THIRDHOME Member, Allison Schlanger, traveled with her family to Kenya. They booked a Kenya safari Curated Journey through THIRDHOME Custom Travel.

What THIRDHOME Custom Travel experience did you book and what appealed to you the most when choosing your destination?

 We just got back from three of the most incredible weeks we have ever experienced as a family in Kenya. Out time there felt like 3 different trips – each so special in its own way. Our first week was spent on safari – first in Lewa Conservancy and then the Maasai Mara during the great migration, our second week was spent in Nairobi and our last week we traveled to Watamu on the coast. In each location we stayed in a THIRDHOME property.

What were some of the adventurous or cultural highlights of your Kenya safari Curated Journey. What did you see and experience?

Our safari was completely planned and arranged by Liz Bates at THIRDHOME – and it was true perfection. Our first 3 nights were spent at Lewa House – a safari camp that has been in the same family’s hands for 5 generations. Once we landed on the airstrip at Lewa Conservancy we were picked up by our safari guide, Jimmy. We quickly realized that Jimmy was about to make our stay magical. Every day we were immersed in herds of elephants (which we could swear Jimmy communicated with), giraffe, lions, rhinos, buffalo and zebra. Jimmy got us so close to the animals there were a couple of moments where we were so locked into their eyes we forgot to lift our cameras to capture their gorgeous faces. While at Lewa, we jumped at the chance to horseback ride through the bush to get even closer to the giraffes and zebras.


Our second stop was Cottar’s. Liz had booked us a family tent at another camp that has also been in the same hands for 100 years. Upon arrival we were told that Cottar’s had over-committed the family tents and that we were going to be upgraded to The Bush Villa. The management team apologized for the inconvenience of having to stay in a fully-staffed house with this view!!!

We happened to be at Cottar’s during the great migration and we were able to see thousands of wildebeests, eland and zebra during our stay, but the most special part of staying at Cottar’s is their partnership with the Maasai tribe in the area. Our guides, Enoch and Salasch were both Maasai warriors. Enoch spoke perfect English and became our professor of sorts – answering every single question about Maasai culture we could think of on a minute to minute basis. They took us to visit a Maasai village and Maasai school. We spent hours at the school playing with the students and getting to know the teachers – one of which we are still in touch with. The day we spent with them will not only stand out as one of the most impactful of this trip but one of the most impactful of our lives. 

Was there one specific “wow” memorable moment that you enjoyed most?

Our biggest wow moment of the entire three weeks happened in Nairobi. When we called Liz (THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel) to help us plan a safari we told her that our only requirement was that it had to be in Kenya. After 11 years of a long-distance relationship with a student (her name is Winnie) we met through an incredible organization called Kenya Education Fund, we were traveling to Nairobi to meet her in person. The first moment we saw each other was the wow moment of this trip. After 11 years of getting to know each other through letters, emails, texts, pictures and video chats – we were finally face-to-face. It was a moment that will stay with us forever. Finding so many places to stay through THIRDHOME allowed us to spend two unforgettable weeks together. For that we will always be grateful to THIRDHOME

What did you like most about your accommodations during your Kenya safari?

At every stop on our trip we stayed at a THIRDHOME related property. It would be hard to top the bush villa/private chef at Cottar’s but here is a rundown of our other accommodations…
 
In Nairobi we stayed in The Tribe Hotel. We traded 1 Key per room. The Tribe, and its sister property, The Trademark (also on THIRDHOME Exchange) are known as top places to stay in Nairobi. The Tribe staff could not be friendlier or more accommodating. Their restaurant was terrific. The Tribe has the feel of a business hotel and is adjacent to the Village Market Mall – shopping and upscale restaurants. The Trademark is connected to the Village Market. It appears to be the newer/younger property. Next time we will try The Trademark.
 
At our next stop, Watamu, we traded for a THIRDHOME property. We stayed there 4 nights and then checked into the Medina Palms. The Medina Palms was top notch all the way. The accommodations were simply gorgeous, the pool never-ending and they are a short tuk tuk ride from one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever been on in our lives.

Where would you like to go for your next trip?

I have a running bucket list…The Azores, Boliva salt flats, Faroe Islands, Banff, Seychelles, Thailand, Galapagos, Morocco, New Zealand/Australia, always ready to return to Israel…and now Kenya…again and again.

What would you like to share with other members about your experience using THIRDHOME Custom Travel?

