Lauren, I love your site. What a great idea! I'm always reading about your travels and look forward to seeing more pictures. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by, Bura.
I am glad to know you are in my neighborhood. I have only finished reading your trip to Italy (so true in my case) and the French house guests. Love your humor and your trip tips.
Thanks for letting this AlteCocker know that she is attracting some followers.
Great post Alle
As you mentioned home exchange offers many people the chance to see other countries and cultures that they would never otherwise get to experience
It is a good thjing to utilize your home and exchange with others who similarly hunt for exchanging
Thank you so much for your comments, Greg--and happy home exchanging!
Always nice to know when someone is reading!
Love your take on Home Exchange, such a great way to travel and I agree with you when you say that it isn't just for the money saved. Our members I am sure will love reading about your adventures.
Brian Luckhurst www.homeexchange50plus.com
Thanks for stopping by Brian. At least half the people home exchanging are seniors, but AlteCocker started when she had a 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son at home in 1990. Many families too.
I really enjoyed reading your take on homeexchange and like the way you write about it.
We love to travel and have had 15 successful home exchanges with families in California, Georgia, France (3x), Finland, Bonaire (2x), South Africa, Canada, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Curacao (2x) and Ecuador. (We are from The Netherlands)
Most of the exchanges came via homeexchange.com. But I share your experiences that the majority of the people don’t even bother to answer.
We have stayed in contact with several of the homeexchange families.
Let me share some points we use to make the exchange go smoother:
We have the luxury of having a housekeeper twice a week. She is a sweetheart and adjusts her agenda when we exchange.
We can leave our home and the final cleaning of the house is done and the linens are changed. On their last day of the exchange our home exchange friends just take off the sheets of the beds they used and put them in the washer. Then they close the door behind them. Our housekeeper will do the rest and we will arrive in a spotlessly clean house. No cleaning stress.
Very often we agree to leave the car (with a navigation system - you only press “home”) at the airport. The car stays there for a couple of hours or a day and you don’t have to worry about the transportations system or pay huge amount on taxis.
We also exchange prepaid cellphones.
I have a housekeeper too, but she only comes in every 2 weeks. If possible, I do get her to clean before I return, but sometimes I am flying simultaneously. I also attempt to get her in between exchanges when I am doing more than one and they occur one after the other. I put a lot of effort into fixing things (just had a major repair yesterday) and then arrive at my home exchange house sometimes to find they had not even cleaned at all before I get there (e.g, the dead fly home). Maybe I am just too fussy. My mother's nutty cleanliness must have rubbed off--at least in part.
I am currently working on Polish home exchanges for 2014 and possible one on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for 2015 (which would be combined with a trip to a friend who lives in Chaing Mai, Thailand). If that doesn't work out, someone from Belgium has asked already.
You are very lucky to have exchanged in South Africa. I have been trying to arrange one of those for years.
Whatever exchange site works for you is fine. homeexchange.com has too many Americans in relation to its numbers from all European countries except France--where it has been heavily promoted. Since you are a European from a country that is not France, you might have better luck than I had with it. As I said, I never even got one unsolicited inquiry from anyone about exchanging. I think too many people are really unsure if they want to exchange. Without some sort of rating system similar to Homelink and an effort teaching people how to home exchange, the site will continue to have problems for Americans wanting to go overseas.
I have left my car at the airport for exchangers, but usually my feeling is that that would lead to a lot of unnecessary confusion--never mind phoning them to let them know where the car is. Since it is only a $50 cab ride from the airport to my home, taking a cab is really the easiest thing when you get off an international flight. I do it myself all the time.
Thank you very much for your comments and maybe we will exchange sometime.
Fortunately it only happened to us once that a home was not clean.
Messy fridge, dirty socks under the bed. Not to speak of the car.
But we are a family of 7, so it took only half a day to bring everything up to our standard.
The Great Barrier reef is on our bucket list too. But it’s soooo far away. And Australia is so big.
A challenge to do that with home exchanges.
This summer we’ll travel for 5 week in Indonesia. The last 2 weeks will be a home exchange in Bali.
I would suggest you do your utmost to go to South Africa. We did a home exchange with a family living 30 minutes from the Kruger Park. It was a wonderful area. Animals, rafting, horseback riding, quad.
