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gardngrl Sep 20th, 2021 01:57 PM

Senior couple considering a year in Europe
We’re looking for advice on finding lodging in four good locations for 3 no at a time. Hoping to find long term rental rates and avoid VRBO and Airbnb. We would like to spend time in northern Italy, Norway and two other areas that are easy to travel from and less costly—-possibly Portugal and ——. Sorry to be vague, but we’ve done a lot of traveling and mainly need help with the logistics of a trip like this and how to go about finding lodging. Is buying a car a better option than renting long term? Lease? Another concern is availability of harder to find medications. Thanks for wading through this with us.

Jean Sep 20th, 2021 04:45 PM

You need to look into whatever limits there are for your nationality on how long you can stay in the Schengen zone.

For U.S. citizens, without a Schengen visa, the limit is 90 days within 180 days. That's not 90 days in each country, but 90 days total in the Schengen zone countries.

Starting in 2023, U.S. citizens will need an ETIAS visa waiver to enter the Schengen zone.

lavandula Sep 20th, 2021 04:48 PM

You will need to apply for a visa in the country you intend to spend most time in. There may be a difficulty in obtaining permission; you will have to make enquiries, but your plan of moving around for three months at a time might be difficult, if not impossible and working from a single base might work better. The rules for the Schengen zone only permit you a stay of 90 in 180 days without a visa (if you are coming from the US). Croatia is outside Schengen so you could spend some time there, and the UK also is outside Schengen and you can usually stay there for up to 6 months without applying for a visa. Best of luck!


janisj Sep 20th, 2021 05:03 PM

Without a lot of red tape you really can't do what you propose. All the countries you list are in the Schengen zone. Now - IF you include the UK in your plans it would be much easier. (I assume you are Americans) Americans are allowed up to six months entry with just a passport (that is 'up to' -- nothing is absolutely guaranteed because the Border agents at UK Immigration have the authority to limit the length of one's stay.)

So a combination of up to 6 months in the UK bookended by up to 3 months in two Schengen countries is one way to accomplish this. Or pick some other non-Schengen countries (Andorra, Croatia, Serbia, Turkey, etc)

lavandula Sep 20th, 2021 05:58 PM

You mention also concerns about a car - you might look into long-term leasing rather than renting. Renting would be prohibitively expensive and buying may leave you trying to offload a vehicle at the end of your time there. The French car manufacturers all do leasing and you can usually get them in other countries at the big airports like Frankfurt. Auto Europe has some information about leasing, but google for example "Peugeot long term leasing" and there will be a bunch of information.


janisj Sep 20th, 2021 06:09 PM

" . . . and buying may leave you trying to offload a vehicle at the end of your time there." Good advice to lease - but just to clarify, buying isn't really an option (unless it is a 'buy a new car in Europe/ship home' program direct from one of the manufacturers). To buy a used car/insure it requires a local permanent address and other requirements.

lavandula Sep 20th, 2021 06:37 PM

Finding accommodation - I don't know about the countries you mention but we have done some long-range planning for our retirement; we plan to spend periods of up to 3 months at a time in Germany, as we have lived there in the past and would like to go back without re-emigrating completely. In Germany there are agents for long-term letting of furnished apartments separate from the normal holiday lettings, which can only be done a week or so at a time. The concept is called "Wohnen auf Zeit" and it is meant for people who are doing temporary work in other cities but don't want to move there permanently. My guess is that this sort of service is only for larger cities with business travellers, and if you were tempted by a property in a rural area you might negotiate with the owner. People in Germany frequently rent for long periods of time so this is a concept that may be different from where you live.


Traveler_Nick Sep 20th, 2021 10:24 PM

In Italy three months isn't really a long term let. In any of the touristy cities you're still competing with the other tourists.

And has mentioned you won't be able to buy a car without residence unless you buy it for export but that requires you exporting it by a certain date.

The French lease option is likely the best but that's limited to I think six months.

For traveling around you really should be looking at two options. Trains for within the country and flying for hoping across borders. The car would mainly be useful for countryside excursions but you'd likely be able to rent daily for that and not pay for all the days the car is parked and not needed.

shelemm Sep 21st, 2021 07:28 AM

Do Northern Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway. You get your first two choices and then two very beautiful, exciting, and MUCH cheaper destinations, all wildly different from one another. If you want to save money on car rental, you don't need a car all the time. With that much time on your hands, you can mix up car touring with seeing city sights and day/weekend trips using other transportation.

gardngrl Sep 21st, 2021 09:57 AM

Thank you for your response. I forgot to mention, that I have dual citizenship in Luxembourg. Would my husband, who is not a citizen, have to limit his time?

gardngrl Sep 21st, 2021 10:03 AM

Thank you all. We really are a bit naive about all of this and these are helpful suggestions.

hetismij2 Sep 21st, 2021 11:33 AM

Norway is seriously expensive.

What about health care? You will need health insurance to cover you for the entire time you are in Europe, Luxembourg citizen or not. Also repatriation insurance, just in case. You will not get free treatment in the EU, Norway, or in the UK.

As for your husband this may help:
Though you are not resident in the EU so the rules may be different, but he will still need a visa.

You will have to prove you have sufficient funds to support yourselves and you will not be allowed to work.

Fra_Diavolo Sep 21st, 2021 01:31 PM

Is your husband eligible for Luxembourg citizenship through you? Might be worth looking into.

hetismij2 Sep 23rd, 2021 03:19 AM

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