indulging · travel

Home Exchange

Do you have dreams of taking a family vacation to Europe?  Would you like to stay in a home, have access to a car, and experience life in another country?  If the thought of staying in expensive hotels and eating out at restaurants 3 times a day doesn’t sound appealing to you (or your pocket book!), then you need to try a home exchange.

Travel is an indulgence. Home swapping allows you to satisfy that by dramatically reducing the overall cost.

Home exchange in Paris

Our first international home exchange – Palais Royal, Paris, France.

Top 4 reasons to home swap:

  1. Inexpensive travel opportunities – don’t pay anything when you check out.
  2. Experience another country at the non-tourist level – live like a local!
  3. Expose your family (and yourself) to how other people live in the world – you’re trip will be that much richer.
  4. Cook and eat food you prepare – saving money on restaurant dining as well as experiencing grocery shopping in other countries.

Yes, it does cost to register with the home exchange service but the cost is less than one night a hotel.  The organization we use InterVac which is short for International Vacation.  While the focus of their site is international exchanges, you can also find people to trade with closer to home.  We’ve done 8 exchanges – 4 to Europe and 4 trades in the United States, including San Francisco. We also trade regularly with a couple from the Oregon coast.

The biggest expense with traveling?  Airline tickets.  I’m still looking for someone who has a private jet and would be willing to trade some homemade pesto in exchange for air travel.

Do you want to try a home exchange? What’s your favorite way to travel?

Go Gingham related links:

When traveling, I love to home exchange because it’s frugal and fun
Travel packing in a little suitcase and a chart
Getting ready for a home exchange tips and house warming gift ideas
Our San Francisco home exchange –Part I, Part II and
Part III
Save money on your before and during your next trip
Want to keep food costs low while traveling? Try these tips!
Headed to the Pacific Northwest? You’ll want to hit these spots.

The New York Times interviewed me for an article about home swapping titled, “At Home in the World.”