Home exchange ins and outs

Mar 29th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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Home exchange ins and outs

Hi, anyone ever exchange homes to stay in Paris or elsewhere? Any pitfalls? Any agencies that are good? Seems like a reasonable way to save on lodging. I live in a beach town in California...an attractive exchange for someone in Europe?

kasialouise is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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kasialouise is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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I considered this seriously at one point, since I live in a fairly desirable area (Florida). However, we have pets and now parents who live with us, making the logistics much more difficult.

I've heard good things about most of the programs. Good luck on it! I found a lot of information here:

GreenDragon is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Our family exchanged homes and cars with a family in Lyon one summer. The wife was an English teacher taking a course in Toronto and she contacted us through our listing. Their home was a restored weaver's attelier in the silk area, very high ceilings to accomodate a jaquuard loom, no longer there of course. It was August, their holiday time, so not everything was open. But we still had a wondeful time, exploring Lyon and the beaujoulais wine area. DH and I even had a memorable meal one evening, sans children, at Paul Bocuse.

This wasn't our only exchange. We also exchanged homes and cars with a family in Shoreham-by-sea, near Brighton. Every day we'd drive a different distance and in a different location. And in the evening we would all spread out and do our own thing.

We also made several closer exchanges with people in New York and New England, just homes, not cars.

Then our children got older and wanted summer jobs so we didn't have an empty house to exchange. Besides, we'd made friends with several people we'd met exchanging and ended up visiting back and forth. Still do to this day.

I can't remember which agency we used but I think it was Intervac. Most are now online. The advantage in this day of email is that you save on postage and get answers much more quickly. Those were about the only disadvantages I remember.



Check the online listings and see which one has more people interested in a California beach town and which has more listings in the country that interests you. One thing I do remember is that there didn't used to be a lot of listings for France because the French weren't as likely to want strangers in their homes. So I responded immediately when we were contacted. But this may well have changed.

Exchanging was great for us, especially with teenagers. And the fantasy value alone of reading the catalogue was worth the price of listing I always felt.

moolyn is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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We did a home exchange with a family in Montrouge in August 2003 and it was delightful. We still stay in touch with this French family. We also did a home exchange in 2000 with a family in London. We use www.homelink.com and have not had any problems at all but like GreenDragon we have teenagers who are working and and need to stay home and we can't find any home exchange program that wants to exchange teenagers as well.
Lily is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Sorry I meant like moolyn.
Lily is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 02:25 AM
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I keep thinking about this too. Our house needs a bit of work on decorating and some basic repairs first this year but then I'd like to try this. Sounds like a good value holiday and also it would be more interesting to be right in the normal community than stuck in a hotel. My other half is a bit dubious though.

We are near London so should be able to get some interest I hope.
nona1 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 03:10 AM
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We've exchanged with a family outside Stockholm last summer (our trip report http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2 ) and are exchanging in Boston over Easter. We had no problems and use www.homeexchange.com

Exchanges seem to be arranged far in advance and at least on homeexchange it seems that while there are lots of non-US homes there are LOTS of US homes. Not a bad thing but to arrange a European exchange for someone in the States it doesn't seem to be as easy.

We turn down more exchanges than we can do logistically and financially with 2 kids. We live in a good location. I think you have to have a certain comfort level to let people in your home, for us it is not an issue.
sprin2 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 03:18 AM
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It occured to me that there are people on this forum from all over the world and many are interested in exchanging homes. I wonder if Fodor's would set up a separate forum for house exchange listings? Or perhaps someone might take this on themselves.
moolyn is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 06:30 AM
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This has come up several times over the last few years:


The only thing I would add to what I've said on those earlier threads is to pick up kasialouise's mention of agencies. They are not really the point. You are making arrangements direct with the prospective exchange partner, in my experience, and the important thing is to invest some time and effort into building up that relationship. Don't forget that you are, as it were, selling as much as buying. That's what exchange is all about.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Apr 30th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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Host exchange is another good way to holiday. My last holiday was like this. You get to stay with someone else, they can help show you around, and you have your own space when you need it too. There are lots of good websites. This one is free and has many different types of exchange. www.holitrade.com . Lots of these free sites around. No reason you can't join a few sites if they are free.
needaholiday is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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There's a new european based one called http://www.Geenee.com that seems to be making it all a little easier. Similar to the others in that it's a network of international home swappers but focusing on some special cities and offering much more in the way of property page management. A few others I've seen tend not to have many images. Anyway, just a thought.
UKMat is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 02:28 AM
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HI, I'd like to exchange my appartment in Paris (large and confortable) against one in NY for Christmas and new year's this year.
Who will be interested in ?
esethi is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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I have often thought of doing a home exchange. I will have to check all of these websites that were recommended.
kitkat1 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 03:47 AM
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Here is a post from a Fodorite with extensive experience with home exchange. Her name is FauxSteMarie and if you search for her name, you will find lots of info on this.

chicagolori is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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seafox is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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We have tried Geene and several other home exchanges over the years. We found a new home exchange site about a month ago that we really like. It is Easy Home Exchange. http://www.easyhomeexchange.com It really makes finding other members and homes easy and the detailed information about the homes we think is the best.
GaryWellinger45 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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A colleague of mine does it every summer. She lives here in L.A. and exchanges her home for homes in basically England and France although I think she's had homes in other European countries,too.
One home she got in England was a huge manor house, with staff. I saw the photos. She and her family were thrilled. Some of the families have also left their cars for her and her family to use. She and her family are away right now...on another European house exchange. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Hosted exchange?

Is it that you host a person in your home like an exchange student and they do the same when you want to go ?

Sounds interesting.

thanks for all the good site referrals Fodorites.
Mahya2 is offline  

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