As temperatures rise, so does wanderlust. Join us as we explore the top European destinations that travelers are heading to this summer.

Many find summertime synonymous with vacation, perhaps in part because of the idyllic weather or more time off from work. Now, with a reopening world, and the official start of summer approaching June 21, more people are itching to travel than ever before. In a recent article penned for Fortune, the President of American Express Travel reveals an exciting increase in foreign travel this summer, particularly to some of Europe’s greatest cities.

Let’s take a closer peek into the top four international destinations worthy of making your summer vacation roster.

London, England

Thinking of venturing across the pond? Now’s a great time to do so! Fortunately, London has a mild climate year-round, which translates to comfortable summertime temperatures resting in the mid-70s (°F). What’s more, you’ll enjoy longer daylight hours, making it easier to check off all the can’t-miss attractions on your itinerary. This may include Buckingham Palace, which is only open to the public from July to September. Better yet, if your next exciting home swap lands you in London between late June and early July, you might just find yourself in the stands at Wimbledon!

Paris, France

“Summer loving had me a blast…” — The lyrics don’t lie; it just so happens the best time to visit the most romantic city in the world is from June to August. Long days of sunshine averaging in the high 70s (°F) will grace you as you wander the streets in search of authentic Parisian cuisine and exciting activities. You can enjoy the summer’s many open-air events, such as the Paris Street Music Festival (Fete de la Musique) in June or the three-day Rock En Seine Festival in August.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece’s capital city, is a wonderful year-round destination. While the summer heats up quickly, reaching the low 90s (°F), there are plenty of ways to stay cool during your travels. An easy trick? Include museums and cultural centers with air conditioning in your itinerary. You can see some of Athen’s best attractions like the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Archaeological Museum without breaking a sweat. Another tip is to embrace nightlife. Many bars, clubs, and cafés in Athens boast open-air features, including courtyards and rooftops, so as the temperatures fall with the setting sun, have yourselves a fantastic night out!

Rome, Italy

There’s no denying that summertime is peak season in Rome. The warm, mid-upper 80s (°F) weather and exciting annual events, like Vinòforum and Lungo il Tevere, draw visitors from across the globe. As such, hotels can become costly, which is another great reason to try a house exchange for your summer vacation. Don’t just take our word for it; see what our members are saying:

“Absolute Perfection.”

This is by far the best property we have had the pleasure of booking. Everything about this apartment is perfect – the location, the spaciousness, the amenities, the thoughtfulness of the owners – welcome wine, charcuterie, breads, waters. We have been to Rome many times but this was one of the best visits we’ve ever made to the Eternal City. We ate at many of our favorites and David’s suggestions are spot on – Armando’s, Nino, Emma, Ditrirambo, La Pergola, Taverna Angelica, and Life. We took the Scavi tour, visited many of the smaller churches we hadn’t had an opportunity to see, walked this beautiful city, and attended the Opera, We even experienced a Roman snowfall which is a true rarity. We look forward to returning to this beautiful apartment in the not too distant future.”

– Emma L., Member since 2020

“Great location and beautiful apartment!

We stayed during the month of July 2021. From the time we reserved this beautiful apartment, the host was very helpful providing useful information, sharing the websites, and made sure that our stay would be comfortable. The manager was very helpful upon arrival and during the stay, made sure that all was in place to make sure we enjoyed the stay. We felt very well taken care of and made us feel very special. Location of the apartment was closed to every places where we wanted to visit. We usually stay at St. Regis for our short stay in Rome, but this apartment location made our stay in Rome for a week especially very enjoyable. Apartment was very specious, clean and comfortable with updated modern interior. Nothing like staying at the hotel. We would love to return to this property again. Thank you for letting us book and stay at your beautiful property.”

– Mark U., Member since 2019

Ready to plan your ultimate summer vacation? Click here to learn more about traveling to Europe this summer with ThirdHome.

