Then again, maybe you’re more interested in a palatial estate overlooking the ocean. The choice is only limited by your budget. As far as which areas to consider, Punta Cana is a pretty resort area, so a lot of tourists, while Puerto Plata, on the north coast, is quieter but developed and great for retirees. Then again, if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, check out the Samana Peninsula that thousands of expats call home. During mating season, you can look out into the sparkling water and see breeding humpback whales.

If you’re looking for a little bit of magic in your vacation and photos that will make your staff jealous when you get back home, you could certainly do worse than the Dominican Republic.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

The largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye was once a sleepy town that attracted fishermen, thanks to the Belize Barrier Reef. But the reef is the same reason why the area has seen significant growth over the last 30 or so years. People from around the world come to dive and snorkel in and around the natural wonderland to get up close to the dizzying array of sea life.

In a way, you feel as though you are stepping back in time when you land on Ambergris Caye. Or maybe the more accurate thing to say is that time seems to stand still. There is simply nothing to do except take in the sights and sounds around you and wonder a little at all of it.

Expats who live here give up little in the way of modern conveniences. Power, water, cell phone coverage, and internet are reliable…and you can buy most necessities for daily living on the island. There are also water taxis and flights that will quickly get you to Belize City.

Properties can currently be found from around $175,000.


Now that you know some of the most attractive destinations in the world to own property, we’ll leave you with some final thoughts on buying a vacation home:

  • You’ll most likely want to choose a location with numerous seasons of rental demand. This way you will have a steady stream of income.
  • Consider the projected growth rates of the cities and towns you’re considering, as well as the health of the local economy. The destinations on this list either currently have an excellent economy or are about to breakout.
  • Before buying, rent in the area that appeals to you most to see if you will actually enjoy it. Try and stay for at least two weeks to be sure there is enough to keep you interested on extended stays. Also, if possible, try and visit during different seasons so you will get to know the weather and crowd patterns.
  • Speak with your accountant so you fully understand any possible tax implications that come with owning a second home.
  • Most important, when spending time in your vacation home, make sure to actually leave your work at home so you can fully recharge and be ready for battle when you return.