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AUSTIN, Texas, March 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today Vrbo® unveiled its 2024 Vacation Rentals of the Year in the U.S., which feature the most remarkable private vacation rentals across the country as well as a bonus property in Mexico, a popular international destination for U.S. travelers.

Experience the full interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/9179054-vrbo-unveils-2024-us-vacation-rentals-of-the-year/ 

Vacation Rentals of the Year.

This year’s Vacation Rentals of the Year list recognizes some of the most gorgeous waterfront homes, stunning cabin escapes and modern city stays in destinations including Sedona, Arizona; Austin, Texas; Inlet Beach, Florida and Blue Ridge, Georgia. The properties also include trending outdoor amenities that are inspiring travelers’ booking habits in 2024. Across the board, the homes offer:

  • Six heated pools, three of which are infinity pools
  • Eight hot tubs
  • Three outdoor sport courts for basketball, tennis and pickleball
  • Five fire pits
  • Three saunas
  • Six game rooms with ping pong, foosball, billiards, air hockey and shuffleboard
  • Four indoor gyms, including one yoga studio
  • Unique amenities including a wine cave, a vineyard and an in-ground trampoline

“What stands out to me is the variety in this year’s Vacation Rentals of the Year — from cool places with game rooms for kids to wine caves for grown-ups, at nightly rates ranging from $550 to $3,000. This list exemplifies the caliber of private vacation rentals across Vrbo,” said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands. “What’s new and makes it even better is that when you book any of these properties, you earn OneKeyCash back that you can use on your next vacation. No other major player does that.”

Now in its third year, the Vacation Rentals of the Year highlight the most spectacular, private vacation rentals that represent a variety of popular vacation destinations and price points. The homes are selected from the more than 2 million properties worldwide on the Vrbo platform, based on criteria including having:

  • A 4.9 or higher star rating
  • Positive guest reviews
  • Standout amenities and spaces for spending time together with friends and family
  • Premier Host status

“Vrbo’s Premier Hosts go above and beyond to offer exceptional, reliable and relaxing guest experiences and are key to making a traveler’s vacation seamless,” said Tim Rosolio, VP of Partner Success, Vacation Rentals. “With the recent adjustment of our Premier Host criteria, we are ensuring that only the best partners receive the badging and are eligible for opportunities like Vacation Rentals of the Year. We have incredible partners on our platform, and with the Premier Host badging we’re sending a clear and compelling trust signal to travelers about where to find the best, and consistent experiences on Vrbo.”

Travelers that book on Vrbo can also save with One Key, the first loyalty program from a major online vacation rental platform. Guests can earn 2% in OneKeyCash on every eligible Vrbo booking — including any of the 2024 Vacation Rentals of the Year — that can be used toward future bookings on eligible Vrbo vacation rentals, or on Expedia and Hotels.com. For example, booking a one-week stay at any one of the Vacation Rentals of the Year could earn travelers a few hundred dollars in OneKeyCash, on average.

See the list of the 2024 Vacation Rentals of the Year, as well as images and videos of the properties, along with a video testimonial from one of our Premier Hosts at www.vrbo.com/2024vacationrentals. And for even more trip-planning inspiration, make sure to check out previous years’ Vacation Rentals of the Year lists from 2023 and 2022.

Notes to the editor:

Visual Assets: Property images and b-roll are available for download.

