Jean-Michel Cousteau

Curated Journey: Sail with Jean-Michel Cousteau

Take a once-in-a-lifetime Curated Aquatic Voyage trip and sail with oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau. This exclusive sailing voyage opportunity is now available to THIRDHOME members and will set sail on December 10, 2017. Read to the bottom of this blog post to find out about a special promotional discount being offered to THIRDHOME members for a limited time.

 

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Who is Jean-Micheal Cousteau?

Jean-Michel Cousteau is a French oceanographic explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer. He released a popular documentary series called Ocean Adventures that aired on PBS. Cousteau is primarily focused on ocean conservation and pollution control. On board, he will share tales from his lifetime of underwater exploration. During interactive presentations, he will discuss the legacy of his famous father, the legendary Jacques Cousteau. Jacques Cousteau pioneered scuba gear, created underwater documentaries, pioneered underwater base camps and helped restrict commercial whaling.

 

Yacht

 

What will your sailing experience with Jean-Michel Cousteau include?

 

Snorkeling Vacation

A 7-Night and 8-Day Sailing Voyage

You will depart from Marigot Bay, St. Martin, and sail to the following before returning back to Marigot Bay:

  • St. Barts
  • Anegada
  • Scrub Island
  • Jost Van Dyke
  • Salt Island
  • Tortola
  • Peter Island
  • The Indians
  • Virgin Gorda

 

luxury yacht

The ESPRIT Lifestyle Yacht Experience

Your yacht experience will include:

  • Airport to yacht & yacht to airport transfers
  • Luxury suite accommodations with full butler service
  • All-inclusive dining (more details provided below)
  • Unlimited select fine wines & champagnes
  • Complimentary premium spirits throughout the yacht
  • Open-bar service onboard yacht & stocked bars in-suite
  • Unlimited coffees, soft drinks and bottled water in-suite
  • All gratuities, shipboard and shoreside included
  • Complimentary adventures in designated ports of call
  • In-suite satellite TV and movie choices
  • Twice-daily housekeeping with nightly turn-down service
  • Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding and jet skiing from the yacht platform

 

Michelin Dining

Included Michelin-inspired Farm-to-Table Dining

Dining options include:

  • The Yacht Club Restaurant serves contemporary and classic specialties as well as innovative tasting menus created by Crystal’s award-winning chefs, all using the finest and freshest local ingredients available; serving breakfast, lunch and dinner indoors.
  • The Terrace and Patio Café offers freshly prepared and, where possible, regionally inspired presentations of small plates, creative salads, gourmet charcuterie, cheeses and pastries; serving breakfast and lunch (indoors and outdoors).
  • The Grill features a menu of burgers, wraps and, location permitting, “global street food” served tapas-style to reflect the destinations visited.
  • The Pantry is the “go-to” self-service bistro and wine bar open 24 hours a day with a curated selection of coffees, vintage wines, light snacks and freshly baked pastries; the perfect indulgence to satisfy your craving day or night.

 

Luxury Yacht

 

This fantastic experience is available to THIRDHOME members starting at $3495 per-person, if you book by April 30, 2017. This includes an exclusive promotional discount price of $500 per-person. You will also receive $100 of onboard credit with this promotion if you are a Platinum or Centurion American Express card member. After April 30, 2017, the price will raise to $3995 per-person. There are only 62 total spots available on-board this luxury yacht, so do not hesitate to reserve this trip if you are interested! Click here for more information, including contact information for booking this Curated Aquatic Voyage.

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Amelia Island Florida

Member Monday: Trips to Amelia Island and Aruba

What are THIRDHOME members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Amelia Island and Aruba) this week?

 

Amelia Island Florida

Amelia Island Retreat | Amelia Island, Florida

This oceanfront villa has 3 bedrooms and is decked-out in luxurious furnishings and decor. It is located in a gated community with a large swimming pool area and private tennis courts for guests to enjoy. Amelia Island is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway, there are 13 miles of uncrowded beaches paired with pristine water.

THIRDHOME member Steve says: “There is no question that this is the best THIRDHOME property that we have ever visited. The location is great, being right on the beach and the residence is decorated in such a manner that it should be a model for all THIRDHOME properties.” click here to read more of Steve’s review

 

Aruba Vacation Home

Aruba Villa Tropical | Noord, Aruba

Want your own tropical oasis for the week? If so, this is the property you should reserve with your THIRDHOME membership. This home sleeps 12 and is situated on 3 acres which includes a fruit tree orchard with over 150 trees! You can take a swim in the custom rock pool, enjoy ocean views from the infinity hot tub or play a game on the outdoor pool table.