We started planning our journey to meet Winnie one year ago with Liz Bates, THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel. She immediately understood the significance of the trip and set out to make it special in every way. We are physically back in the states but emotionally still very connected to Kenya. This was a trip of a lifetime for many reasons. Liz helped to make the vacation part of it truly spectacular. 

How would you rate this travel experience?

5 stars!

Is there anything else you would like to add or comment on?

Kenya Education Fund (www.kenyaeducationfund.org) was founded by our friend, Brad Broder. Brad joined the Peace Corps after college and was struck by the fact that half of all kids in Kenya could not afford to continue their education after elementary school. In 2006, he joined forces with local community leader, Dominic Muasya and started Kenya Education Fund (KEF). Their goal was to provide scholarships to students across Kenya so that they could stay in school through high school (and hopefully beyond). They wanted to help break the cycle of extreme poverty in Kenya and they strongly believed that starts with providing an education to all children. Click here to learn more about the Kenya Education Fund.

Interested in booking your own Curated Journey like this Kenya safari? Contact THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel, Liz Bates, at liz@thirdhome.com or click here to browse destinations for travel inspiration.

 

THIRDHOME Exchange members have recently returned from Carlsbad, California and Vaalwater, South Africa. Keep reading to learn about their THIRDHOME experience.

 

Four Seasons Carslbad California

Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara | Carlsbad, California

If you’re looking for poolside relaxation and resort amenities, look no further than the Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara, in North San Diego County. These beautifully appointed residences can sleep up to 4 people and feature a full kitchen, breakfast bar, living area with fireplace and dining area. A short walk away you’ll find a variety of swimming options for both adults and children. Head down to the Driftwood Spa and experience three-uniquely designed treatment rooms to fully unwind during your stay. The resort concierge is at your beck and call and can help arrange beachside activities, golf outings, tennis matches and much more. But you won’t have to go far for great golf. Aviara Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer, was named one of the best courses in America by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. You won’t want to miss this hidden Carlsbad gem during your next California holiday.

THIRDHOME member Lisa says, “Love this trip!!! To escape the Texas heat, I jumped at the chance to stay at the Four Season’s Residence Club. We stayed in the 1 bedroom premium villa for 2 back to back weeks! It is everything you would expect from a Four Seasons property.” click here to read more of Lisa’s review.

 

Vaalwater South AFrica Teshepe Safari

Tsheshepe Game Lodge | Vaalwater, South Africa

Venture to South Africa for the trip of a lifetime. Tsheshepe Big Five Game Lodge is located within the 7,500 acre Welgevonden Game Reserve. This reserve is famous for its first-class safari experience and the high likelihood of viewing members of the Big Five (Lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and water buffalo). The reserve is also a world-class birdwatching destination and features a rich assortment of indigenous flora. The safari lodge itself can sleep up to 10 people and features open living spaces, a pool, gym and several vantage points for wildlife spotting. Tsheshepe’s staff will escort you around the reserve in the specially converted 4×4 game viewing land cruiser. Tsheshepe Big Five Game Lodge is truly where luxury and the wild meet.

THIRDHOME member Renee says, “This was an epic trip for our family of 3 and some friends. We loved the experience at TSheshepe Lodge…If you ever have wanted to do a safari please come here…We were so sad to leave this amazing new set of friends we have made. Thank you, Steve, for putting this on THIRDHOME for a trip we will never forget.” click here to read more of Renee’s review.

 

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME Exchange 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.

We’re proud to announce that our partner, International Expeditions, will be sponsoring THIRDHOME‘s Member Appreciation event in April 2018. 

Experience the world’s most remarkable destinations with world leaders in ecotourism and adventure travel.

International expeditions

You may recognize the name International Expeditions from our recent Amazon River Cruise aboard the Zafiro. The naturalists, Expedition Leaders and staff at International Expeditions are experts in adventure travel, and our Inner Circle members can vouch for it:

“The International Expeditions team coordinators and naturalists were indispensable in the full educational adventure. Our favorite day was visiting the small village and sharing school supplies with a dozen sweet elementary school-aged children. We can highly recommend this trip to anyone who has (n)ever thought about such an adventure.“-Sherry and Andy

International Expeditions

The Amazon cruise is just the tip of the iceberg of International Expeditions’ adventures. Their ecotravel offerings also include:

African Safaris

International Expeditions

International Expeditions hosts safaris in Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Namibia. These safaris all include luxurious accommodations in some of the world’s best wildlife viewing destinations. Big 5 spottings aren’t uncommon when you have top-class naturalists guiding you!

