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.
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!
“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’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!
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:
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.
What are THIRDHOME members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Rome and London Fashion Week) this week?
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
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.
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:
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.
9. Mexico: Cabo San Lucas
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.
8. France: Paris, French Alps and Provence
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.
7. Costa Rica: Playa Flamingo and Manuel Antonio
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.
6. The United Kingdom: London
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.
5. Italy: Rome and Venice
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.
4. Canada: Mont-Tremblant
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.
3. South Africa: Cape Town and Plettenberg
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.
2. Spain: Marbella
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.
1. The U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas
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.
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.