You will enjoy Belgium too. Lovely cities, great food and beer and close to The Netherlands :--)
I am thoroughly enjoying reading your blog -- with all the wonderful suggestions for a "wannabe" home exchanger. We (husband and I, both retired) are finally hoping to get our "feet wet" (not literally) by offering our home on Tenerife in the Canary Islands (wouldn't even need to be a simultaneous exchange, as we have a small condo in Germany). As you mentioned, especially on many of the sites that you don't use, people really do limit themselves as to what, where and when they are willing to accept an exchange. Unfortunately, I haven't found anyone from the U.S. absolutely asking for an exchange in the Canaries. Guess that means I will have to become more proactive!
I would love an exchange in the Canaries at some point, but I am already set with an exchange in Poland for 2014. You can email AlteCocker directly by hitting on the little envelope on the top or bottom of the page.
When I do a double exchange in Europe, I try to do 2 destinations close to one another. I did speak to someone else about Krakow who seemed serious, but they have not responded to recent email. Perhaps they are traveling. I have no idea. I am hoping they are still interested. If that is true, then my 2014 trip will be the 2 exchanges in Poland and that is probably it for the 2014 sweepstakes.
For 2014, I have already spoken to people in Belgium and Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef, but I give no one a commitment until 12-14 months out internationally. Who knows what will happen so far out? People can get sick, have financial problems or decide to stay home.
My private email is Laurenskahn@gmail.com. Send me an email and I will put you in the "possible" file. I am not a big beach person but I have never been to Tenerife. I am always looking for new places to explore--and I do plan way ahead.
AlteCocker aka Lauren Kahn
I love that word Sharon used, "proactive". I am always harping on to our members that they must be proactive and not to just sit and wait to be contacted. I also think one benefit of being retired is we are more flexible on when we exchange and for how long, which is why we find that 'anywhere' and 'anytime' is a popular option choice with our members.
Actually, I am not all that proactive because I have been exchanging for so many years that I really do not care where I end up. I have learned to be satisfied with what I get and not look for the perfect place with a pool, etc., that home exchange sites love to feature on their home web pages. That is nuts--and will assure that you come up empty handed.
Intervac allows you to see who has looked at your page on the site. I love that feature. I constantly check Intervac when I am looking and, if I see a home I might be interested in, I close in for the kill. That is how I snagged my exchange for Poland in 2014 in Bielsko-Biala (about 1 1/2 hours outside from Krakow). We've been talking for almost 2 years and now finally have agreed on dates.
I tend to initiate contact with less than 20 people per year but my listing can get very specific when I want something specific--e.g., a second home within Poland for 2014 or some place nearby. When I do back to back exchanges, I like to do them where the international airfare does not have to involve going to one city and returning from another. Having said that, with my Toulouse, Bordeaux & Salamanca itinerary in July-August 2013, I am flying to Paris and returning from Madrid with 2 different airlines involved. I'll remember not to do that again!
I enjoy your experience, enthusiasm and honesty regarding home exchange. One of the few ideas I disagree with is your suggestion that making an exchange inquiry obligates you to accept if the other party is interested. You are right that it would be nice if everyone was careful to research an exchange possibility before sending out an inquiry, but it just doesn't happen. You also never know what you will find. We decided to look for a two week exchange in or near London on specific dates (we had bought tickets) four months in advance. I sent out about 80 inquiries. Only one said yes, but there were several that said maybe. Our vacation time is limited so we have to turn down good possibilities now and then, occasionally someone we contacted.
John, it doesn't sound as if you turned anyone down. When people say "maybe" and I am looking for a firm commitment, I move on. "Maybe" is not a "yes". I assume that when someone said "yes definitely" you took the deal. I will take the first firm deal. "Maybes" are nothing.
What I am referring to is people sending out emails and you accepting firmly and then the person on the other end either disappears or says he is looking to see who else responds. In my view, you accept the first person who accepts your offer. If you are not so sure about the house/location, you should not have written to the person in the first place. The worst are the people who simply do a disappearing act after soliciting you. At least they should have the decency to say that they have changed their minds.
I never buy tickets, by the way, until after my exchange is in hand. When you have fixed dates, you might end up with no home exchange. I like to leave things open until I have a definite "yes" from the other party. When I do, I develop a relationship. Generally, I do not buy tickets until they are buying as well. It prevents a cancellation after tickets are bought. That is less likely to happen if everyone buys tickets at the same time.
