A Shared Investment
Avid travelers, Loren and Mindelle Ziff, have long recognized the value of taking time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to vacation and connect with family and friends.
So, as their three children—Adam (a recent college graduate), Ellie (a college student in New Orleans), and Nina (a high school senior)—aged up and prepared to leave the nest, they began looking for exciting new travel opportunities that would not only be simple to organize but would also be enticing enough for their grown kids to want to join them.
While researching vacation homes and investment travel options and comparing the benefits of each, they discovered Equity Estates and knew immediately it was the right fit for their family.
“Equity Estates just made the most sense,” says Loren, “both the financial and the travel components. We were great believers in the program from the start, and the EE team continues to deliver on and exceed our expectations on all levels.”
Mindelle agrees. “We like that it’s not a timeshare as much as a shared investment, with a variety of homes in a wide range of destinations, providing opportunities for international as well as domestic travel. It was exactly what we were looking for as a family.”
The Ziffs initially invested in early 2020 with a scheduled trip to Costa Rica, but the pandemic forced a change in plans, so their first Equity Estates vacation was in sunny Lido Key instead—something the family didn’t mind.
“The home was great; we could be outdoors without any concerns, and there were plenty of amenities nearby. Most important at that time, we could drive there from our home in South Carolina,” Mindelle explains.
Since then, they’ve used their investment for family excursions and travel with friends to several fabulous destinations, including three weeks in Europe where they stayed in two Equity Estates homes plus one affiliated residence.
“All three were amazing,” Mindelle shares. “The London location at Covent Garden is spectacular—clean, modern, well-appointed, and convenient for exploring the city. The Florence apartment is old-world yet modern at the same time, right in the heart of the city and a five-minute walk to the Duomo. And we also spent time in Morzine, France in the French Alps. That rustic modern home (about an hour from Geneva) offered great access to hiking and many charming small towns. The entire trip was incredible.”
Two of their favorite experiences from the vacation—arranged by the Destination Manager—were taking a private tour of the Churchill War rooms in London and going on a truffle hunt with dogs just outside of Florence. “Both activities we highly recommend!” says Loren.
As a family, the Ziffs enjoy vacations where they can “be active while also having a nice place to relax,” and they appreciate that all of their trips have been opportunities to “take a deep breath from daily tasks and regroup, recharge, and focus on what’s truly important.”
A week in Turks & Caicos last winter with just the core family, after a busier-than-usual period in their lives, was particularly special for them, with epic chess matches by the pool, swimming and snorkeling, and lots of restaurants to enjoy within walking distance.
“The water view from the Turks & Caicos home is breathtaking,” Loren recalls, “and the Local Host should be knighted for the level of service provided.”
Personalized Service and Luxury Homes
When asked what they like best about investing and traveling with Equity Estates, both Loren and Mindelle continue to come back to the excellent, personalized service.
“The number one difference in traveling with Equity Estates is the level of service provided by the company and the assistance with planning and making reservations. From the PTC and Destination Manager to the Local Hosts, it’s clearly a team that pays attention to detail and is vested in your happiness,” they explain.
As experienced travelers, the level of planning help they need depends on where they’re going. If they know a place well, they may need less help from the PTC. But, if it’s a new city or a less familiar country, they are happy to have access to the planning assistance and recommendations from the Equity Estates team.
“It’s great to be able to tap into EE resources for activities and restaurants,” says Mindelle, “and have everything customized for what works best for us. Plus, three members of the family are gluten-free, and though we do our own research into restaurants when we travel, it helps that our host can provide a list of gluten-free recommendations as well.”
“Trip planning with Equity Estates is a shared experience,” Loren adds, “and nothing beats having a Local Host expert nearby offering guidance or helping with things that might come up during our vacation.”
Of course, another thing they appreciate about their vacation investment is the quality—and spaciousness—of the Equity Estates homes.
“When you stay in a furnished Equity Estates home, it just feels warmer and cozier than a hotel or VRBO,” says Loren. “There’s no mystery about the quality of the furnishings, the décor, or the amenities. We know it will be beautiful and comfortable.”
This extends to Equity Estates’ partner properties as well, as Mindelle points out: “We’ve stayed in a few of the reciprocal properties over the last few years, and they’ve all been excellent and very complementary to the Equity Estates homes.”
Loren and Mindelle began their investment with 15 nights but have enjoyed their travel experiences so much they’ve since increased to 30. And with a dozen unforgettable trips already behind them, they are currently planning future family getaways to more Equity Estates destinations.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have taken some wonderful trips before investing with Equity Estates,” says Loren, “but this has definitely been a great addition to our lifestyle.”