THIRDHOME member Tom says: “If you are looking for a beautiful private home on Aruba this is definitely the one that you want. Our stay at Aruba Villa Tropical was nothing short of perfect.” click here to read more of Tom’s review

 

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.

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Little Corn Island

Curated Journey: Hideaway on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Experience a curated boutique island hideaway trip to Little Corn Island! If you are seeking a secluded warm getaway, this upscale experience will be everything you’ve been wanting and more. Let THIRDHOME craft a personalized trip for you to Yemaya Hotel & Spa on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua. This luxury trip is ideal for a group of 2-8 people.

What does a Curated Journey trip to Little Corn Island include?

 

Little Corn Island

Transportation

Don’t worry about the hassle of booking your transportation to the island! Roundtrip airfare and ferry transportation is included and will be arranged for you.

 

Little Corn Island

Accommodations

Your private beach cabana will have spacious rooms, breathtaking views and handcrafted Nicaraguan hardwood furnishings. You can stay for 5 nights or more.

 

Little Corn Island

Activities 

There are plenty of activities to enjoy during your sunshine-filled days. You can attend daily yoga classes in a beautiful jungle studio, relax on a sailboat, go deep-sea fishing, take a full-day snorkeling expedition, explore deserted beaches while kayaking, or test out your balancing skills on a paddle board.

 

Little Corn Island

Daily Breakfast

Start each morning off with a breakfast that is included in your stay.

Lunch and dinner are served daily and are available for an additional cost. Menu offerings include fresh seafood, free range chicken and beef, organic fruits and vegetables from the Yemaya’s own garden with sauces and seasonings inspired by Little Corn Island and the culinary history of the region.

Ready to experience this boutique island hideaway trip? Click here for more information and to book your personalized Curated Journey to Little Corn Island.

 

THIRDHOME Curated Journeys are developed by our in-house travel division and are full-pay experiences. For more information, click here.

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Coast of the Carolinas

The Coast of the Carolinas: An Abundance of Year-Round Vacation Activities

If you only visit the coast of the Carolinas during the summer, you are missing out! Avoid the crowds enjoy the ample amount of the off-season activities you can do. Guest blogger and THIRDHOME member Lawrence Grossman highlights his trip to Bald Head Island, shares his photos of the area and provides activity guides for nearby coastal towns in this post.

Coast of the Carolinas

Bald Head Island, North Carolina

Lawrence Grossman says about his THIRDHOME trip: 

       No cars – no problem.  No bugs – I’ll take it.  No crowds – I love it!  It’s March on Bald Head Island and the living is easy.  The coast of the Carolinas are immensely popular during the summer months, but largely deserted from October through May leaving secluded beaches, an abundance of tee times and great dining options open to us lucky visitors who have learned to take advantage of the off-season amenities.  A week of touring the most northern of the lovely subtropical Carolina islands by golf cart and bicycle (no cars are allowed on the island) can relax even the most stressed out soul.  We left our bathing suits and shorts at home and replaced them with jeans and sweatshirts while we traversed every island road, detouring constantly to explore a new beach, wildlife area, or unique shop by the marina.

The evenings were laid back as our crew relaxed at our THIRDHOME haven, Port Off Call by catching up on missed movies and playing board games provided by the owners at their beautiful 5-bedroom home.  While our ocean vantage point was spectacular from our upstairs deck, at sunset we wandered down the hill to walk the beach and we were never disappointed. There are miles of beaches to walk, and we encountered far more birds than people. As the sun was setting and we passed our few fellow beach walkers, we smiled and did “the nod”, nonverbally saying “we’re lucky to have this gorgeous place to ourselves.”

The variety of activities available on the island year-round include tennis, golf, croquet, kayaking, climbing to the top of the iconic Old Baldy Lighthouse for a spectacular view of the island, hiking on one of the numerous nature trails or taking the Bald Head Historic Tour.

Historic Island factoids:

  1. Bald Head Island first appeared on maps in the 1500s.
  2. Bald Head was the home of a British fort and a hospital during the Revolutionary War.
  3. In the early 1900s, visitors came to the island to hunt wild pigs.