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a safari with International Expeditions.


Indian Wildlife and River Tours

International Expeditions

Discover India’s wildlife, including Asian elephants and Indian leopards, or explore the cultural wonders of Sri Lanka. Travel by land or on the mighty Brahmaputra River with International Expeditions’ land tours or small ship cruises.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a river cruise or wildlife trip in India with International Expeditions.


Costa Rica Canopy Tour

International Expeditions

Explore the lush forests of Tortuguero National Park with monkeys, macaws and an International Expeditions Master Naturalist to tell you about all the critters in the canopy. Coastlines, mountain and cloud forests all merge together in the gorgeous topography of Costa Rica.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a Costa Rica Canopy Tour with International Expeditions.


Patagonia Glacier Expedition

International Expeditions

Experience the remoteness of Torres del Paine National Park in the Patagonian region of South America. Inching glaciers, granite peaks and roaming wildlife await.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a Patagonia glacier adventure with International Expeditions.


Iceland Winter Adventures

International Expeditions

Venture north to the land of the Northern Lights. Enjoy active excursions across Iceland’s gorgeous landscape. Trek across glaciers and uncover hidden lava caves on this bucketlist journey.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan an Iceland Winter Adventure with International Expeditions.


Canadian Wilderness Excursions

International Expeditions

Travel + Leisure’s 2017 Destination of the Year is calling for your next outdoor adventure. Embark on an Arctic safari with International Expeditions. Sea kayak amongst Beluga Whales and Bearded Seals or take an ATV across The Cunningham River Delta in search of Muskox.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a Canadian Wilderness adventure with International Expeditions.


Alaskan Grand Journeys

International Expeditions

Pristine wilderness, glacier-fed streams and frozen tundra all meet in America’s last frontier. Witness wildlife in secluded terrains while kayaking, rafting or biking through the landscape. Or come in the spirit of Alaska’s original colonizers and join in on a gold panning expedition.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan an Alaskan journey with International Expeditions.


Inner Circle members will have the opportunity to travel with International Expeditions again on an upcoming Galapagos Voyage. Keep an eye out for other exciting opportunities from International Expeditions through THIRDHOME!

WHAT ARE THIRDHOME MEMBERS SAYING ABOUT THEIR LUXURY HOME EXCHANGE TRIPS (TO Virginia AND South Africa) THIS WEEK?

Virginia

Luxury Mountain Home | Virginia

Enjoy a cozy mountain getaway on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains with this Wintergreen Resort home. This property sits on 11,000 acres of resort property which features hiking trails, streams and serene forests. Wintergreen Resort is a top-notch four-season vacation destination, offering activities like skiing, golf, tennis, spa treatments, zip-lining, archery and mountain biking. With room for 8 people and a game room, this home is perfect for a family retreat. Virginia might be the next great ski destination you weren’t expecting!

THIRDHOME member Miwon says, “Loved Shawn and Janice’s lovely, inviting, warm and well-stocked home in Wintergreen…We spent everyday skiing during the day, then returning to a warm fire in the fireplace, and hours of friendly games with the family. The easy setup of this home made it possible for us to create many days and nights of lovely family memories that we will cherish.” click here to read more of Miwon’s review

 

Virginia South Africa

Tsheshepe Game Lodge | South Africa

Welcome to 75,000 acres of game reserve in the heart of South Africa. Witness Big Five wildlife, like the rhino, lion, hippo and elephant, while staying in luxurious accommodations. The lodge’s fully staffed service will make your stay one to remember. Game drives are offered in the afternoon and evening, while meals are prepared for you back at the lodge. Spend the day sunbathing alongside the pool while admiring surrounding nature. The Tsheshepe Game Lodge can accommodate up to 10 guests, so be sure to bring some friends to witness all the excitement!

THIRDHOME member Sam says, “The Tsheshepe Lodge was amazing! We had the best time. The scenery could not have been more picturesque. Seeing baboons, monkeys, and an elephant from the deck was a treat. The staff at the lodge was so accommodating…It was a trip of a lifetime.” click here to read more of Sam’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.

 

Members since 2013, Wendy and Yaron Yaniv have used THIRDHOME to go on several trips around the world. Their most memorable, to date, is a two-week expedition through South Africa. Keep reading to see why the Yaniv’s love traveling through THIRDHOME and for pictures of their South African safari trip!

Yaniv

How did you get involved with THIRDHOME?