I have only done one international home exchange on a 3 month lead time. It was an apartment in Rome and we swapped 3 months after she inquired. Otherwise, my international exchanges have about a 9-15 month lead time with discussions sometimes ongoing for 2 years before a deal on definite dates is struck. The Polish deal that just went down recently for 2014 was in discussion for 2 years. That was an unusual destination, so, when I saw the person looked at my Intervac page, I hopped to it and started the conversation. At this point, there has been so much back and forth that I am totally comfortable with them. I just wish the Krakow people who solicited me would write back so I could firm up the outlines of 2014 before leaving for 2013.
Such is the life of a home exchanger.
It is interesting to read both yours and John's take on exchange enquiries as you are both experienced exchangers and seem to have different views on how to react to potential swaps. This just shows how difficult it can be to finalise swaps but also confirms that lots of communication is vital prior to the actual exchange and booking of travel tickets.
I would say that our members fall into both sides and I guess that is to be expected but I think it depends on how flexible you are and also how respectful you are to others. I think we all get annoyed at the people who just do not reply to any messages sent to them. I wonder how many replies John received from his 80 enquiries?
As you say - such is the life of a home exchanger but isn't this part of the overall experience and enjoyment?
@ my dear friend John
I work along the same lines John.
It would be great if you could send one email to your preferred location and wait for their quick reply.
Unfortunately less than 50% of the people you write to, have the decency to react. I’ve been using three homeexchange websites and I found no difference between them.
When you use homeexchange.com I really don’t understand why people would not reply at all. Rhe email contains a button with a predefined text: “no thank you, we are not interested. (Probably other agencies have similar possibilities.)
Takes about 5 seconds.
That leaves you with the alternative of sending multiple inquiries.
I purchase my tickets about 6 months before the exchange because I frequently exchange between continents. Waiting longer could result in higher ticket prices or worse lay-overs.
Before I buy the tickets I explicitly ask the other family for their OK. Most of the time, they buy their tickets at the same moment.
My experiences with back to back exchanges, arriving in one city and leaving from the other, are actually very good.
I use this method when I’m going on a long trip. When I went to Costa Rica and Ecuador I combined these trips with other destinations “en route”. In the Costa Rica case, I flew from Amsterdam to Bonaire (Caribbean) and stayed there for 3 weeks. Then I flew from Bonaire to Costa Rica and stayed 3 weeks too. Finally I flew from Costa Rica to Amsterdam.
The family I exchanged with, flew to Amsterdam, took the train to Paris and flew back from Germany.
I think Africa, Asia and Latin America would be special cases as regards back-to-back airfares. I had never had an offer from any of those continents until recently when I got one in Costa Rica through Homelink. It took me about 5 seconds to accept. I will have 4 weeks there starting in mid Nov. and will buy my ticket before leaving for Europe to swap in Toulouse, Bordeaux and Salamanca.
I do like to group home exchanges within Europe so they are relatively nearby. It can make the logistics easier. I might have to rethink this for summer 2014 with the Polish exchange as the exchange I thought I had in Krakow is not responding. They are experienced exchangers, so it is puzzling. I might look into going to Germany as well since there are few homes listed in Eastern Europe. I am definitely committed to exchanging with the Polish family regardless of the seeming pullout of the Krakow exchange. I will just spend a couple of nights there at some point if I can't get a swap.
I don't think John and I really disagree. In my book a "maybe" is not an exchange. It is nothing. I think he was just refusing to deal with people who would not commit. I can't understand people who have listed "Washington DC" as a place they want and then they tell me that I am not close enough to downtown. Unless they live in some really exotic location, they are better off not being picky, but I don't argue with them. I move on. Whether the picky ones end up with an exchange or not is not my problem.
I may send out mass solicitation letters if I am targeting a specific location, but the first one who gives me a firm "yes", I will take when I do that. If I was not interested in the house, why did I email? I do not just email one house at time and wait. If a "better" acceptance comes in after I have committed, the sweepstakes are over. In fact, I got a nice offer from New Zealand after I accepted Sydney for last winter--and I would have preferred NZ to Sydney--but it was all over before they got to me. I held the Sydney offer for a couple of days and then accepted. NZ's offer came in, of course, almost immediately afterward, but those are the breaks.
You certainly have had some exotic destinations, Bob. I have tried to snag South Africa many times and Latin America has so few homes. I also do not have a second home so I am restricted to simultaneous exchanges.