While the wild pigs have disappeared in the face of development, the dining options are abundant.  My personal favorite restaurant was “Mojo’s on the Harbor” featuring the best grouper sandwich and key lime pie north of the Florida Keys.  Mojo’s owner collects decorated dollar bills from diners that are then stapled to the bar and eventually donated to the Duke University Cancer Research Center.  Several dining options are open year-round on Bald Head from pizza at the casual Pelicatessen to a 4-course dinner at The Grille Terrace located at the Bald Head Island Club.  As a THIRDHOME guest, we received passes to the Bald Head Island Club allowing us to enjoy all the dining and recreational amenities during the week.  Who knew croquet could be this challenging?

The locals made us aware that off-season included a number of special events including the annual “Badwater Cape Fear Ultra Marathon”, the fall “Roast and Toast on the Coast” celebration featuring live music, craft beer and an abundance of southern food and the “Bluefish Bonanza” fishing tournament.  I know summer at Bald Head is probably a blast, but I guarantee an “off-season” vacation week will result in visitors returning home renewed and rejuvenated.   Visit the official Bald Head Island website at baldheadisland.com to help with vacation planning.

Coast of the Carolinas

 

What other areas does Lawrence suggest? Read below for destination and activity ideas. Start planning your trip to the coast of the Carolinas!

 

Coast of the Carolinas

North Carolina’s Outer Banks

Of all off-season destinations available on the coast of the Carolinas, none offers more diverse options than the “shoulder seasons” (any month except June, July and August) on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.   This is the ideal time to visit the 130-mile narrow stretch of barrier islands without the traffic, the heat and the lines. Listed below are can’t miss activity opportunities that are available year-round:

  1. Safari cruiser off-road adventures take you to the northern point of the Outer Banks to see the wild Spanish Mustang horses of Corolla.
  2. Climb Jockey’s Ridge sand dune, the tallest sand dune on the East Coast, for a great view of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Albemarle Sound to the west.
  3. The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills is the site of the first successful airplane flight in 1903. Learn their story and why they chose this site.
  4. Visit the village of Manteo, NC to explore the Elizabeth II replica ship and the beautiful Elizabethan Gardens.
  5. Take the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island and explore the Ocracoke Lighthouse and some of the Outer Banks best beaches.
  6. Dine in one of the many locally owned seafood restaurants featuring local fish dishes. My favorite is the Cayman Conch Fritters dish at Tortugas Lie Restaurant which is located at milepost 11.

Music lovers will enjoy a wide variety of genres and festivals in the off season from the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival to the Duck Jazz Festival and the annual Shallowbag Bay Shag Beach Music Festival.  For the more athletic visitors, off-season features the Ocracoke 5k/10k/1 Mile Family Run in April, The Outer Banks Triathlon in September and The Outer Banks Southern Fried Half Marathon in November.  Finally, beer and wine connoisseurs can participate in their favorite leisure pastime with the Duck & Wine Festival in April, the Outer Banks Brewtag in October or a visit to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for a wide variety of craft beers and a party on DJ Ninja 90’s Night. Go to outerbanks.org to plan your off-season getaway.

Want to view THIRDHOME properties in the Outer Banks? Some of the towns to search for include: Corolla, Waves, Rodanthe, and Duck.

 

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Everyone knows Hilton Head is a golfing and tennis playing mecca with fabulous beaches, but there is much more to do and experience in the “Low Country” during the off season.  For the active traveler, there are over 60 miles of bicycle paths winding around the island resulting in Hilton Head being rated a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the American League of Bicyclists.  Kayakers and hikers can enjoy Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge with 14 miles of trails to walk, bike or kayak. Nature lovers have an abundance of options from bird watching at the Audubon-Newhall Preserve to offshore Bottlenose Dolphin tours available through the Coastal Discovery Museum.

For those looking to relax and renew, Hilton Head features an abundance of day spas and wellness related destinations.  Hot stone massages, body wraps, facials, and medical spa services are all available to those seeking to be pampered and soothed. Le Spa of Sea Pines features Spring Time specials including “Girls Night Out” events for a special escape. After a day of exercise or being spoiled in the spa, over 250 restaurants await visitors to feast on a sumptuous Lowcountry dinner.  Gumbo, peel and eat shrimp, and shrimp and grits await lucky diners who take advantage of no lines at the most popular Hilton Head restaurants like the Crazy Crab located at the Harbor Town Marina.

