Trade time in your second home for luxurious vacations in unique locations

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – Do you have a beautiful second home anywhere in the world? Do you enjoy a wonderful holiday about four times a year? The rest of the time is it empty, or do you rent it out? That seems like a good deal, but couldn’t it be better? 

Yes, it can! Make the time that your holiday home is empty available to a THIRDHOME member, stay in a luxury holiday villa yourself, and save thousands of euros per year for accommodation! Ivo Haagen and Charo van Hulst tell you how you can benefit from your holiday home, second or third home in a different, very inspiring way. They work for THIRDHOME International, which has its office in Marbella. Ivo is Vice President and Charo is responsible for Partnership Engagement.



THIRDHOME is the world’s largest private travel club for luxury second homeowners. The homeowners make time in their second (or third, fourth, or fifth…) home available in exchange for travel credits. They can then spend these travel credits, ‘Keys’, at their discretion in the homes of other THIRDHOME members. 

And the places where those houses are located are endless and diverse. A new and high-end way of home swapping. Let the anticipation begin! The club already has more than 14,000 properties in 1,700 destinations in 100 countries! 

All those villas, estates, castles, penthouses, mansions, and even mega yachts become accessible to you when you join THIRDHOME and make time in your second home, wherever it is in the world, available to other members. 

What makes THIRDHOME different from other home exchange or travel clubs? 

Through THIRDHOME you can travel the world and stay in luxury accommodations without having to pay the daily, weekly or monthly rental rates. Ivo explains that instead, you pay an administrative fee that ranges from $495 to $1,395 for an entire week. “This way you can easily save (tens) thousands of euros and the great thing is that you never have to visit the same place twice. Moreover, you can choose from spectacular destinations all over the world,” says Ivo, clearly enthusiastic about the unique concept he represents. 

second home opportunitiesWhich destinations can you trade for a time in your second home? 

As a member of THIRDHOME, you can travel around the world through a hundred countries. From the American continent, through Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia to small private islands in the Pacific. From sheltered villas, large country houses, and luxury penthouses in prime locations in the major cities to complete castles or even mega yachts. 

And in terms of locations, you can let your imagination run wild, Charo clarifies: “Think of private islands off the coast of Belize or next to Bora Bora, ideally located chalets in the middle of a beautiful Swiss ski area, a penthouse in the centre of London or New York, charming villas in 5-star resorts or beautiful estates in a tropical environment in Bali.” 

What is the financial benefit of signing up? 

And if that choice is not attractive enough to sign up, Ivo points out that people can save an average of 90% on the regular rate during their holiday in the homes of THIRDHOME members. Even though they are usually wealthy, this is also interesting for them. 

“We recently surveyed our members and asked, among other things, why they participate. It came to the fore that it is a cost-effective way to spend a holiday in luxurious locations. We thought that the members would mainly be concerned with the exclusive locations. However, the financial aspect still appears to be very important. People in that segment sometimes go on holiday six or seven times a year and if they don’t pay attention to money, it can end up in the paper,” says Ivo. 

What requirements do you have to meet to join THIRDHOME? 

Because THIRDHOME concerns homes in a higher segment, it is useful to know what the basic conditions are to be able to become a member of your second home. Ivo says many members contribute more than one home or even participate in their “fractional ownership” in luxury resorts or high-end residence clubs. 

“The minimum value of your home should be around €500,000. That amount is somewhat flexible because you can reach that limit quite quickly at top locations such as London, Amsterdam, or Paris,” explains Ivo. Then an apartment on a mezzanine floor in any neighbourhood could suffice. “We do look for certain types of real estate. Apart from the price, it must also be in a decent location and the furnishings must be of a sufficient standard.” 

Charo clarifies that prospective members must indicate how many rooms their home has during the application procedure What is the area, whether or not there is a garden, a terrace, or a balcony. “People also send photos and based on all that information, we determine whether they fit the club or not.” 

The same applies the other way around, continues Ivo. In some Asian countries such as Indonesia or the Philippines, you already have beautiful villas for €300,000 to €400,000 in spectacular locations”. 

Who are the members of THIRDHOME? 

Due to her position, Charo has intensive contact with the members and is pre-eminently aware of what the target group that THIRDHOME serves looks like. According to Charo, THIRDHOME members are critical yet adventurous. “They are looking for new places, love to make discoveries, or want to make their favourite destinations even more memorable by staying in a unique home. 

Among the members are, for example, many pilots, digital nomads, and other people who are not tied to a fixed location and can travel anywhere”. Charo continues: “As a rule, our members no longer have a bucket list, because they are generally very wealthy and own houses with staff on private islands, for example in Belize or near Bora Bora. That is of course very spectacular. 

Also great is a very private castle in Argentina, where a family from Amsterdam with a house on one of the famous canals returns every year and locks themselves up for two weeks. They have food delivered or ordered from a chef. The kids love it.” 

How are members screened? 

The homes in THIRDHOME’s file have an average value of €2.4 million. Then you naturally want the people who come to celebrate their holiday to treat it properly. “That chance is much higher if THIRDHOME members stay in your home than if you rent it through rental platforms such as Airbnb,” said Charo. 

According to her, the members and their homes are monitored throughout their membership. “The guest reviews the host and the host reviews the guest. That information is internal. If something about the member, the behaviour, or the condition of his home is negatively evaluated, we will start a conversation. If things happen more than once, we can unilaterally cancel the membership and the member will disappear from the club.” 

What has been the impact of corona? 

Of course, THIRDHOME has also learned a lot from the corona pandemic. Travel restrictions meant that there was little requirement to travel internationally. Ivo: “People have been sitting still for two years, but now the number of bookings and reservations with us is extremely high. In January, we had our best month ever since the company was founded.” 

He explains that in the past two years people have also started to think more about ‘Gosh, what have I got. I do have a second home somewhere, but am I making the best use of it?’ “Moreover, they need more privacy than before”. 

Renting in high season 

Because the available number of properties is much lower in the high season and during other holiday periods such as Christmas and Easter, THIRDHOME has started the ‘Rentals’ branch. “If our members want to travel to Sardinia in the summer and there is no availability in our exchange, we still want to offer them something. This is how ‘Rentals’ was created and members can also rent a holiday home with us,” explains Ivo. 

“We have around a thousand properties for rent and that number is growing by the day. At the moment it concerns a classic rental with high-end homes of our members and those of partner companies. We offer these at a discount to our members and partners. This way people can go on holiday on their way during the high season.” 

Adventure travel 

THIRDHOME has started the ‘Adventures’ branch to facilitate active and adventurous members who have a lot of affinity for travel. These are fully organised luxury trips for small groups that are put together by the travel department with the club. In this THIRDHOME works together with preferred worldwide partners. Members can then take unique journeys with like-minded club members. 

“We did a tour through Morocco, visited gorillas in Rwanda, and made tours of Malta and Sicily. With Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, we followed in Cuba in the footsteps of this famous writer and we dived in Australia with a team of Jacques Cousteau”, explains Charo. 

Join the THIRDHOME community now and get a $10,000 discount right away? 

After reading this article, do you realise that you too can use your holiday home – anywhere in the world – much better than you have done so far? Then join THIRDHOME and discover how you can save a whopping $10,000 just by joining your second home! If you would like to know more first, please contact Charo van Hulst. 

See also: Experience the most beautiful places on earth thanks to your second home in Spain 

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