I don't know what exchange services you belong to, Bob, but the response rate on homeexchange.com was very poor. Homelink & Intervac have been in business for years and are full of experienced exchangers. Those people do answer email even if to just say "no thanks". I found homeexchange.com to just be too frustrating for me to continue to bother with it. Homelink does have a "no thanks" feature. Homelink is also in the process of totally redoing its website to bring it up to date. Homelink also gives you a rating based on your response rate--which does encourage people to respond to maintain their rating. Mine is 100% and I want to keep it that way!
I have exchanged in the UK (3x), France (3x), Germany (4x), Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy (2x), Austria (2x) and Turkey. Turkey was definitely the most "exotic" destination. The rest of my exchanges have been in the US & Canada. These numbers do not include my 3 planned for this summer in Europe.
Maybe someday I will "score" Capetown, Indonesia or Thailand, but not holding my breath. I'd take Ecuador anytime.
Still following your adventures in 2013 in Salamanca. I am a big fan of Segovia, having been there with my daughter (who studied Spanish in Granada for 9 months) and taking my husband at a later time to see the aqueduct and stay in more luxurious accommodations. We are great fans of Rick Steves. Traveling on your own and getting everything right is challenging. I appreciate your candor. It makes me laugh as we have had quite the same misadventures in Spain and elsewhere and yet it is all so magical. I am glad you made lemonade and got to Segovia. Keep up the good work and keep posting so I can live through your adventures. We go to Delft, Holland on a home exchange in October arranged through HomeLink. I am also listed on Intervac - think I get more responses from this site but time will tell.
I get good deals from both Homelink & Intervac. Every time I think about dropping one, a good deal from it plops in my lap. My upcoming exchange in Costa Rica is from Homelink. My 2 Polish deals for summer 2014 are from Intervac.
I thought I had a deal in Boston over the Christmas holidays for 6 days through Intervac, but now they are not responding so time to move on. I hate when they just do not tell you they have changed their minds. Can't figure out that one out because I would tell them straight out if I had changed my mind. What silence tells me is that they are not sure they want the exchange. I have already changed my listing on Intervac to reflect that I would like a Christmas exchange somewhere I can drive.
Have a great time in Holland. I've never exchanged there. It just has not happened. I certainly would not turn it down if it came in for a time I could accept.
Thank you for your advise and experience on exchanging. I am gradually getting to see how it goes from offers I have put out there and offers I am getting. I especially like your rule of keeping your promise if you agree wholeheartedly to exchange with someone.
Still following you each day in Salamanca. I will be sorry when your trip ends as it has been great fun. I am interested in your stay in Madrid. That is a very special city.
Well part of me is sad to see the trip end but I am exhausted from all the time spent in the car. I am sure I will run out my 4 days in Madrid seeing as much as possible, but, at the end of a trip, I am always glad to go home (and plan the next one.
Thanks for following and get involved in exchanging yourself. This is something that everyone can do.
Oh how I'm going to miss your blogging while you are not traveling!!!! Right now I don't even remember how I found you but I absolutely love your blog!!! My best friend in California (I just moved to Florida) is also an "altecocker" and I showed her your blog and we were both laughing. I don't own a home so I cannot do exchanges but at present since my move from California to Florida I am staying with my sister. I have no debts, I am retired and do receive two pensions, I am considering traveling around instead of getting an apt, etc. it is a daunting thought but I keep reading many blogs of women doing solo travel and you are the very best at giving me encouragement. I'll keep checking your blog to see if you post. God bless you!!!
With kind regards,
Thanks so much for following the blog , Rosalyn. If you don't have a home there is an option to try house sitting. I do have a piece on home exchange vs. house sitting.
Personally, I don't like to get involved with pets--which most house sits involved, but some people do not mind that.
Insofar of getting rid of everything and just traveling full time, I think that would drive me nuts. I do like to come home and sleep in my own bed, well, just occasionally. Also, we AlteCockers have to take care of our health and, after one of these long sieges abroad, I do need to visit my coterie of doctors. I always joke that they stand in a line waiting for me when I get back. Speaking of "back", my back currently needs an orthopedic consult.
The important thing is to do what you want before it is too late to do it. I do have 950 photos to deal with from the trip. The next job will be to post reasonable selections that won't send people into "slide show" boredom.
Look for the photos to go up gradually as I download, edit and post them in groups. I am afraid the website will take a back seat to a kitchen remodel in a rental unit. The cabinets are arriving today, the tenant moves out tomorrow and the work starts this weekend as soon as she leaves. No, I am not remodeling the kitchen myself. I do have a contractor, but you still have to supervise and pay them. Never a dull moment at AlteCocker's.