Finally, the off-season months provide the perfect time to visit nearby Savannah, Georgia to take a walking tour of the historic downtown section or attend the fabulous Savannah Music Festival in the spring. Visit hiltonheadisland.org and savannah.com to plan a truly memorable off-season trip.

Click here to view THIRDHOME properties in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

 

Coast of the Carolinas

Isle of Palms, South Carolina 

For travelers looking for a blend of off season beachy relaxation with proximity to night life and historic sites, Isle of Palms may be the answer to your quest.  Located only 20 minutes from the bustle of downtown Charleston, Isle of Palms is a world apart with 7 miles of pristine beaches and two world-class golf courses. A relaxing week at Isle of Palms could consist of beachcombing, golf, sport fishing and an eco tour of the salt marshes and islands provided by Barrier Island Eco Tours.  The Eco Tour in spring, fall and winter travels up the Intracoastal waterway to Capers Island Preserve for a bonfire and oyster bake and an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife including bald eagles and bottlenose dolphins.

Of course, being so close to Charleston it’s difficult to imagine spending an entire week in the area without taking in the historic, architectural and cultural sites of Charleston.  A bonus of any Charleston excursion is the true southern hospitality visitors enjoy, especially when things slow down in the off season.  Charleston received recognition from both Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler as “America’s Most Friendly City” (2011, 2013 and 2014) and in 2016 was voted “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisure.  It is the oldest city in South Carolina, and for newcomers, the Historic Walking Tour or the Old South Carriage Historic Tour is a must to appreciate the role the City played in the history of America from the Revolutionary War to the present.

Finally, Charleston features a unique variety of great restaurants, music and cultural festivals and events throughout the year that can make any vacation memorable. Check out the Palmetto Brewery Loading Dock Music Series, The Low Country Blues Happy Hour with Shrimp City Slim, the Jazz Thursdays with Gino Castillo, The Hat Ladies Annual Easter Promenade, the weekly Shaggin’ on the Cooper and The Annual Chef’s Potluck.  Probably the most unique event is the annual Rundead 5K Run and Fall Festival, a “zombie race course” (don’t forget your camera for this one). Plan ahead and visit charlestoncvb.com for a listing of upcoming events.

Click here to THIRDHOME properties in Isle of Palms, South Carolina.

 

Coast of the Carolinas

 

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Member Spotlight: Ernie Jergins

Ernie truly understands the value of THIRDHOME. He said, “This is the best program out there! The experience is great with the professional staff, quality of luxury member homes and not having to do a direct exchange with another members home.” This Texas resident has his THIRDHOME in Mexico, his home country. Currently living in New Braunfels, Ernie loves to travel to new cities when he’s not working. Meet longtime THIRDHOME member Ernie Jergins!

thirdhome-member-Ernie-Jergins

 

How did you hear about THIRDHOME?

My second home is in San Miguel, Mexico and a lady friend of mine told me about THIRDHOME in San Miguel. Now I tell all my friends about THIRDHOME.  THIRDHOME is the real deal, it’s the best thing I have ever joined and you all run it perfect. This was a great vision on Wade’s (THIRDHOME Founder and CEO) part.

 

What are your travel hobbies?

Tennis and fine wines.

 

What do you do for a living?

I own Ernestos Jewelry, a fine jewelry store that has diamonds imported from Belgium. I also own and develop real estate shopping centers and mini-storage buildings.

 

What do you love about THIRDHOME?

I’m 56 and able to travel, do what I want, when I want and THIRDHOME has changed everything for me. Before I would look at nice hotels, now I look at beautiful homes for a fraction of the price. I love this deal and I hope to continue forever. I have prepared years in advance because I see the value in THIRDHOME.

 

Where do you plan to travel next with THIRDHOME?

I plan to go next to Cabo. I have traveled to Costa Rica and a few other places and it’s been great. I have several reservations pending with THIRDHOME.

 

Tell us about your second home with THIRDHOME!

My THIRDHOME is in San Miguel, Mexico. It comes with first-class furnishings, amenities and a staff complete with maids and cooks. I will make my home available again real soon. The last time I put up 6 weeks and they filled quickly so be ready. I’m very happy I’m in this club. Thank you THIRDHOME.

 

san-miguel-mexico-second-home

 

Photos from Ernie Jergins travels:

Ernie-Jergins-fishing Ernie-Jergins-drinking-out-of-coconut Ernie-Jergins-travel-photo Ernie-Jergins-travel  band-playing-in-mexico mexican-band Ernie-Jergins high-note-malbec-wine Ernie-Jergins-at-a-winery Ernie-Jergins-and-friends Ernie-Jergins-at-a-vineyard

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Iceland Trip

Member Monday: Trips to Iceland and Kenya

What are THIRDHOME members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Iceland and Kenya) this week?

