If you own a vacation home in the mountains, do you ever wish it was on the beach, or vice versa? Do you limit your travel to the places you’ve always dreamed about because you feel like you have to spend most of your time at your vacation home? It doesn’t take long before investing in a second home begins to feel like a not so very good investment, particularly, if it’s not the type of second home you really want to rent.
I’ve just described how I began to feel about our vacation home in Jackson Hole. It was my husband’s dream home, decorated with all the special treasures he had collected for many years. Renting wasn’t anything we even considered. We spent most of our vacations there and shared it with family and friends, which gave us both a great deal of satisfaction. However, I was beginning to wonder if there wasn’t some way to leverage our home other than the couple of times we traded homes with friends who also owned vacation homes.
It seems I’m not the only one who wants to keep their vacation home but visit more places. Around 5 years ago, I got a call from a company called THIRDHOME. They are a luxury travel and property club that offer multiple ways to travel, but primarily they are an Exchange Club for second home owners. It is not a conventional trade, in that you don’t do a direct swap. Instead, you are given “Keys” based on the value of your property and the week in your home you’ve offered to other members. In exchange, you can use the “Keys” you’ve earned, along with paying a nominal exchange fee, for stays at other THIRDHOME member’s properties.
When we first joined three years ago (It took two years from the first phone call from THIRDHOME to convince my husband to join!), THIRDHOME had a little over 3,000 properties. Today, they have over 10,000 luxury properties available to their members. Everything from beachfront villas to penthouses are available in over 93 countries around the world. And the selection isn’t limited to just stand alone vacation homes. Some of the properties are luxurious hotels, resorts, even yachts and, just recently, Crystal Cruises became a THIRDHOME Affiliate offering special fares for THIRDHOME Exchange members on select cruises!
We’ve stayed at some amazing places in the three years since we became members. The first was a fabulous gated home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with spectacular ocean views. It was a four-bedroom home, so we were able to entertain four of our couple friends. We all had bedrooms with king size beds, facing the ocean. The outdoor space had three entertaining areas and an infinity pool. The owner was even kind enough to book restaurants and tee times for us prior to our arrival. We also had the use of their wonderful cook who prepared meals at a nominal charge, as well as daily housekeeping. We were very spoiled!
We also loved a week we spent in Paris at a 5,000 square-foot apartment located two blocks from the Seine and situated between the Eiffel tower and Musee D’Orsay. The apartment had soaring ceilings, large entertaining areas, a gourmet kitchen, and four bedrooms, but two were quaint, as is typical in European homes. Nonetheless, it was perfect for three couples.
We also enjoyed a stay at a Ritz-Carlton Destination Club property on St. Thomas. The two-bedroom condo was spacious with beautiful ocean views and access to all the Ritz-Carlton amenities like the pool, restaurants and spa. Another fabulous THIRDHOME trip was to Puerto Vallarta where we enjoyed a 6,000 square-foot penthouse on the beach – it was an amazing place. And then there’s my granddaughter’s favorite, a garden home on Maui!
One of my favorite things to do is spend time on the THIRDHOME website looking at places I would like to visit and checking out the continually expanding offerings, since new properties are added daily. I’m currently eyeing a gorgeous property in the Greek Isles and a yacht that sleeps six couples as possible options to celebrate a big birthday next year.
If you don’t rent your second home, one of your biggest concerns is having strangers staying in your well-appointed vacation home. I know it was our greatest concern. What finally convinced us to give THIRDHOME a try was the fact that the people staying in our home were fully vetted and owned wonderful vacation homes themselves. Naturally, they appreciate your home and understand the investment you’ve made in it.
We’ve been absolutely delighted with every guest who has used our home. Our most recent THIRDHOME guests have to be my favorite. Shelly, the THIRDHOME member, hosted five friends for a girl’s week in Jackson Hole. She shared how much fun they had during their stay and sent me the picture below. My husband and I both loved the feedback the guests gave us on how much they enjoyed our home, the wildlife and beautiful scenery in the valley.
If you like traveling to fabulous locations and staying in 5-star hotels as much as we do, you know it can be very expensive. There’s also no return on your investment. That’s why I think THIRDHOME makes so much sense. You can take your vacation home that is, typically, an appreciable investment and use it to greatly reduce the cost of your stays at other vacation destinations around the world.
Owning your dream vacation home can be your ticket to dream homes all around the world. Click here to visit THIRDHOME and explore all your options. It will be one of the best decisions you’ve made since purchasing your second home. And, as a reader of PRiME, you will receive a waived membership fee and 5 Keys (travel credits) to use for your first trip, a combined value of $10,000!