Anyone ever done a house swap?

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Jan 21st, 2001, 08:27 PM
  #1
Beth
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Anyone ever done a house swap?

I am wondering if anyone has ever done a house swap as a part of their travels? It would seem odd to be sleeping in someone elses bed but I guess we do that all the time in hotels. Thanks
 
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Jan 21st, 2001, 08:32 PM
  #2
Goldilocks
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Odder still to know that someone's sleeping in yours.
 
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Jan 21st, 2001, 08:36 PM
  #3
Art
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Hi Beth, I haven't done that yet but am interested in swapping houses in about 3 years. If you get anymore info or manage to accomplish this I would be interested in any info that you acquire and any experiances that you have. One website that handles home exchanges in Europe is http://homeexchange.com/
Good luck
Art
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 07:49 AM
  #4
Cindy
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To the Top, because I'm curious, too.
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 08:14 AM
  #5
liz
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Yes Beth I have done 2! They are great, I totally recommend them! It's a wonderful way to really to travel, especially if you have kids. You know , no constant changing hotels etc. being able to cook your own meals, whatever. We have used them as a base for our travels, we still take off on road trips for a few days and stay in hotels but it's only maybe 6 nights of hotels as opposed to 3 weeks! One also has to option to exchange vehicles as well, another huge savings! It is alot of work though, you have to market your place just like you are selling it. There are alot of people doing this now and the competition is fairly great. You have to find someone that is prepared to take holidays at the same time and that you feel comfortable exchanging with. We were lucky, both times we were able to meet them and have them for dinner the night before we left and travelled to their homes. This is usually not the case. When we did the exchanges the companies did not have web sites like they do now, so it would be much easier. We have done exchanges to Spain and the Napa Valley. We never felt worried about our place, most people in this program are professionals of some sort and take great care of your home. You can stay in very basic cabins to castles in France!
So go for it, but start the process long before you want to travel because it sometimes takes time to develope a relationship and sort out all the details.
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 08:16 AM
  #6
Marsha
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I am also curious about house-swapping and would like to do it in 2003 for sabbatical. In particular, are people interested in swapping with someone in a less-touristy area - like the MidWest? Does it help to try to sell the unusual, unknown or hidden attractions of your area? Thanks.
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 08:26 AM
  #7
joyce
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House sitting could be another option,there is a site www.caretaker.org Have not done this yet but will consider for the future. J
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 08:40 AM
  #8
Liz
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Marsha, absolutely! Not everyone wants the typical stuff. Market away, there will be someone out there for you. You should also be flexible in your choices as well, have a few destinations in mind. We initially started off wanting to go to Provence years ago after reading "A Year in Provence". Well apparently alot of others read that book at the same time, so the french had a huge pot to pick from. As a result we could'nt hook up with anyone successfully and at the last minute ended up in Spain. We were very glad the way things worked out and will return to Spain again! We tried to do and exchange to Italy, after reading "Bella Tuscany" but had no luck there,(I would not leave Italy if I lived there either!) We have to rent in Italy when we go there, but maybe one day we'll find someone who wants to exchange his castle for ours! Good Luck!
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 09:31 AM
  #9
John
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Beth, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) sites for home exchange is HomeLink International. You pay around $100 to get your home listed in their big catalog (like a phone book) and on the web, and then start hunting or just wait for the enquiries or offers to start coming. You can see "blind" samples at http://www.homelink.org/. Remember, it also usually involves swapping cars, etc., so it can form the basis of a very inexpensive and rewarding travel experience. Based on our experiences, it looks like Belgium in particular is house-exchange happy (although there are literally thousands of listings from all over the world.) Anyone for Antwerp?
 
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Jan 22nd, 2001, 09:39 AM
  #10
liz
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Hi Beth,Homelink was the company that we were dealing with as well, they have been around for a long time so I would feel really confident using them.
 
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Feb 25th, 2001, 05:31 PM
  #11
liz
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topping for curious
 
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Mar 3rd, 2001, 10:41 AM
  #12
LSKahn
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I have done 21 home exchanges. They include:

2 in Scotland, 2 in England, 3 in France & 2 in Germany. I have a third in Germany planned for Berlin in August.

I used to swap with my kids but they are now GROWN, so I get to go alone (no arguing over which amusement park to visit, etc.). Exchanges are great. Not only is it an inexpensive way to travel, but it is nice having room to spread out--and not being obliged to eat in restaurants for all your meals.

The best part is being able to do laundry and really traveling light (more room for souvenirs). I have also exchanged in the US in Canada. The length of my exchanges are anything for a weekend (in the US, of course) to 4 weeks. I list in both HomeLink and Intervac.

Anyone interested can email me directly for further information.
 
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Mar 3rd, 2001, 02:26 PM
  #13
Pierrette
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Lskahn thank you for the information you emailed me. Can't wait to get on with it. Hopefully next year. Aiming for route du vin but whatever looks interesting.
 
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Mar 3rd, 2001, 02:51 PM
  #14
LSKahn
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Please remember that home exchangers plan their trips well in advance. You need to pay for your listings in HomeLink or Intervac by October to get in the first fat directories published for the next summer's exchanges.

Most people who do exchanges every year have their exchange deals cut for the next summer no later than January 15th.
 
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