 

Iceland Vacation

Modern Luxury and Northern Lights Home | Selfoss, Iceland

This well-appointed and spacious home boasts 5 bedrooms and breathtaking views. Located in South Iceland, it is the perfect home for exploring the Golden Circle tourist route. You can also be in Reykjavik in under an hour! Visit during the winter to have a chance at catching one of the world’s most unique and special views, the Northern Lights. With a large deck that is surrounded by undisturbed open space, this home is the perfect viewing platform to witness the lights dance across the sky.

THIRDHOME member Trina says: “The Northern Lights were even more beautiful than I imagined and brought tears to my eyes. This trip was one of my top 3 and that’s saying something because I travel a lot!” click here to read more of Trina’s review

 

Kenya Safari

Hippo Point | Naivasha, Kenya

Stay in this exclusive private wildlife conservancy and be astounded by the 1,200 resident animals that live on-site and roam the grounds. Not only is Hippo Point rated one of the top wildlife retreats in the world, it also has extremely unique accommodations. Dodo Tower is an eight-story building that was custom built by Dodo Cunningham-Reid, who uses it as a second home. This is one home exchange opportunity that you’ll never forget!

THIRDHOME member Lyndsay says: “What was amazing for us was the unique opportunity to walk amongst the game, and have giraffe, zebra, warthog and many antelope wander right past as we relaxed on a lounger under the soaring Acacia trees! At night the Hippos come out to graze right next to the tower. You can hear them munching away from your open door high up in the tower. Bernard, the game ranger/guide, in particular was amazing and our 6-year old son really connected with him. He spent many patient hours answering his endless questions and teaching him so many things about the animals and the bush that our son will never forget!” click here to read more of Lyndsay’s review

 

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.

 

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Member Spotlight: Paul and Karen Hannigan

This couple nails it in the travel department. They use THIRDHOME to travel over half of the year to homes all around the world. While in semi-retirement, this couple travels together and with their family to incredible THIRDHOME member properties in popular destinations. Paul and Karen Hannigan’s travels have included St. Maarten, Anguilla, California and France. Read below to learn about THIRDHOME members Paul and Karen Hannigan!

Paul and Karen Hannigan

 

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH  THIRDHOME?

We were approached by THIRDHOME early on about listing our home. At the time we did not dream we would use THIRDHOME to the extent we have. Now being retired we travel 50% of the year. Many locations are decided because of THIRDHOME properties and their availability.

 

WHERE ARE YOU BASED?

We are based on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. This is where we raised our family and it will always be home to us.

 

WHO DO YOU USUALLY TRAVEL WITH?

We travel often with family and friends or just the two of us. Several long trips we have had friends come and go for different parts of an extended trip. Being semi-retired, we can go off for multi month trips and then meet up with family for one part or friends for another. We tend to block together multiple locations when we travel with THIRDHOME. Last year we did 6 weeks roaming around France. Our largest group during that trip was when 10 of us stayed at the spectacular Chateau De Monferrier in the Dordogne and it ended with just the two of us on a private river barge on the River Seine.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
We own Seagull Realty on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. We also own and manage vacation homes again on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THIRDHOME?

We love the comfort and flexibility it gives us when traveling and the ability to commit our Vineyard Compound as a value to book other quality properties all over the world. We are not planned tour travelers. We like to plunk down in different locations and get out and explore on our own. Using THIRDHOME allows us to dive more into local culture and really get out and explore areas at our own pace or within our own very specific interests.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL HOBBIES?

Some of our favorite activities while traveling include photography and crossing museums off of our list, where we have the opportunity to view famous pieces of art. We also enjoy finding local music, cooking classes, wine tours, searching out places that are unique or not on your classic tourist list.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CITY YOU’VE TRAVELED TO WITH THIRDHOME AND WHAT DID YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?

We have booked over 35 THIRDHOME vacations. Too many amazing trips to choose just one. Different time of the year we do different types of vacations. Winter when it is cold and gray in New England we tend to head to warm and sunny places. Our favorite Carribbean location is Frangipani on Anguilla. Another favorite is the island of Kauai up on the Napali Coast.
In Europe we have loved Sunday House in Cornwall and Fox End in The Cotswolds. France has given us several different Apartments in Paris: Rue de Seine, Passy – Trocadero and Saxe Breteuil, and amazing homes in the country – Chateau de Monferrier, which was outstanding and the perched village in Venasque, which was beyond charming.

