Bobby Flaig has been a member of THIRDHOME since 2014, but only recently started exploring all the club has to offer on the West Coast. With trips to Balboa Island and Truckee under his belt, he’s looking to explore even more properties in 2018. Get to know THIRDHOME member Bobby Flaig!
How did you get involved with THIRDHOME?
I joined THIRDHOME about 3 years ago but didn’t get really active until last year when I made my first stay at the Newport Beach Vacation Club property through THIRDHOME. I was happily surprised that the process went very smooth and everyone at THIRDHOME was super friendly and helpful.
Where are you based?
Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Who do you usually travel with?
My longtime girlfriend Angelique Ives is my travel partner.
What do you do for a living?
I own a beverage company.
What are your favorite travel hobbies?
Love to fish, when in Cabo San Lucas for Dorado “Mahi Mahi”, hike, swim in the ocean and enjoy the local cuisines.
In your past travels with THIRDHOME, what was your favorite destination and what did you love about it?
Stayed for a week at a house in Newport Beach on Balboa Island. Loved that we could walk downtown and to the Ferry to the see the ocean. The owners of the house left us cookies and let us use their bikes and boogie boards. Plus, they met us at the house when we checked in! They were very helpful.
Compared to other exchange and rental platforms, how has your experience been hosting other THIRDHOME members?
I am in another program, which I do like, but the quality of the properties at THIRDHOME are much nicer. Plus, there is more interaction with the actual owners of the properties at THIRDHOME.
Any personal/family achievements you’d like to share?
We love to travel and THIRDHOME has made it much easier to do so and to plan ahead for exciting adventures.
How has THIRDHOME changed the way you travel?
Lets us stay in wonderful homes with friendly owners to help show us the ropes for the communities that they live in.
What is the nicest amenity you have encountered while staying at a THIRDHOME property?
Free cookies and use of bikes to ride around town at Newport Beach Balboa Island House.
What makes a THIRDHOME stay so special?
The employees at THIRDHOME care about their owners. Kristine and Sammy are awesome to deal with!
How is staying in a THIRDHOME different than other types of accommodations?
The personal service. Actual people, I know that I can talk to at THIRDHOME who know me. Excellent Customer Service!
How would you describe THIRDHOME to a friend?
THIRDHOME lets you experience really nice homes in locations all over the world with similar people. The homes are immaculately put together and the customer service at THIRDHOME is top notch!
What’s the most memorable restaurant you’ve eaten at during one of your trips?
Captain Jack’s in Huntington Beach had the best crab and fish I have ever eaten.
Any travel tips for fellow members?
Get as many Keys from THIRDHOME as you can so that you can plan a wonderful adventure to far away places and stay in magnificent homes.
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.