If you’ve booked or are thinking about booking a trip to The United Kingdom, this guide is for you. ThirdHome‘s Travel Concierge, Liz Bates, has collected The U.K.’s best local experiences, and is now sharing her insider knowledge with you!

DON’T JUST BE A TOURIST. LIVE LIKE A LOCAL, IN LONDON, WALES AND SCOTLAND, BY ADDING-ON ONE OF THESE PRIVATE OR SMALL GROUP EXPERIENCES!

London

Discover a bustling metropolis of art, history and culture in London. With much more to see than can be fit into a week-long stay, consider adding on a Live Like a Local experience to cover the essentials.

London

Evening Thames River Dinner Cruise – $179 per person 

Enjoy a sumptuous dinner cruising past Big Ben, the London Eye, and more.

London

Rail it to Liverpool & Beatles Magical Tour – $259 per person

Included roundtrip rail tickets, Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, and entry to The Beatles Story.

london

Buckingham Palace – $129 per person

A panoramic tour of royal sites in central London followed by an audio tour of the staterooms, ballroom, and throne room in Buckingham Palace.


London Wales

Stunning coasts and castles await in ancient Wales. Uncover mythical landscapes, historic landmarks and seaside charm in the Celtic land of Wales.

london brecon beacons

Private Brecon Beacons & Historic Sites – $429 per person

Find otherworldly views from mountains that tower over tiny hamlets boasting historic churches.

London Pembrokeshire coast

Private Pembrokeshire Coast – $429 per person

Visit Dylan Thomas’ home, Laugharne Castle, beautiful beaches, and more in this stunning coastal area.


Edinburgh london

Visit Edinburgh, the capital and cultural center of Scotland. It’s medieval architecture, craggy coast and exciting nightlife will have you longing for more time in this vibrant city.

london edinburgh

Old & New Town Tasting Walking Tour – $125 per person 

Enjoy good food, drink and company while learning the rich history of Edinburgh. Old & New Town are both listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

London Edinburgh

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle w/Afternoon Tea – $69 per person

Visit this hilltop fortress, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels. After a self-guided tour, enjoy traditional afternoon tea with scones and sandwiches at the castle’s elegant tea room.


London Scotland

Beyond the marvels of Edinburgh lies an entire country filled with historic and cultural gems. From Loch Ness to the Isle of Sky, there’s no shortage of bucket list sites to see in Scotland.

Scotland london

Eileen Donan Castle & Isle of Skye – $125 per person

Behold some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery- Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle, Isle of Skye, and Black Isle.

London Scotch distillery

Discover Malt Whisky Highlands Tour – $69 per person 

Experience single malt Scotch whisky at two fascinating distilleries on the edge of the Highlands on this full-day tour.

Alnwick London Scotland

Melrose Abbey & Alnwick Castle – $75 per person 

Rolling hills, beautiful ruins, and a fascinating castle used as filming locations for Harry Potter and Downtown Abbey.

London

NO Keys are required to book these excursions and guided activities, however, a Personal Concierge assistance fee of $200 will be required upfront and does not include the actual tours and experiences you opt to add-on. If you would like to include a local excursion, please contact ThirdHome‘s Travel & Concierge, Liz Bates.

Click here to see the Live Like a Local directory.

What are ThirdHome members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Rome and London Fashion Week) this week?

Rome

Spanish Steps Via Della Mercede | Rome, Italy

Looking for style and accessibility? Try booking a stay at this property on Rome’s Spanish Steps. You’ll be within walking distance of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and many other popular attractions. Discover the ancient history of Rome all from the not-so-ancient comforts of a modern and well-appointed 2-bedroom residence.

ThirdHome member Emma says, “This is by far the best property we have had the pleasure of booking. Everything about this apartment is perfect – the location, the spaciousness, the amenities, the thoughtfulness of the owners – welcome wine, charcuterie, bread and water. We have been to Rome many times but this was one of the best visits we’ve ever made to the Eternal City…” click here to read more of Emma’s review

Rome London

Designer Townhouse, London Fashion Week | London, U.K.