 

WHAT’S THE NEXT DESTINATION YOU ARE EYEING WITH THIRDHOME?

We have a multi THIRDHOME booking coming up in September starting at Villa Boomerang on Lake Orta, in Italy, then making our way over to Cinque Terre. Followed by Tuscany for two weeks then hopping over to Northern Croatia to THIRDHOME Villa Tramontana. Then off to the Island of Brac to Villa Rosemarine, then down to Dubrovnik, followed by Montenegro and ending in Rome, where we still hope to secure a THIRDHOME exchange. We often stay in B&B’s in between THIRDHOME bookings as we connect the dots from location to location.

 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR THIRDHOME?

Martha’s Vineyard is the center of my being.  It is home in every way.  Our house was designed to be where all our grown children and their children come to catch up, rejuvenate and make memories.  Our compound allows lots of little one full of wild ruckus and perfect for summer days playing outside in open fields or building forts and fairy gardens in the perennial beds.  It was designed to be a base for what we call Cousins Week.  It has lots of nooks and crannies inside and out so when every bed in the house is full you never feel crowded or lack a quiet corner to just sit and read a book.  Our home reflects years of celebrating with friends and family.


ANY PERSONAL OR FAMILY ACHIEVEMENTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

Our proudest and best achievement has been raising our three children to adulthood and now being grandparents to 8 grandchildren ages 1-16. Showing them the world and exposing them to different cultures has been a great gift for all of us.

Thank you THIRDHOME for opening so many wonderful doors for us!

 

Photos from Paul and Karen Hannigan’s travels: 

ojai-dancing-shadow-photothirdhome-vacation-homePaul and Karen Hanniganthirdhome-members-cooking-classthirdhome-incredible-vacation-homestmartin-thirdhomePaul and Karen HanniganPaul and Karen Hannigan

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Cape Cod Family Vacation

The Top 5 Family Vacation Destinations

Planning a family escape that will entice toddlers as much teenagers and enable you to kick back and relax sounds like a daunting task. But traveling to family-friendly destinations is easy with the large selection of breathtaking THIRDHOME member homes that are complete with fun amenities. Family vacations always create lifelong memories, but to ensure that every member of the family is satisfied, it’s important to pick the perfect location. Choosing the right place to visit with the little ones can make the difference between enjoying your time away as a family or needing another vacation when you return home. These 5 vacation destinations are highly praised for featuring top-rated guided tours and unforgettable beaches. They are built for all ages and interests, whether you put a premium on activities, culture, or wildlife. These are locations sure to make the whole family happy. So get ready for the best family vacation!

Oahu-second-home

OAHU, HI
This Hawaiian island is a standout star in terms of family activities. Oahu is both fun and educational, with museums, historic sites and beaches. Head to Waikiki Beach for a swim or venture to the Waikiki Aquarium. As if that wasn’t already enough, don’t forget about the stunning coastline of endless ocean views ready for family-friendly fun!

florida-kid-friend-vacation-home

ORLANDO, FL
With spring fast approaching and spring break trips occurring this month, now is the perfect time to snag your admission tickets to Walt Disney World. With so many Disney vacation packages and options available, there’s always a new family experience to discover in Orlando. Orlando also offers world-class entertainment, golf courses and shopping.

Tip: Reunion, Florida is close to Orlando and has great homes for a trip to Disney or Universal.

costa-rica-second-home

COSTA RICA
Just about every adventurous activity imaginable can be found in Costa Rica. From zip-lining, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing, this place has it all. Plus, there is the opportunity to see exotic wildlife like monkeys, sloths and unique bird species. Other activities to put on your family vacation to-do list? Try gliding 3,200 feet above the rain forest in the Sky Tram or attempt to conquer a three-hour walk across bridges that hang high in the canopies.

cape-cod-family-vacation

CAPE COD, MA
Families can have a full day of activities on the Cape and islands, beginning with the beach, mini-golf and bike rides, and ending with a movie and popcorn at one of the nation’s only remaining drive-in theaters. There are surf and stand-up paddle lessons, tidal pool hikes, boat cruises for kids and more!  Cape Cod has everything from fishing excursions to pirate boats where children can pull up their own loot. Top that off with a visit to the children’s museum, and it is easy to see why kids of all ages love Cape Cod!

san-diego-family-vacation

SAN DIEGO, CA
San Diego has emerged as one of the premier family vacation destinations in the country. The 1,200-acre Balboa Park which is home to the famous San Diego Zoo, is a great place to let kids burn off energy. Not to mention walks along the Mission Beach Boardwalk, the Gaslamp District for shopping and dining and its beaches are some of the top ranked in America.