2024 U.S. Vacation Rentals of the Year Property Details:

  1. Sedona, Arizona – Palatial Paradise Estate” is a stunning estate featuring breathtaking views of the iconic red rocks. This idyllic home invites the outside in with unique features including telescoping doors that connect the living room to the resort-style patio, an infinity pool, waterfall feature and outdoor fireplace. With easy access to all the best attractions in Sedona and nearby Coconino National Forest trails, this escape is the ideal vacation rental for a family or group vacation.
  2. Big Sky, Montana – A one-of-a-kind cabin retreat, the “Fire Lookout Towers” is an awe-inspiring home situated on 60 acres and perched atop a ridge overlooking the majestic Beehive Basin. The cabin is only 10 minutes from Big Sky Resort and offers the most relaxing, comfortable space to savor a homemade meal with loved ones in the gourmet kitchen and dining room or relax by the floor-to-ceiling fireplace after a long day of skiing and exploring the surrounding wilderness.
  3. Inlet Beach, Florida – Paradise Found” is a vacation rental that really lives up to its name. The beachside oasis nestled along 30A is a resort-like space thoughtfully designed to accommodate groups of all kinds and guests of all ages. The home has three distinct living areas for spending time together, a gourmet chef’s kitchen, and an open concept living room that merges the indoors and outdoors. Outside, enjoy a masterfully designed infinity pool with a large hot tub, a covered cabana, and premier entertaining spaces.
  4. Austin, Texas – Located just minutes from bustling downtown Austin, discover “Toro Canyon,” a tranquil getaway that seamlessly blends modern luxury and comfortable elegance. The home is perfect for a relaxing retreat with friends, boasting beautifully landscaped grounds and outdoor amenities including a pool and hot tub, outdoor kitchen and dining space, fire pit, and even a sports court — all nestled within a canopy of trees with a natural creek running nearby.
  5. Glen Ellen, California – Villa Montebella” is an Italian-inspired villa located in the heart of Sonoma Valley. The home offers acres of privacy with spectacular views, including ones of the San Francisco Bay less than an hour away; sips of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon from the onsite vineyard, or produce for meals from the farm. The villa boasts large gathering spaces including a library, theater room and oversized kitchen for group meals, a spa facility with steam and dry sauna rooms, and the standout amenity, which is the wine cave filled with art, a dining area and even a game room.
  6. Sand Lake, Michigan – Situated on Baptist Lake, “Sandy Lakehouse” is a stunning lakeside home beyond compare. The property is decked out with every amenity imaginable, including a professional-grade gym, custom sports court for basketball and pickleball games, and a fully equipped game room. This is a perfect spot to host family and friends for a summer vacation or for a quick weekend escape, located only half an hour from Grand Rapids.
  7. Epworth, Georgia – Miracle Creek Retreat” is an expansive cabin nestled on a hillside in the Blue Ridge area, overlooking Fightingtown Creek below. The home combines modern design and comfort with stone and wood elements and includes spa-like bathrooms, a generously stocked gourmet kitchen with river views, and a game room with a wet bar. An outdoor living area also provides serene views of the forest and a cozy space for evenings spent under the stars.
  8. Winchendon, Massachusetts – Copley’s Lakefront Cottage” is a uniquely designed, Belgian-style farmhouse located on Lake Monomonac that straddles both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The modern home is wonderful for any season with its own private beach and dock for boating and swimming in the summer, and ice skating and fishing during the winter. Inside, the home is impeccably furnished with features including floor-to-ceiling views of the lake in the living areas, and a large sauna for a pampered spa day.
  9. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands – The oceanfront “Villa Cin Cin” is an exquisite luxury home right outside of Cruz Bay that offers unparalleled views of the nearby Virgin Islands National Park from an expansive veranda by the infinity pool and a rooftop deck. The estate was also custom-built to have identical primary en suite bedrooms so everyone in the group gets the best room, and comes with thoughtfully designed spaces for movie and game nights after a day in the sun.
  10. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Casa Acantilado” is an extraordinary cliffside villa in the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas. This striking home offers an uninterrupted blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces, including bedrooms with oceanside patio access, and comes with gorgeous views of the water from the pool, sauna and hot tub, which are great ways to start and end the day on a relaxing note.

About Vrbo

In 1995, Vrbo introduced a new way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with families and friends looking for places to stay. We were grounded in one purpose: To give people the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together.

Since then, we’ve grown into a global community of homeowners and travelers, with unique properties around the world. Vrbo makes it easy and fun to book cabins, condos, beach houses and every kind of space in between.

Vrbo is part of Expedia Group and offers homeowners and property managers exposure to over 750 million visits to Expedia Group sites each month. To learn more, visit www.vrbo.com.

© 2024 Vrbo, an Expedia Group company. All rights reserved. Vrbo, HomeAway, the Vrbo logo, and the HomeAway logo are trademarks of HomeAway.

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Combat the Epidemic of Loneliness by Eating Together



(Family Features) According to the U.S. Surgeon General, Americans face a lack of social connection that poses a significant risk to individual health and longevity. “Loneliness and social isolation increase the risk for premature death by 26% and 29%, respectively. More broadly, lacking social connection can increase the risk for premature death as much as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day,” per the report.

One way to address this epidemic of loneliness is by sharing a meal with friends and family. Learn five of the specific advantages of family meals identified by the Family Meals Movement and take advantage of these benefits during National Family Meals Month this September by sharing one more meal together each week.

Meals Together Foster Togetherness and Connectedness
Staying connected can be hard when schedules conflict and life gets busy, but shared meals with friends, family or however you define your family can be the glue that holds people together. Studies demonstrate a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning, which is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving. The key is for family members to engage in conversation with one another during mealtimes and take advantage of the one-on-one time without distractions or interruptions from smartphones or other devices.