I’m an investor.

Where are you based?

Atlanta / Tel Aviv

Who do you usually travel with?

Family / Friends

What do you do for a living?

Real Estate / Consulting with Start-Up Companies

Yaniv

What are your favorite travel hobbies?

International travel, diving, biking

In your past travels with THIRDHOME, what was your favorite destination and what did you love about it? 

South Africa – Tsheshepe safari lodge Welgevonden Reserve.

What’s the next destination you are eyeing to travel to with THIRDHOME?

Jamaica – with other THIRDHOME friends.

What do you love most about your property with THIRDHOME?

The entire experience: the staff, the surroundings, the service, the lodging.

Yaniv

How has THIRDHOME changed the way you travel?

We do look at THIRDHOME options when choosing our travels, especially as we are much more flexible with our travel. We enjoy being able to invite friends to share these travel experiences with us.

What is the nicest amenity you have encountered while staying at a THIRDHOME property?

Full staff at the property.

How would you describe THIRDHOME to a friend?

I describe it as the “Sotheby’s” of private, exclusive rentals [home exchanges] in the world.

What’s the most memorable restaurant you’ve eaten at during one of your trips?

Nelson’s Eye – best steak restaurant in Cape Town (casual but an icon in Cape Town)

Yaniv

Any travel tips for fellow members?

Go! Don’t wait!

What makes a THIRDHOME stay so special?

We know that we will be staying at a well-cared for home and the owners have been very pleasant to work with.

 

 

Check out pictures from the Yaniv’s safari below:

yaniv

Yaniv

Yaniv

Yaniv

Yaniv

MJ and Dee Jennings, Texas natives, have been members of THIRDHOME since 2011. In that time, they have racked up 31 trips. That’s a little over 5 trips a year! The Jennings family are true jet-setters. Get to know MJ and Dee Jennings, and how they travel with THIRDHOME, below.

Jennings

How did you get involved with THIRDHOME?

I received a phone call from someone at THIRDHOME that was interested in my condo on Lake Travis in Austin TX in late 2011.

Where are you based?

Dallas, TX

Who do you usually travel with?

Husband, girlfriends, as well as brother and sisters family.

Jennings

What do you do for a living?

Fundraising.

What are your favorite travel hobbies?

Exploring the area, active fitness activities, tasting the local foods, taking pics and walking everywhere I can.

In your past travels with THIRDHOME, what was your favorite destination and what did you love about it?

I just booked my 32nd trip. My favorite was a Malibu Beach home because it was insanely luxurious on Malibu Cove, a close second was Iceland as it was such an amazing adventure, and my repeat favorite is Turks and Caicos where I go as often as possible – the most beautiful beach in the world.

Jennings

What’s the next destination you are eyeing to travel to with THIRDHOME?

I want to find a THIRDHOME to stay in South Africa before I venture off on a safari!

What do you love most about your property with THIRDHOME?

Every single guest takes care of it as if it was there own. In fact, because they are so pleasant it only wants me to make their stay so much more enjoyable.

Jennings

Any personal/family achievements you’d like to share?

Because of THIRDHOME and the money we have saved, we splurge on adventure activities such as taking a helicopter to the top of a glacier and hiking the glacier tunnel, hiking the mountains of Malibu, swimming with sharks in Turks and Caicos, sliding down a mile long slide in Costa Rica, and even sent 2 family members on their honeymoons!

How has THIRDHOME changed the way you travel?

Completely! I always look online to see what I WOULD have paid for a THIRDHOME should I have actually paid more than a small exchange fee and some (or no) Keys. I am almost embarrassed to share, but I bet I am close to saving $200,000 since 2012. I plan a year in advance watching properties that I really want, or, if I have a free month I always take advantage of the 30-day Keyless properties.

Jennings

What is the nicest amenity you have encountered while staying at a THIRDHOME property?

A 50-foot yacht in Miami for free.

How would you describe THIRDHOME to a friend?

For only $495, you can stay at a 2.5 million dollar home for a week anywhere in the world. All you have to do is give up one week at your second home.

What’s the most memorable restaurant you’ve eaten at during one of your trips?

Probably a local Icelandic one – a tiny little house with the most unbelievable fish soup I have ever tasted.

Jennings

Any travel tips for fellow members?

Be active on the site, save your favorite properties so they pop up in your email when something comes available and check the site for the newest properties.

What makes a THIRDHOME stay so special?

The properties are hands down top of the notch luxury or if not, it is all about location, location, location!