Of course, I have a home exchange in Costa Rica that begins in Nov. and I will be blogging that one. I generally stay home during Jan.-Feb. as who in their right mind would want to travel to the East Coast of the US in those months? It is, of course, a chance for me to catch up on doctors' appointments.
So glad you are back home safe and sound, Lauren! It really is good to enjoy one's own bed again, isn't it?
Much sympathy for your kitchen reno -- we just spent 5 weeks on Tenerife supervising repairs on our house there, and -- of course -- paying the workmen!
The kitchen remodel that starts tomorrow is in an empty rental unit. I have already done 1 1/2 kitchens this year--mine and a new counter and sink in a rental unit. This rental unit is getting everything but new appliances. This is the year for kitchen hell.
And I noticed that my new faucet in my kitchen sink is not working properly and needs a repair. When one returns from a holiday, you get hit in the face with reality, don't you?
Loved your Costa Rica trip. I don't think I want to go there on my own but you made it work and saw a lot of the country on very bad roads. Let me know when to check back for your next trip adventures. (I followed Toulouse and Salamanca too). I do Homelink and Intervac and we are trading on an island off the west coast of Sweden this next year. Teri
Right now the only trip I have planned is to Poland. That should take place in July-August 2014. There could be some shorter exchanges before that big trip, but I doubt any overseas adventures before next summer.
I have 2 exchanges in Poland scheduled, but no tickets have been purchased yet. The first is in Krakow, the second in Warsaw. They could end up combined with a trip to Belarus to see the villages from which my mother's family came to the US.
Thanks for letting me know. I will diary it on my calendar. Should be a good trip. Teri
Came across your website on smartertravel and have to say you are an inspiration! I'm also and altecocker, that is if you can be one if you're not Jewish.
While I've yet to do an exchange, it's been on my mind for some time to do so and you've answered so many of my questions, including which services to sign up with. Thanks for all the fearless info and pragmatism.
I live in Sedona, where I see you visited years ago. I've yet to visit D.C. and wonder if you would consider a return visit here? Even though I have not exchanged, I'm a seasoned traveler and completed a year and a half world trip in 2007. It was a "plan as you go" budget trip so I learned how to adapt. Once I commit to a trip, I make it happen.
My house is remodeled, bright, very clean with red rock views.
Good luck landing some of the places you mentioned--South Africa is worth the effort.
I'm reading your blog entries with great interest.
Thanks again for putting the fire in my belly. I no longer want to be away that long, but a month or two in far-away places sounds ideal.
Many years ago I stayed a couple of days with my family, travelling in a motorhome, in Sedona.
It was one of our favorite areas.
We'll be doing our 17th (New York) and 18th exchange Bonaire this summer.
I would consider going to Sedona again, but definitely NOT IN SUMMER. I would encourage you, Rica, to join a home exchange website, as it is silly to solicit one person online. You need to play in a larger pool.
It is wise to remember that dates and desires have to mesh. You should have no problem generating lots of interest for Sedona.
And, no, you don't have to be Jewish to be an AlteCocker--just a bit kvetchy.
Bob, which home exchange service gave you the deal in Bonaire? I have never had an offer from there. In 24 years, I have been trying to get a week in NYC in exchange for a week in DC. You would think some folks with kids would be interested, but I have never gotten a deal and finally gave up. Many people do not look at doing short distance exchanges--which are almost cost free.
For the summer I have home hospitality returned in Krakow, Poland (the woman has already been here); an exchange in Warsaw; independent travel in Belarus to see where my maternal grandmother and great grandparents came from; a home exchange in Istanbul (that will include at least one side trip--probably Ephesus); and a final home exchange in northern Italy. I would actually consider adding another deal onto the trip (I have not yet purchased my return ticket but I have my outbound one).
These sorts of trips are a lot of work to set off. When I board the plane, I have a huge file of stuff for the trip (reservations, pages from guidebooks, but not the guidebooks themselves, etc.). When I board the plane to go home, I have one piece of paper. Everything else is tossed. I do travel with a Kindle and also have a lot of information on it and sometimes bring a laptop as well.
Of course, all my reservations are saved online but I like having my book with me with all the information in the order I need it.
Both NY and Bonaire were via homeexchange.com
It'ss amazing you can't get an exchange DC<>NYC
It seems like an excellent exchange. You only have to take the train or the bus and you're set.