Meals Together Strengthen Mental Health
An often overlooked benefit of family meals is mental health support. Multiple studies show family meals have long been associated with improving mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression, decreasing violent behavior and lessening thoughts of suicide among youth. Among adolescents, frequent family meals can help mitigate the risks of destructive behaviors by boosting prosocial behaviors and life satisfaction. Data from the FMI Foundation’s “Staying Strong with Family Meals” Barometer shows family meals also help restore a sense of peace, with one-third of survey respondents saying family meals make them feel calm. In short, family meals are a recipe for strengthening emotional well-being among children and adolescents.

Meals Together Improve Nutrition
There is one easy way to help ensure your family is eating fruits and vegetables: a family meal. Research shows family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. It also pays to start this trend early, with research finding preschool-aged children who eat frequent family meals are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables. Overall, researchindicates families who eat together frequently have a better overall healthy diet and lower body mass index.

Meals Together Improve Academic Performance
Helping students’ academic performance begins around the family dinner table. Eating more meals together as a family is associated with improved overall adolescent health, including higher grades. Multiple studies show students whose families eat together frequently perform better academically in areas such as reading and vocabulary. Research also supports a correlation between frequent family meals lowering incidents of risky and harmful behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse, which may also contribute to school performance.

Meals Together Teach Civility
The family dinner table is a perfect place to show younger generations how to communicate respectfully, according to the Family Meals Barometer summary. In fact, 76% of survey participants agreed family meals are a good opportunity to have and teach respectful interactions while 70% said frequent family meals create a safe environment for families to discuss thornier societal issues. Another 68% affirmed their belief that sitting at a meal together tends to keep conversations more civil.

Learn more about the physical, mental and social benefits of family meals at familymealsmovement.org and follow #familymealsmonth and #familymealsmovement on social media.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

FMI Foundation

Our Lifestyle section on STM Daily News is a hub of inspiration and practical information, offering a range of articles that touch on various aspects of daily life. From tips on family finances to guides for maintaining health and wellness, we strive to empower our readers with knowledge and resources to enhance their lifestyles. Whether you’re seeking outdoor activity ideas, fashion trends, or travel recommendations, our lifestyle section has got you covered. Visit us today at https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/ and embark on a journey of discovery and self-improvement.


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A Milestone in Prostate Cancer Research: The Inspiring Success of the RESPOND Study



In a monumental stride toward understanding and combating prostate cancer disparities, the RESPOND study has achieved a landmark victory by recruiting the largest cohort of African American men for prostate cancer research. This comes at a time when the need for such studies is more critical than ever, particularly given the disproportionate impact prostate cancer has on African American men.

Chasing Better Outcomes Amidst Challenges

Statistics reveal daunting disparities: African American men suffer from higher rates of prostate cancer with earlier onset and twice the mortality rate compared to other racial groups. Spearheaded by Dr. Christopher Haiman, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Southern California (USC), the RESPOND study (Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress) has made remarkable strides in recruiting over 12,600 volunteers, far surpassing its initial goals.

Dr. Christopher Haiman, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Southern California, is the RESPOND study’s principal investigator.

This success didn’t come easy, especially as the study’s recruitment phase coincided with the dual upheavals of the COVID-19 pandemic and a national reckoning with racial injustice under the Black Lives Matter movement. Nevertheless, the determination and innovative approaches employed by the RESPOND team, including using sophisticated tools like genome-wide genotyping and next-generation sequencing, have not only kept the study on track but also enriched its potential outcomes.

Understanding the Layers: From Genetics to Social Stress

The broad, holistic design of RESPOND allows examination of various factors potentially contributing to the stark disparities seen in prostate cancer outcomes among African American men. Dr. Haiman pointed out the use of geospatial information systems (GIS) to scrutinize the impact of environmental and social stresses on these men. Also, the study is delving into the roles of structural factors such as residential redlining, which historically denied essential services and opportunities based on racial composition of neighborhoods, thus potentially contributing to health disparities.

The Power of Collaboration and Community Engagement

The success of RESPOND owes much to Dr. Ann Hamilton, who co-leads the recruitment efforts drawing from her extensive background in epidemiological studies. Their team’s strategy involved direct engagement with the community, highlighting not only the immediate benefits of participation but also the long-term impacts for future generations. Collaborations with advocacy groups and leveraging community trust were also key to addressing and overcoming the skepticism often associated with participation in medical research among African American communities.

