It’s officially the summer of girl power. We asked HomeAway’s most influential women to reveal their favorite destinations and the vacations that have inspired them.
Tina Weyand Chief Product Officer
Favorite Destination: Costa Rica
“Costa Rica is extremely diverse and beautiful. My favorite trip was to Manuel Antonio and staying at a vacation rental called The Monkey House. We had our own private wonderland in the backyard. The entire back of the house was a huge wall of windows from which we could look out at our private jungle. We would lounge out on the veranda for hours watching the three species of monkeys migrate to and fro each day. We never imagined we would have so much fun watching sloths but we did. We never had to drive anywhere and walking each day into town or down to our private beach was a luxurious treat.”
Kate Lowery Vice President, Global Public Relations
Favorite Destination: Valle de Bravo, Mexico
“While I’ve traveled to 40 countries, I always return to Mexico time and time again. One of my most favorite places is Valle de Bravo, about a 2-hour drive west of Mexico City. Nestled in the wooded mountains surrounding Lake Avándaro, it’s called “the Switzerland of Mexico.”
The weather is perfect year-‘round as it’s bright and sunny during the day, and cool and crisp at night. It’s known for its water sports and hang/para gliding, plus it offers super hiking and mountain biking in the beautiful forests. The combination of its laid-back feel and sporty activities provides the ideal vacation balance. I miss the calm feeling in the air, the smell of the pinon wood burning at night, the occasional monarch butterfly fluttering by, water skiing in the early mornings, and the delicious local delicacies like perfectly-steamed artichokes or “sopa de hongos.”
The very first weekend I spent in Valle 27 years ago prompted me to return to Mexico to work there the first 4 years of my career. I’ve shared many unforgettable memories with dear friends there at some amazing vacation rental properties, including most recently this past New Year’s Eve when I got to share this special spot with my son for the first time and reunite with old friends.”
Valerie Pearcy Vice President, Customer Experience
Favorite Destination: Lake Michigan
“As much as I love visiting new places (next up: Québec City!), nothing fills my vacation heart quite like returning to my Michigan homeland in general and the Lake Michigan area in particular. Whether visiting Traverse City, Petoskey, Holland, or Saugatuck (just to name a few), dipping my feet into the cool water of the big lake transports me to happy childhood memories and instantly relaxes my desk-worker shoulders. Throw in a walk along the pier, a stop at an art fair, some good laughs with cousins, campfire s’mores at sunset, and a multi-generational Wiffle ball match, and for me you have a perfect vacation.”
Lisa Chen General Manager, B&B Products and Services
Favorite Destination: Bali
“6 years ago my husband and I quit our jobs and traveled for 13 months (3 months in Latin America and the rest of the time around Asia). We loved Bali so much we went three times during our travels and can’t wait to go back. We even named our dog Bali.
Bali is a one-stop place for all of the activities that my husband and I enjoy – relaxing on the beach/in the pool, going for excellent and cheap massages, scuba-diving, visiting tranquil and serene temples, and dining on fantastic multi-ethnic cuisine. It boasts many different coastlines from tranquil, crystal clear water to dramatic cliffs with elite surf-worthy waves. The interior part of the island is beautiful – with techno-color lush green rice patties, and gorgeous volcanic mountains made for hiking and biking. I love the cultural traditions – from ornate wood carvings and sculptures to intricate dances and traditional costumes.
I haven’t yet explored the northwest where there is supposed to be great scuba diving nor have we explored the smaller islands nearby.”
Kristen Nolte Senior Vice President, Brand & Integrated Marketing
Favorite Destination: Costa Rica
“I love Costa Rica because in such a small geographical foot print, you can experience so many climates and activities. The people are lovely and animals are amazing. I literally fed monkeys by my pool every evening.
Whether it’s learning to surf or zip lining through the jungle, Costa Rica has a little bit of everything. I went rafting through the jungle and managed to make it out alive from a 12 foot waterfall drop! Although, if you go zip lining…don’t wear short shorts…trust me on this. The harnesses are unforgiving. Costa Rica has a rainy season and a non rainy season. I actually like to go at the end of the rainy season. The weather is becoming sunny but everything is still super green.
I’ll definitely be returning to hike into the volcanoes and take a day trip to Nicaragua.”