It seems you're going to have a great trip this summer.
It will require a lot of planning!! Back to back exchanges are more complicated. We're fortunate to have a good cleaner who will clean after us, between the exchanges and befor we return.
Do you also save copies of your passport, creditcard, drivers license etc in a webmail account? (Protected by password)
I do have a cleaner who comes in between exchanges. That is only fair to subsequent exchangers as some exchangers do not leave things as they found them and I like my home to be welcoming.
When I tried homeexchange.com, I heavily worked the site and could not even come up with one offer and I live in a very nice area of the DC suburbs. I have never had that problem on any other home exchange website that I've tried. I am the first to admit that I don't know all the sites. I only know the ones with which I have had experiences. My experience tells me that there is something very wrong with homeexchange.com's numbers, but, if the site worked for you and you liked it, it is fine for you. I just wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole again. If you do look for references to homeexchange.com online there are a lot of people with the same complaints I had. So, it is important to find the right home exchange for you and you are free to just toss my views into the trash, of course.
I do save everything online in case I need to cancel credit cards, etc., or lose a passport. In all the traveling I have done, I had my passport and credit cards stolen once. I wrote about it. It's under "France".
Multiple home exchanges do have challenges--as in how you are going to get from one place to another. It is just a question of doing the research. So much is available online now.
I do intend to join one or both of the sites you've mentioned but have had obligations with very aged parents, and as you've noted, don't want to solicit offers until I'm totally free to accept them. A D.C. trip is easily doable.
I was just flicking through your website as we head off on another exchange and I chuckled over your comments on Portugal. We are just back from Lisbon and totally fell in love with the country. Some years ago a and I cycled from Lisbon to Santander and it was fab to go back and have a proper look at the city and surrounding area. So worth another go and hoping you have no problems with the toll roads to time ( we used the Portuguese families car so no problem for us but we chose to pay in the cash land.....hope we got it right!).
My Spanish exchanger never got a bill for the toll roads in Portugal. The Portuguese make the toll roads very intimidating and confusing and then don't enforce it except on their own people. We have similar roads in the US for which I provide my exchangers with the transponder. However, if you don't have one there is always the option to pay in cash.
I would love an exchange in Portugal one day but the country has a lot of financial problems--which means its people cannot travel. So there are few transatlantic home exchange opportunities.
I leave on my next adventure in a month. I have a series of home exchanges/home hospitality in Europe and will be blogging the trip.
So glad you are traveling again and I can read and laugh about your adventures or misadventures. Traveling is a challenge and we are in our later years so it is a bigger challenge. At least between me and my husband we can figure things out.
We have three home exchanges in a row this year for three weeks each-Freiburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Nothing so quite adventurous as the locations you are visiting this year.
Keep up the good work! Teri
Great blog, I found it very interesting to find others with the same interests as myself. Last year we moved to Turkey (Alanya) but only after house sitting for an elderly couple who had to return to the UK for health reasons. It was a great experience which helped us with our decision to move.
A friend just turned me on to your site and so happy she did. As a boomer/traveler/home exchanger/blogger...I relish the info you include in your site. FYI, I did find an issue with a link to the home exchange blog, however. At the bottom of the How to do a Home Exchange page, there is a "blog" link which goes to an unfinished page.
I've only used HomeExchange.com and, through them, have done two European exchanges to Germany and Switzerland, after being approached by the European hosts. Now, however, I am having a difficult experience finding an exchange in Amsterdam. (We are now living in Orlando and get exchange requests every week from all over the world, except Amsterdam). I've had 3 close calls but all 3 have gone back on their offer. Will now try Homelink and Intervac on your suggestion.
Thanks for the great blog - I will be following your adventures!
Lauren, you look so happy in front of the waterfall in Iceland. What a fabulous adventure. I'll be following your blog and enjoying vicariously. Stay well.
Thanks for the comment. AlteCocker loves fan mail. You can reach her directly through the website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AlteCocker is always happy when she is on vacation.
So delighted to come upon your page - It has been a total inspiration. I have realised that my travel dreams are only going to come to life with the wonders of home exchange. So, we're practising. My partner and I are doing our first home swop next month. Cape Town - Paris for three weeks. We were very fortunate to come across experienced home exchanges on the Intervac site.
If you live in Cape town and ever wasn't to come to Washington, D.C., Cape town has been on my "want" list for years.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.