University of Southern California epidemiologist and the RESPOND’s recruitment lead, Dr. Ann Hamilton, with Mr. Freddie Muse, Jr., a men’s health advocate, at a prostate health event in Los Angeles.

The Road Ahead: Data Analysis and Future Research

As RESPond shifts from recruitment to data analysis, the possibilities are promising. Dr. Haiman envisions a series of future studies that could look into treatment types and their effects on survival rates, the use of AI in detecting tumor signatures, and genetic and lifestyle factors contributing to prostate cancer risks among African American men.

Each step forward not only brings us closer to understanding the complex interplay of factors contributing to cancer disparities but also underscores the crucial need for tailored medical research that respects and responds to the unique needs of diverse populations.

A Beacon of Hope

RESPOND stands as a beacon of hope, not just for those battling prostate and other forms of cancers but for the medical research community at large. It exemplifies how perseverance, innovation, and community engagement can come together to pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in health and medicine.

The thorough engagement of over 12,600 African American men in this significant study not only marks a historic achievement but also sets the stage for profound impacts on public health policies and future research methodologies. Through their dedication, the RESPOND team is creating a legacy that will benefit many generations to come, truly embodying the ethos of doing ‘what is needed for future generations’.

A Moment of Reflection

As we move forward, it is crucial to reflect on the lessons learned from the RESPOND study – lessons about resilience, the power of community, and the imperative to continually bridge gaps in healthcare disparities. The journey of RESPOND is far from over, but its impacts will resonate for years to, shaping the contours of minority health research and policy.

The journey towards equitable health outcomes continues, and thanks to initiatives like RESPOND, we are another step closer to a future where health disparities are no longer a barrier to living long, healthy lives.


Support & Further Reading
For further details on the RESPOND study and to support this critical research, please visit RESPOND Study Website. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of millions.

Our Lifestyle section on STM Daily News is a hub of inspiration and practical information, offering a range of articles that touch on various aspects of daily life. From tips on family finances to guides for maintaining health and wellness, we strive to empower our readers with knowledge and resources to enhance their lifestyles. Whether you’re seeking outdoor activity ideas, fashion trends, or travel recommendations, our lifestyle section has got you covered. Visit us today at https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/ and embark on a journey of discovery and self-improvement.


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5 Travel Tips for People with Diabetes




(Family Features) Be it a short weekend trip to an epic destination or a longer trip to a dream spot, 212 million American adults are planning much-deserved vacations, according to The Vacationer’s Summer Travel Survey 2024. However, one thing travelers living with type 1 diabetes can’t leave behind: their diabetes.

This is why many frequent travelers living with type 1 diabetes like Nicky Williams, a full-time student who loves documenting travel on her blog, are always prepared by having a checklist when she travels. This checklist helps those like Williams carefully manage type 1 diabetes and allows them to manage the unexpected.

“I was born with a sense of wanderlust,” Williams said. “However, 14 years ago, my ability to travel was challenged when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Thanks to my diabetes tech, my love for travel and my passion for trying different foods around the world is as strong as ever. When I travel, I’m less stressed when enjoying new cultures and foods where I might not get the carb count just right. I let my MiniMed 780G system do what it does best and account for the unexpected so I can truly immerse myself in the experience instead of my diabetes.”

If you’re planning a trip this summer and looking for a better way to manage your diabetes, consider these tips:

Talk to Your Health Care Provider
Discuss your current treatment plan and any concerns you have. Talk about adjustments you may need to make, depending on where you’re going, what you’ll be doing and how your diet may be affected. Also be sure to get a current letter stating you have diabetes and any special information regarding your needs that you can provide in the event of an emergency.

Pack Your Supplies
Put your diabetes supplies in a carry-on bag and pack twice as much insulin as you think you’ll need. Consider packing insulin with a gel ice pack, which is less likely to get flagged by luggage scanners. With a solution like the Medtronic Extended infusion set, travelers with diabetes have the option for an extended wear duration of up to seven days, leaving more space for packing other items.

Navigate the Airport
Traveling with a medical device or supplies can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if flying to your destination. Upon arriving at the security screening, notify security officers of any equipment in your carry-on or attached to your body. While you will not be required to remove an attached device, you may be subject to additional screenings, including a visual inspection, self-pat down and other trace testing of the device and supplies.

Research Pharmacies
Look into where you can access additional supplies if you run low, your luggage gets misplaced, or some other unforeseen event affects your insulin or other supplies. Verify whether the pharmacy accepts your insurance and the types of supplies you might need. You may even want to call ahead to get your information entered in their system so they’re able to help you more efficiently if an urgent need arises. If something happens to your insulin pump, know your options for getting a replacement or loaner while traveling.

