Yesterday I started a blog here to recite some of our experiences of house exchange holidays. Each year we swap our house by arrangement with our home exchange contacts for a fortnight’s break in their homes. The benefits are clear. Yes there are travel costs, maybe flight and car hire costs but few if any, accommodation charges. It’s a holiday break in a personal home away from expensive hotels and cheap ill equipped holiday self catering rentals.
But first can I address the main reluctance you may have towards this type of holiday, and that is the use of your personal space and treasured possessions by someone else.
How do you overcome this?
By exchanging emails, photographs and maybe a phone call or two, you can get a good idea of who you are inviting into your home. By seeing photographs of your contact’s home you may be able to gauge the type of house or flat they have and you are considering by way of exchange. You can tell a lot from a phone call. Building a personal relationship before the exchange works for both parties.
Remember a lot of personal trust and respect for each other’s property is necessary; they are in your house and you are in theirs.
By all means have an owner’s room kept locked for personal possessions and valuable items. Perhaps too a few locked cupboards. People respect such measures.
We will continue with more hints, tips and advice in our next blog. But now a home exchange story to whet your appetite for what we believe is the most exciting part of a home exchange.
Soon after registration of our home on a home exchange site, we received an email from a couple in Alaska. You read it right. ALASKA !!
We did our research on the location of the house, which months to visit it and what sights there were to see. There were enough to be promising and included the opportunity to take the Anchorage to Fairbanks 360 mile train ride across the Alaskan tundra with its observation coaches and breakfast, lunch and dinner on board, served on white tablecloths whilst watching for moose and bears and surveying snow capped mountains. Unforgettable.
That’s the point. We would never have dreamed of such a holiday in an unlikely (to us) part of the world. The result? One of the most unusual and rewarding holidays we have ever experienced, which we still talk about today.
More hints, tips, advice and travel stories are coming soon. Follow us, Liz and Graham