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Lake Austin Luxury Home

Member Monday: Trips to Austin and Destin

What are THIRDHOME members saying about their luxury house swap trips (to Austin and Destin) this week?

 

Lake Austin Home

Waterstone on Lake Austin | Austin, Texas

This stunning home has 5 bedrooms and is located in a quiet neighborhood only 20 minutes from downtown Austin. Directly on Lake Austin, the yard not only has amazing views but is amenity-packed with a pool, lounge furniture and fire pit. While this home is a relaxing retreat, you’ll still have the excitement of being close to city life! Go eat barbecue, shop at a boot store, enjoy a wine tasting, explore the Austin Museum of Art or listen to live music at numerous venues.

THIRDHOME member Margaret says: “We had a large group of family and friends come together for a relaxing week, and there was plenty of room for all. The owner even had a crib brought in for our grandson. The house was so well appointed and thought out. There were espresso machines in the masters suites, luxurious bedding, and amazing views.” click here to read more of Margaret’s review

 

Destin Vacation Home

Paradise in Destin | Miramar Beach, Florida

This beautiful home is only one block from a private beach entry and is perfect for a relaxing beach vacation. With enough room to comfortably sleep 14 people, the whole family can enjoy a week in the sun. This home also has a private pool, a media room with video games, and plenty of porch and patio furniture for relaxing outside.

THIRDHOME member Michael says: “This house is AMAZING in every way. It is warm, spacious, beautifully decorated, close to amenities, a hop and a skip to the beach and everything you would ever want in a vacation home!” click here to read more of Michael’s review

 

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.

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Luxury Caribbean Vacations

Luxury Caribbean Vacations: The Ultimate Island Guide

Do you have a luxury Caribbean vacation on the mind but aren’t sure what island to choose for your next trip? Find inspiration below with recommendations on what to do on each Caribbean island and where to stay. All of the gorgeous properties below are part of THIRDHOME, the world’s most luxurious home exchange. Read below to find out what island is most your style, and get ready to start packing your swimsuit and sunglasses!

Luxury Caribbean vacations are available for the taking! Plan your trip today.

 Luxury Caribbean Vacations Anguilla

Anguilla

What to do: You’ll want to walk along the brilliant white-sand beach at Shoal Bay East and grab a cocktail at one of the laid-back bars that are scattered along the beach. If scuba diving is of interest to you, Prickly Pear Cays has an underwater cavern where you can dive by sunken shipwrecks.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Anguilla.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda

What to do: Antigua is known for its picture-perfect beaches. Visit Half Moon Bay beach and bodysurf or snorkel. If you are a history enthusiast, Nelson’s Dockyard National Park was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 and was once the Caribbean base of the British Royal Navy.

Where to stay: Reserve this spectacular 6-bedroom home with expansive ocean views or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Antigua and Barbuda.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Aruba

Aruba

What to do: Snorkel to view the USS Antilla shipwreck that has turned into an artificial reef, which means it is covered in bright coral and sea life. If you are feeling adventurous, take a hike through Arikok National Wildlife Park to a natural pool that is protected by limestone to break the waves of the ocean.

Where to stay: Stay in a tropical villa nestled on 3 private acres or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Aruba.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Bahamas

Bahamas

What to do: If you are taking a family trip, visit Aquaventure Waterpark on Paradise Island and spend all day playing in the 141-acre waterpark. If you are looking for a more adult-oriented activity, go to Arawak Cay (in Nassau) over the weekends when they hold a big fish fry party complete with food, daiquiri bars and reggae music.