Safeguard Your Routine
Mealtimes are consistently cited as one of the most difficult aspects of diabetes management and the change of pace that comes with travel and excursions can disrupt your routine. An automated insulin delivery system can help alleviate that stress for those times when you forget to plan ahead. An option such as the MiniMed 780G system has your back if you occasionally forget or miscalculate a dose. The system’s world-class algorithm measures sugar levels every 5 minutes, assessing if a meal has been eaten and giving automatic corrections and adjustments to insulin. With some of the manual work being taken on by the system, traveling becomes a more seamless experience, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods, relax and revel in your vacation.

To learn more about managing diabetes on the road, visit medtronicdiabetes.com/TravelTips.

‡ Refers to SmartGuard™ feature. Individual results may vary.
† Taking a bolus 15-20 minutes before a meal helps to keep blood sugar levels under control after eating.

Important safety information: MiniMed™ 780G system with SmartGuard™ technology with Guardian™ 4 sensor

The MiniMed™ 780G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin at selectable rates, and the administration of insulin boluses at selectable amounts for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons seven years of age and older requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed™ 780G system includes SmartGuard™ technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust insulin delivery based on the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor glucose values and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose (SG) value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values.

The Medtronic MiniMed™ 780G system consists of the following devices: MiniMed™ 780G insulin pump, the Guardian™ 4 transmitter, the Guardian™ 4 sensor, One-press serter, the Accu-Chek™ Guide Link blood glucose meter, and the Accu-Chek™ Guide test strips. The system requires a prescription from a healthcare professional.

The Guardian™ 4 sensor is intended for use with the MiniMed™ 780G system and the Guardian 4 transmitter to monitor glucose levels for the management of diabetes. The sensor is intended for single use and requires a prescription. The Guardian™ 4 sensor is indicated for up to seven days of continuous use.

The Guardian™ 4 sensor is not intended to be used directly to make therapy adjustments while the MiniMed™ 780G is operating in manual mode. All therapy adjustments in manual mode should be based on measurements obtained using a blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian™ 4 sensor. The Guardian™ 4 sensor has been studied and is approved for use in patients ages 7 years and older and in the arm insertion site only. Do not use the Guardian™ 4 sensor in the abdomen or other body sites including the buttocks, due to unknown or different performance that could result in hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

WARNING: Do not use the SmartGuard™ feature for people who require less than 8 units or more than 250 units of total daily insulin per day. A total daily dose of at least 8 units, but no more than 250 units, is required to operate in the SmartGuard™ feature.

WARNING: Do not use the MiniMed™ 780G system until appropriate training has been received from a healthcare professional. Training is essential to ensure the safe use of the MiniMed™ 780G system.

WARNING: Do not use SG values to make treatment decisions, including delivering a bolus, while the pump is in Manual Mode. When the SmartGuard™ feature is active and you are no longer in Manual Mode, the pump uses an SG value, when available, to calculate a bolus amount. However, if your symptoms do not match the SG value, use a BG meter to confirm the SG value. Failure to confirm glucose levels when your symptoms do not match the SG value can result in the infusion of too much or too little insulin, which may cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow for the recognition of pump signals, alerts, or alarms. The safety of the MiniMed™ 780G system has not been studied in pregnant women, persons with type 2 diabetes, or in persons using other anti-hyperglycemic therapies that do not include insulin. For complete details of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions associated with system and its components, please consult https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information#minimed-780g and the appropriate user guide at https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/download-library

Rx Only. Subcut admin of insulin only. NOT for IV or blood products. Infection/irritation risk possible. Follow directions and replace as indicated. See https://bit.ly/infusionsetsafety

Abbreviated+: Rx Only. Subcut admin of insulin only. NOT for IV or blood products. See https://bit.ly/infusionsetsafety

The content and all information provided is for your informational use only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment in any manner. Responses to a treatment may vary from patient to patient. Always talk with your physician about diagnosis and treatment information and ensure that you understand and carefully follow that information.


Our Lifestyle section on STM Daily News is a hub of inspiration and practical information, offering a range of articles that touch on various aspects of daily life. From tips on family finances to guides for maintaining health and wellness, we strive to empower our readers with knowledge and resources to enhance their lifestyles. Whether you’re seeking outdoor activity ideas, fashion trends, or travel recommendations, our lifestyle section has got you covered. Visit us today at https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/ and embark on a journey of discovery and self-improvement.


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