Imagine being smack dab in the middle of trendy Islington during London Fashion Week 2018. This was the case for ThirdHome member Abdallah when he and his wife booked an Exclusive Stay Experience in London in February. This exciting week was filled with non-stop catwalks, VIP events and the latest trends in haute-couture. Complementing this flurry of fashion was one of London’s most fashionable townhomes, which sleeps up to 7 people. A sleek interior, outdoor living space and clean modern lines throughout make this home the obvious choice for a London stay, fashion week or not.

ThirdHome member Abdallah says, “My wife and I had truly a remarkable week at this wonderful London house, everything was well prepared and organized for our arrival, the housekeeping we requested kept the house impeccably serviced on a daily basis, we left as if we were in a luxury 5-star hotel!!!” click here to read more of Abdallah’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.

WHAT ARE THIRDHOME MEMBERS SAYING ABOUT THEIR LUXURY HOME EXCHANGE TRIPS (TO LONDON AND THE ITALIAN ALPS) THIS WEEK?

Italian Alps

The Garden View Flat | London, U.K.

Located in Knightsbridge, one of London’s most affluent neighborhoods, The Garden View Flat is a stylish and well-appointed West London home. With room to sleep up to 4 people, this residence is the perfect jumping-off point for a London escape. Just minutes from Hyde Park, Harrods and the Royal Albert Hall you won’t find a property more conveniently located than this (unless you’ve found a stay in Buckingham Palace).

ThirdHome member Alex says, “This serene, sublime penthouse represents the best of the ThirdHome experience. The flat is a calm, light-filled, [and is] overlooking a classic, block-long London garden. The floor-to-ceiling window wall in the living room offers a spectacular view – on New Year’s Eve I was able to watch a rousing display of fireworks all along the Thames.” click here to read more of Alex’s review

Italian Alps

Chalet Piccolo Sogno | Breuil-Cervinia, Italian Alps

Escape to Italy’s scenic Aosta Valley with Chalet Picco Sogno (Little Dream Chalet in English). Under the shadow of the Matterhorn and near the border to Zermatt, Switzerland, this property is located in prime Italian Alps ski territory. With a warmly appointed interior and space to sleep up to 8 people, this cozy mountain chalet is the ideal escape for a small ski group. Due to the height of the region, you’ll find that ski season lasts slightly longer, generally from November to April.

ThirdHome member Chantelle says, “We had an awesome stay at Piccolo Sogno. My two boys, my wife and I stayed for a week and thoroughly enjoyed everything…The skiing was incredible…I definitely recommend this chalet if you have the chance to stay. ” click here to read more of Chantelle’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.

Amex Travel’s Trend forecast for 2018 has some classics and some newcomers in the realm of international travel; Bali, Costa Rica, Dubai and Vietnam to name a few. But how do the industry-wide trends line up with ThirdHome users in 2018? It’s looking to be a strong year for cultural immersion trips paired with luxury experiences.

Several of these destinations come as no surprise. Costa Rican properties have been increasingly popular in the club as have Bali homes. The “United States Hot Spots” are longtime favorites of ThirdHome members. But what sticks out within ThirdHome’s membership for 2018?

Of our member bookings for 2018, here are ThirdHome’s Top 10 Destinations of 2018:

10. “United States Hot Spots”: Florida, California, Aspen, Park City, Vail, Truckee, San FranciscoTop 10 destinations 2018

It’s not difficult to guess why over 16% of 2018 bookings end up concentrating near the Rockies and West Coast. World-class ski resorts and mountain homes with stunning views are the main attractions. But year-round outdoor recreation opportunities make Western U.S. Hot Spot cities even more attractive for active travelers. Southeast bookings have unsurprisingly been dominated by Florida stays around the Gulf. These U.S. destinations are definitely worth a Saved Search, given how quickly and often they’re booked. If being more outdoorsy was one of your resolutions for the New Year, consider making a trip out West.

Click here to see available properties in the United States.


