things I've learned about life

Is HomeExchange the Answer?

When I was calculating the costs of our recent trip and realized that accommodation was the most expensive part, I wondered how could we change that? Pay less but without sacrificing our level of comfort? I admit we prefer to rent the entire place, have a kitchen and two bedrooms … Impossible? As it turns out HomeExchange might be the answer to my and probably your prayers.

Let’s talk HomeExchange…

I’ve first heard of exchanging homes when I watched the movie The Holiday staring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. But I didn’t give it much thought, because, yes, well, it’s a movie. Everything is possible in a movie.

But then sheer curiosity and huge MasterCard bill I received after our last vacation, made me look into this option more closely.

If you are thinking about it too, or maybe it never crossed your mind, yet it now sounds strangely interesting, then read on. I’ve researched my questions and found all the answers to make up a decision. Hopefully it will come in handy for you, too.

What is home exchange?

Home exchange is when you as the name suggest exchange or swap homes with someone else.

What’s a home?

That can vary. Home can be anything from a house, apartment, cabin, villa, castle, as well as a RV, boat, etc.

Which HomeExhange site is the best?

There are lots of home exchange sites, but I’ve found that is the best known with really good reviews.

HomeExchange provides access to over 65 000 homes across the world.

As you can see it also has a huge network and is present in around 150 countries. That means it has great options. I’ve decided to research it further.

How HomeExchange works?

It all seems very easy.

  • Take photos of your place – your house or your apartment. List it in their database.
  • Browse their Listings and find homes and locations you’d like to visit or stay at.
  • Using a simple messaging system get in touch with the owners of those homes and wait for them to get back to you.
  • While you wait check, if someone messaged you. Be a good guy and answer even if you aren’t interested.
  • When it all comes together arrange your Exchange.
  • Do it.

They’ve also resolved a problem, where you, who live in Germany would like to come to my home, but I want to go to Italy. With a special program, the German traveler will be able to come to my home in exchange for credit, which I can use to travel to Italy.

How much does Home Exchange cost?

Of course since that’s the question that makes the difference. It costs you nothing to do the exchanges, but you pay a subscriber’s fee of 130 euros for one year. This fee includes a guarantee that if you don’t do an exchange in your first year, you get a second year for free.

How safe is HomeExchange?

While the whole thing is based on honesty, trust and commitment, they encourage all members to communicate with one another using their tools. They encourage you to write reviews, verify  Accounts, create detailed Listing and Member Profile pages and using exchange agreements.

Is HomeExchane for kids?

Absolutely. Just chose a home that suits your family’s needs. Maybe we can pick a place where there are some of the toys included 🙂 And I’ve even read examples of people offering you a car for the duration of the exchange. It seems there are plenty of options to look into.

Is HomeExchange worth it?

Well, I can’t answer that one yet. We’ll try it and I’ll let you know.

If you have any other questions let me know in the comments and I’ll research it further. Otherwise I’ll let you know how the thing is working once we’ve tried it.





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