Where to stay: Enjoy a luxurious week at The Reef Atlantis or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in the Bahamas.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Barbados

Barbados

What to do: For a leisurely stroll with beautiful views, walk along the boardwalk at Rockley Beach. Or, visit Paynes Bay Beach for particularly calm waters that are great for swimming.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Barbados.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

What to do: Two million tourists visit the Cayman Islands each year, making it an extremely popular spot for luxury Caribbean vacations. While visiting, make sure to take an afternoon to go to Starfish Point, where the calm waters protect thousands of starfish. You can easily spot them, so no snorkel gear is needed.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in the Cayman Islands.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

What to do: Take a day trip to Peninsula de Samana for ample whale watching opportunities. For a slow-paced activity, relax on Playa Rincon, which is a gorgeous beach that has a thick palm forest on one side and the ocean on the other.

Where to stay: Spend a week in a beautiful 4-bedroom oceanfront villa or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in the Dominican Republic.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe

What to do: Guadeloupe is an archipelago of islands that all boast incredible natural beauty. You can visit dark-sand beaches on Place de Malendure or visit the traditional fishing village of Deshaies.

Where to stay: Vacation on a luxury yacht through THIRDHOME‘s Affiliation with TradeWinds.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Jamaica

Jamaica

What to do: Hike up to Blue Mountain Peak just before sunrise for a view that will stick in your memory forever. Or, visit Kingston for a plate of jerk chicken and a nightlife scene full of unique culture. You can take multiple luxury Caribbean vacations here and still not get bored.

Where to stay: Enjoy complete privacy while staying in an estate home on 55 acres of lush property or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Jamaica.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

What to do: Take a walk down the vibrant and colorful streets of San Juan, which is the second-oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas. For a day at the beach, you can’t go wrong visiting Playa Flamenco, which stretches for a mile around a horseshoe-shaped bay.

Where to stay: Reserve a week at a resort property that directly overlooks a spectacular golf course or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Puerto Rico.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations St. John

St. John

What to do: Two-thirds of St. John is a protected national park, which makes this calm island a beautiful retreat for those who love nature. Snorkel with sea turtles at Caneel Bay, which is within Virgin Islands National Park.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in St. John.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations St. Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis

What to do: This two-island nation is perfect for a low-key vacation. Spend a day wandering through the Botanical Gardens of Nevis to see orchids, palms, water lily ponds, bamboo groves and more.

Where to stay: Resort-style living is waiting for you at this beach club or you can click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in St. Kitts and Nevis.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations St. Lucia

St. Lucia

What to do: The twin peaks of the Pitons make for perfect views, but a very challenging hike. If you are up for the challenge, you will be rewarded with expansive views of the island and ocean. For a more relaxing activity, visit the most famous beach on the island, Sugar Beach. It is situated between the two Pitons, which create unique views and an interesting beach experience. Many travelers take luxury Caribbean vacations to St. Lucia for its combination of rugged landscape and beautiful beaches.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in St. Lucia.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations St. Maarten

St. Maarten

What to do: There is plenty to do in the Dutch side of this island, and Maho Beach is definitely a must-see experience. Maho Beach is famous for being adjacent to Princess Juliana International Airport, which means planes fly incredibly close to the beach as they are landing.

Where to stay: Stay in a condo that has beachfront access only steps away or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in St. Maarten.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations St. Thomas

St. Thomas

What to do: St. Thomas is one of the most popular destinations for luxury Caribbean vacations, with visitors returning multiple times.  You won’t want to miss climbing up Blackbeard’s Castle, which was built in 1678, for harbor views. For a great beach experience, visit Magens Bay, which is packed with convenient amenities and has kayak rentals.

Where to stay: Bask in the sun at the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club or click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in St. Thomas.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations St. Vincent

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

What to do: This chain of islands is in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, and is ideal for those who want to avoid crowds while vacationing. For a relaxed beach experience, visit Saltwhistle Bay where there is a collection of beautiful beaches with a low-key vibe.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

What to do: Visiting Trinidad and Tobago offers a very unique island experience. Visit the Port of Spain which has authentic restaurants, local markets and a multitude of bars and clubs. For an interesting daytime activity, book a cocoa-cultivation tour in Brasso Seco.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Luxury Caribbean Vacations Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

What to do: Anyone who has taken a lot of luxury Caribbean vacations has most likely visited Turks and Caicos. These tropical isles are a piece of paradise and the crown-jewel beach to visit during your trip is Grace Bay Beach.

Where to stay: Click here to view all THIRDHOME properties in Turks and Caicos.

 

After seeing this list, how many luxury Caribbean vacations are you going to reserve this year with your THIRDHOME membership? When reserving your week in the Caribbean, keep in mind that our in-house concierge can help you Enhance Your Stay with arranging the activities we have mentioned in this article and more! 

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