9. Mexico: Cabo San Lucas

Top 10 destinations of 2018

Great weather, beautiful beaches and amazing golf. Mexico, particularly the Baja del Sur region, seems to have it all. With all the Affiliate resort properties available, making a trip to Mexico is just so easy. And even if you aren’t looking for a coastal resort town there are so many cultural experiences to be had in cities like San Miguel de Allende. Taking an estimated 11% of 2018 bookings, Mexico is very popular with many ThirdHome users.

Click here to see available properties in Mexico.


8. France: Paris, French Alps and Provence

Top 10 destinations 2018

Who doesn’t dream of flying away to Paris for a week of relaxation and cultural immersion? Centrally located Parisian properties have always been popular for club members, but a few new French destinations are gaining popularity. The French Alps are drawing more adventurous skiers this year. Also, more members are exploring Provence and other pastoral Southern regions. Yes, landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport and not leaving Paris makes for a wonderful trip, but don’t be afraid to explore new areas of the French countryside, mountains and coast in 2018.

Click here to see available properties in France.


7. Costa Rica: Playa Flamingo and Manuel Antonio

Top 10 destinations 2018

Costa Rica has emerged as a must-go eco-travel destination over the last few years. With an abundance of luxurious villas available in gorgeous areas like Playa Flamingo and the Manuel Antonio Rainforest, it would be criminal not to make a quick stop in Costa Rica in 2018. Most destinations are easily accessible, usually only requiring one transfer flight when flying from the United States.

Click here to see available properties in Costa Rica.


6. The United Kingdom: London

Top 10 Destinations 2018

Similar to Paris, a trip to London is an easy European adventure. The city is filled with endless activities and experiences, making the city one of our top destinations of 2018. But more members are also venturing out to different U.K. locales. Naturally, more golf enthusiasts have been booking properties in Scotland while others are venturing to smaller towns, such as Cornwall.

Click here to see available properties in The United Kingdom.


5. Italy: Rome and Venice

Top 10 destinations 2018

Holidays in Rome and Venice have remained fairly popular in the club. Historic properties with central access to attractions have kept bookings up in Italy for 2018. A wide range of rural Tuscan properties have also been popular. Smaller coastal cities like Trieste are making for a slightly different Italian experience, more akin to a Croatian holiday. The Italian Alps are also drawing more and more skiers into cozy mountainside chalets. Be sure to explore Italy’s diverse range of destinations this year.

Click here to see available properties in Italy.


4. Canada: Mont-Tremblant

Top 10 destinations 2018

2017 was a big year for Canadian travel and 2018 will probably see even more bookings in the great North. With urban centers like Quebec and Toronto anchoring huge swaths of national parkland, Canada has the best of city living and natural wonder. Not to mention some of the world’s best skiing at Mont-Tremblant and Whistler. Cozying up by the fire in a timber ski chalet alongside Lac Tremblant is something everyone should experience.

Click here to see available properties in Canada.


3. South Africa: Cape Town and Plettenberg

Top 10 destinations 2018

With a diversity of landscapes only paralleled by New Zealand, South Africa is a one-stop shop for coastal wonder, safari adventure and serene wine country. ThirdHome members are mostly booking stays along the coastline in places like Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay. In a country like South Africa, it’s easy to stay on the coast and make day trips to the Franschhoek Winelands or the safari lands alongside the Zimbabwe and Mozambique borders. Or, just play with the penguins at Table Mountain National Park in Boulders Beach. South Africa is filled with out-of-this-world experiences.

Click here to see available properties in South Africa.


2. Spain: Marbella

top 10 destinations 2018

Surprisingly, large urban centers like Madrid and Barcelona aren’t topping ThirdHome’s charts. Spain’s booking numbers are led largely by Marbella properties and other Costa del Sol homes. The Andalusia region’s rich history, Moorish influence and warm weather make Costa del Sol a prime location for a summer vacation with cultural immersion built-in. The luxurious private property selection in Costa del Sol is an attraction in itself. Some of these villas are to die for. If you haven’t already explored the land of Don Quixote, do yourself a favor in 2018 and book an Andalusian property.