How is staying in a THIRDHOME different than other types of accommodations?

For so many of the properties, the owners seem to always make sure we have everything we need – almost like a personal butler!

What are THIRDHOME members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Botswana and North Carolina) this week?

 

Botswana

Santhata Camp | North Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana

Sitting snug against the borders of Zimbabwe and South Africa is the North Tuli Game Reserve, which is home to Santhata Camp. Up to 14 guests can stay at the camp while discovering the lost mystery of the Mapungubwe civilization, South Africa’s first kingdom. This Golden Kingdom, named for the precious metals found during the area’s excavation, reigned from the 11th to 13th Century. The Pitsani Wildlife Reserve is in the northern section of North Tuli, giving visitors the opportunity to spot free-roaming elephants, cats and 350 species of bird. A ranger is even on hand to take you on two game drives a day at no extra cost. You can have dinner looking over the Limpopo river or miles out into the bush if desired. This Savannah adventure is great for small groups and families seeking an otherworldly thrill.

THIRDHOME member Debe says, “Our family will always remember what an exciting, unusual, beautiful and educational adventure we enjoyed. Staying at Santhata Camp was the REAL DEAL…0ur family learned so much and had the TRIP OF A LIFETIME !” click here to read more of Debe’s review.

Debe’s daughter, Amber, is an art teacher when she’s not traveling the world. She brought art supplies for the local primary school (these kinds of supplies are in short supply) but would like to do more to support their students. If you are interested in learning more about the school experience in Botswana and supporting Amber’s cause you can visit Amber’s blog here.

Below are some pictures from their trip.

Batswana Debe pics

Botswana Debe

 


 

North Carolina

Loggerhead Lady | Bald Head Island, North Carolina

“I’m on turtle time now,” visitors say as the ferry lands on the island retreat of Bald Head, North Carolina. The colloquialism has a few different meanings, the first directly referring to the inordinate amount of turtles that nest on the island. The second meaning refers to the deceleration felt by visitors as soon as they land. There are almost no cars on Bald Head, only golf carts that move at a sluggish pace across wooden boardwalks under the gaze of Old Baldy Lighthouse. At Loggerhead Lady, you will officially be on “turtle time”, sauntering down long stretches of coast, or chipping away at the nearby golf greens. With room for 8 guests, this property is the ultimate stress reliever.

THIRDHOME member Jesse says, “This is our second family trip to Loggerhead Lady and it won’t be our last…every time I walk off the ferry it seems my heart rate drops a few beats per minute! I would recommend this spot to any family that wants to get away from the hustle and bustle!” click here to read more of Jesse’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

Cottar’s Safari Camp is located in Kenya and sits on 7,000 acres, which adjoins the Serengeti and Maasai Mara game reserves. Known for giving a premier safari experience for almost 100 years, this is the ultimate trip for those who are seeking to spend time on a game reserve in Africa. The atmosphere of Cottar’s Safari Camp is exciting, relaxing and romantic.

Take a Curated Journey “Happily Ever After” trip with your significant other through THIRDHOME, and celebrate your relationship while staying in a “Romance Tent” at Cottar’s Safari Camp. Read to the bottom of this post to find out the incredible deal that is available to THIRDHOME members when booking this Curated Journey.

 

Your Curated Journey to Cottar’s Safari Camp will include:

Cottar's Safari Camp

Accommodations

A 4-Night stay (minimum) in a “Romance Tent” featuring a private bathroom, spacious accommodations and a sprawling veranda.

 

Provided Meals

Served daily there will be breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails at sunset. The camp offers a communal dining atmosphere, but arrangements for private dining can be made upon request.

 

Cottar's Safari Camp

Daily Activities

Enjoy game drives, guided bush walks, cultural visits, swimming, fishing and more.

 

Cottar's Safari Camp

Professional Safari Guides

At Cottar’s, you’ll be guided by an impressive staff. There are 3 Gold-Level KPSGA Guides on-site, when there are only 23 Gold Standard Guides in all of Kenya. The rest of the staff are Silver-Level qualified.

 

Cottar's Safari Camp

 

Ready to take the ultimate trip together as a couple? As a THIRDHOME member, you will receive a 50% discount off your accommodations when traveling as a couple, celebrating an anniversary or enjoying a honeymoon. This discount is valid for travel in 2018 during the months of May, June, November or December 1-20. Click here for more information and to book your trip to Cottar’s Safari Camp in Kenya.

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