Home Exchange Vacations

Aug 10th, 2015, 02:33 PM
  #1  
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Home Exchange Vacations

My husband and I are planning to take a repositioning cruise from Ft Lauderdale to England, May 2016, returning to Florida on another repositioning cruise at the end of October. We would like to stay 1 - 2 months in at least 3 countries ending with Germany for Octoberfest. Has anyone tried a home exchange, if so, how did it go, and the name of the best website for contacts for like minded people.
Dilane is offline  
Aug 10th, 2015, 02:49 PM
  #2  
 
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I recently read a short article about a family house swap. When one family returned home they discovered their house, car and belongings had all been sold.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2015, 03:07 PM
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Sometimes I wish someone would do that for me.
MmePerdu is offline  
Aug 10th, 2015, 03:07 PM
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Do take into consideration the schengen rules as you won't be able to stay that many months in the schengen area. Time in the UK doesn't count toward the 90 days.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2015, 03:12 PM
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Dilane - there have been other threads on the subject. Enter "home exchange" into the search field above the orange line.
MmePerdu is offline  
Aug 10th, 2015, 03:16 PM
  #6  
 
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Look at posts on this forum by lauren_s_ kahn. She has a current tnread on a home exchange in Spain and has a website with lots of information on doing one.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Aug 10th, 2015, 04:07 PM
  #7  
 
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Are you looking for one home for the entire time? Highly unlikely unless you find a professor going on a sabbatical or similar. Two weeks or so is more usual.

Or are you looking for a number of trades with people in different areas? If so, who will check on your house and prepare it for each new sets of visitors?

Is your home child freindly? If not that can make it much more difficult. A friend of mine has tried to trade her apartment a couple of times but she won't allow kids under 15 (she has some valuable antiques) or pets.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 11th, 2015, 01:10 AM
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Is your home in a part of the US that Europeans are likely to want to visit?
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 11th, 2015, 02:34 AM
  #9  
 
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Here is the starter post from my blog on home exchange:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/...-exchange.html

I am currently on my 61st home exchange in Salou, Spain.

I also have a discussion group on facebook focusing on answering questions. It is there if you want it "AlteCocker's Home Exchange Discussion Group". The discussion group is small and is not a substitute for joining a home exchange website to find exchange partners.

If you are narrowly focused on one area, you probably will not be successful. The more flexibility you have, the more likely you will be to get a deal.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Aug 11th, 2015, 11:52 AM
  #10  
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Thanks to everyone who wrote back. We live in San Antonio, Texas, so I think I could find people who would like to visit this area. Our children live here, so have people to watch the house. Have a niece who is a real estate agent, who for a small fee would make the house ready for the next guest. We plan on putting anything of real value in storage, and the house is kid friendly. I plan on taking out extra insurance on our home and vehicle (just because) but I would prefer not to have to worry on these issues. We plan on spending around 78 days; London, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, with the rest of our stay, around 88 days in and around Germany. I am going to read the article from Lauren Kahn, and of course be in contact with my travel agent who always books our cruises. Just want safe and sane exchanges.
Dilane is offline  
Aug 13th, 2015, 03:13 AM
  #11  
 
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Please be aware that most Europeans are focused on New York and San Francisco unless they are really experienced travelers and have been to the US several times. 90% of all home exchanges are done in July and August. Fall and spring are much more difficult to arrange because children are in school.

Also, the usual amount of time in Europe is 2-3 weeks, not 4.

It is very difficult to do back to back home exchanges because your needs on both sides must mesh.

Your car insurance generally covers anyone driving your car with your permission.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Aug 13th, 2015, 04:29 AM
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I am going to suggest you read this piece as well.

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/...long-time.html

If you are talking about summer 2016, you should already have chosen a home exchange site and be actively looking. Most deals will be cut by January for next summer for long distance exchanges. Experienced exchangers generally begin looking in September after they return from their previous year's exchanges.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Aug 13th, 2015, 04:39 AM
  #13  
 
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++++I am currently on my 61st home exchange in Salou, Spain.++++
hells bells not a place I would want to be at the moment.
http://www.elmundo.es/cataluna/2015/...d698b457d.html
http://www.elperiodico.com/es/videos.../3493835.shtml
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 13th, 2015, 07:40 AM
  #14  
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Lauren,

Thank you. You've been a big help leading me in the right direction. I will post again when I have researched some more.
Dilane is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 03:31 AM
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Salou turned out to be a fine place for me to explore Catalonia. I spent no time at the beach or pool beyond looking at it. When you exchange, you take what you get. There is always something to see in Europe, if not exactly where you are situated, then a short drive away.

ribeirasacra, exactly how many home exchanges have you done?
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 10:21 AM
  #16  
 
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Salou is not somewhere I would want to spend a lot of time, and it's certainly not the best place to use as a base to explore Catalunya. But it's fine for touring the Priorat and southern Aragon. You can be in Teruel in no time, great Mudejar architecture.
Robert2533 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 12:26 PM
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There are old people who look like me who have done this for 45 years, since before Al Gore invented the Internet (yeah, right) and before the words personal and computer became a two-word description. It's not rocket science and the Internet has made the process far easier.

That said, my parents do this successfully precisely because they are in a high-demand location: NYC. And they never include the car - but they don't have to because they live in NYC.

But San Antonio is NOT going to be a high-traffic area for Europeans. And especially not in summer. Unlike NYC, there are rarely remnants of extended family living in and around the area, nor are there records of family members who emigrated, nor are there enclaves of immigrants from ___ (pick a European country) around whom the particular non-English speaking European will be most comfortable (e.g., Italians, Russians, etc.).

Most Europeans think 90 is hot; if they're from the UK, Scandinavia, the Baltics and the like, they think the 80s are a heat wave. San Antonio's 95+ for three straight months is not what they bargain for. Your pool of swappers may be shallow, or they may only be looking for a place to stay for a short time (which means the house will be vacant) even if they're willing to swap (and that could be to your benefit, ultimately). And yeah, you're going to have to include the car - can't get around Texas without one.
BigRuss is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 04:04 PM
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>>Most Europeans think 90 is hot; if they're from the UK, Scandinavia, the Baltics and the like, they think the 80s are a heat wave. <<

Except that they ALL (or nearly so) want to visit Death Valley in August

But I agree SA won't be on anyone's radar in summer.
janisj is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 04:45 PM
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Not sure SA would be on the radar of most europeans at all. The usually look for either major cities (NY, LA, SF, DC , Vegas, etc) or national parks/wondrous nature or Orlando/FL.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 21st, 2015, 08:29 AM
  #20  
 
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<>

Europe is the continent that started two world wars. Crazy doesn't breed out that quickly.

And although San Antonio is the 7th largest city (NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philly, SA in that order) in the US, I agree that it is not major.
BigRuss is offline  

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