Click here to see available properties in Spain.


1. The U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas

Top 10 destinations 2018

Demand for the U.S. Virgin Islands was hardly diminished despite Hurricane Irma. Private homes and resort properties, mostly The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club St. Thomas, have seen healthy bookings for 2018. Luckily, the Virgin Islands have rebounded from Hurricane season and have been tourist operational since this past November. St. Thomas has always been a ThirdHome favorite and will most-likely make the Top 10 list for years to come.

Click here to see available properties in The U.S. Virgin Islands.


ThirdHome’s Top 10 Destinations 2018

2018 should be a fresh year of discovery for members. So, we recommend trying something new. Whether it’s ecological exploration, cultural discovery or new outdoor recreation experiences, make 2018 a year to remember.

Now that you’ve seen what fellow club members are booking for 2018, where will you go? Click here to browse through all available properties. Remember, you must be logged in to see availability. 

EOY ThirdHome Booking data 2017: Top 10 Destinations 2018 accounts for 45% of 2018 bookings.

Hey London…

I like you. I really do.

My London visit and all the things to do in London were an unexpected surprise. After all, I’ve been here before and thought I wouldn’t really be phased by you.

But during my week-long visit to London which led me to deeper corners of this city that I previously hadn’t seen, I discovered there’s more to London then just a big old city.

Visit London

A visit to London will consist of exploring the breathtaking architecture and landmarks, shopping, great live entertainment and fine dining.

On every corner within the city, there was an opportunity to try succulent cuisines from around the world, and follow that up with an award-winning play at the local theatre. And luckily I had the chance to see one of the comedy shows which sent me into hysterics. This one was called ‘The Play that Goes Wrong,’ which I highly recommend.

Visit London Big Ben

There are major landmarks which you must explore, like Big Ben, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern Museum, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square.

Don’t get overwhelmed by this list. These points of interest are close together and seeing them isn’t going to take up your entire holiday.

Visit London

I also loved wandering through the Borough Markets. A sea of fresh foods from around the world and locally prepared meals and brewed alcohol stalls which will do wonders to your palette.

Visit London

Furthermore, London, I would like to pride you on your people. Well-mannered, well-versed and full of life. My kind of people.

When I travel, it’s mostly people that I love meeting. All the untold stories that I desperately want to hear.

And London, you delivered. I stumbled upon incredible people, from my kind Uber drivers, to the memorable mind-provoking conversations with strangers that are now friends.

If you would truly love to experience what London has on offer, you must include a London makeover in your visit. I had the pleasure of working with a local stylist and also getting a new hair-do from Kim Lomax at the ‘Best Voted in London’ award winning The Chapel Place in Islington.

Visit London

It’s the perfect start to my Best Job On The Planet adventure. Looking fine and feeling fine.

I will miss you London. You left an impression on me.

So much so, that I wouldn’t be opposed to calling you home one day.

-Sorelle Amore

(PS. I’m slightly worried that every place I visit, I’ll want to call home.)

Visit London

ThirdHome members, ready to pack your bags and visit London? Click here to browse through properties in London.

Sorelle Amore won ThirdHome‘s “Best Job On The Planet,” which garnered more than 17,000 applications from around the world. In her position as a Luxury Travel Connoisseur for ThirdHome, she is traveling the world, staying in 12 luxury homes.

ThirdHome is the exclusive luxury property and travel club that enables second home owners to exchange time in their home for stays in spectacular destinations around the world. Click here for more information on how to become a member.

Islington London

Within the center of London lies the small suburb of Islington where your ThirdHome London accommodation is located. The charming white four-story townhouses with colorfully painted doors and black picket fences are home to some of the elites of town. Tony Blair would be the most familiar name, but many Prime Ministers, Secretaries of State and various other politicians live here.

London Accommodation

Islington is a vibrant, hip and trendy part of London. On Upper Street and surrounding streets, you’ll find theatres, pubs and many fashionable shops, as well as restaurants and cafes that will satisfy the palette.

Cuisines such as Mediterranean, French, Italian, Japanese, Indian and English are just some of your choices. For breakfast, the range is just as impressive, including local juice bars ready to create a healthy concoction to get your day started right.

Islington London

Your beautiful London accommodation located in Islington is also known for being located by award-winning hair and beauty salons.

The best-voted hairdresser in London, The Chapel Place, lies just minutes from the ThirdHome London property.

Make sure you stop in with the hair artist Kim for an ultimate London makeover experience.

London Accommodation

Within the comforts of your ThirdHome London accommodation, you’ll find immediate comfort in the cozy, modern four-story townhouse.

London Accommodation

The décor is dramatic. Beautiful dark decor is mixed with mood lighting throughout the three-bedroom home. A secluded courtyard at the back of the house is where you can sip on wine and bask in the warm summer sun.

London Accommodation

The famous city attractions of London are just minutes away from your doorstep. Hop in the underground tube for an efficient and adventurous way to get around, or catch the local black taxis or Ubers, which are plentiful.

St Katherine’s Dock is a must-visit location for breakfast. This prestigious and quiet area of town has cafes lined all around the docks with yachts from around the world residing there. Enjoy the silence as you indulge in a healthy, nutritious breakfast prior to your full days exploring.

London Bridge

Right around the corner you’ll find the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge and within a brisk walk, you’ll come across the acclaimed Borough Markets filled with stalls of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and cured meat displays, local brewery beer and spirit stalls, and of course endless food stalls for you to feast on.

A visit to London isn’t complete without a visit to the Tate Modern Museum, just a stone throw away from the Borough Markets. Enjoy a glass of wine of cup of coffee on the 6th floor of the museum, with views overlooking St Paul’s cathedral below.

Finish off the night by attending a local play from the hundreds of available shows in downtown London. There’s something for everyone. Comedy, drama, love stories and more. This is something you must see before leaving London.

Of course during your visit, do see Buckingham palace and the acclaimed guard charge at 11am sharp during summer and select days during winter (check the schedule prior).

A full structured ceremony was witnessed by hundreds of other keen onlookers. The Queen of England surely knows how to wow her house visitors!

Knowing that English ladies and gentlemen are tea experts, it’s highly recommend you spend the afternoon relaxing over high tea. Browns Hotel in the Mayfair District is the best high tea experience you will get in London, and it’s perfectly situated just minutes away from Old Bond Street – the designer shopping street of London.

If your senses still allow, do stop by Gordon’s Wine Bar on your way back home. It is the oldest wine bar in all of the U.K., and the underground cave that the bar is nestled into will surely leave you dazzled.

Gordon's Wine Bar

Whatever your hearts desire, London has it. It’s a town that must make its way up high on your travel bucket list.

-Sorelle Amore

ThirdHome members, ready to pack your bags and visit London? Click here to browse through properties in London.

Sorelle Amore won ThirdHome‘s “Best Job On The Planet,” which garnered more than 17,000 applications from around the world. In her position as a Luxury Travel Connoisseur for ThirdHome, she is traveling the world, staying in 12 luxury homes.

ThirdHome is the exclusive luxury property and travel club that enables second home owners to exchange time in their home for stays in spectacular destinations around the world. Click here for more information on how to become a member.

Sorelle Amore, ThirdHome’s Best Job On The Planet winner, explores London and shows off some of the best activities and attractions to put on your list for a London trip.

Members, want to visit London? Click here to browse ThirdHome properties in London.

Click here to learn more about our luxury travel club.

Want to see the inside of a designer home in London? In the above video, Sorelle Amore, winner of the Best Job On The Planet, will take you on a tour of this ThirdHome property. 

Want to learn more about our luxury travel club? Visit  http://bit.ly/SorelleAmore.

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