Stephen and Craig’s HomeExchange adventures have taken them halfway across the country, to a new remote work location, and to one of their favorite destinations— all while making great memories for a shockingly low price.
“I like the flexibility [of HomeExchange] and the price is right,” said Stephen, a HomeExchanger who lives in Portland, Maine. “We would never be able to spend two weeks in Colorado— it would cost a whole lot more money if we used hotels or Airbnb.” But two weeks in Colorado is just what the couple was able to do, swapping homes with HomeExchange.
The HomeExchange hosting experience
Stephen and Craig hosted a family from Colorado in their home, and while a lot of their friends said “I’d never do that!” Stephen now tells them, “You’re missing out.”
“I have faith in humanity,” Stephen said. He went to great lengths to make sure his home was welcoming, sharing, “for us the pressure was to create a really nice home environment. We really wanted to make sure our guests were going to have a good time.” Stephen and Craig’s hosts did the same for them, leaving their charming cabin in the woods “super duper clean” and leaving coffee and handwritten notes for their guests.
Stephen learned about HomeExchange after his mom used it to celebrate her 70th birthday in Ireland, and her host became one of her best friends. After experiencing HomeExchange secondhand, Stephen decided to take the plunge. “I said to my husband, ‘We’re working from home now, we can work from anywhere, why not give it a shot?’ That weekend we cleaned the house like crazy to take pictures— it was a good reason to get the house spic and span.”
The most flexible way to travel
The flexibility of travel is what makes HomeExchange so appealing to Stephen. He and Craig were open to traveling just about anywhere in the western United States. “We threw a dart at the dartboard and said, let’s just try it out and see what sticks,” he said. Their dog Penny joined them for their road trip to Colorado, since the HomeExchange host was willing to allow pets.
Traveling during COVID-19
Traveling during the COVID-19 outbreak was one of the couple’s biggest worries, Stephen said. They did a lot more planning than they usually would in advance, brought “all the hand sanitizer in the world,” and N-95 masks. “It’s a risk we were willing to take,” Stephen said. “My husband and I are both young and active and healthy, so it wasn’t as big of a concern for us.”
Working remotely from Cape Cod
After two weeks in Colorado exploring the great outdoors and a road trip halfway across the country, Stephen and Craig found they still had “the itch for adventure and sense of wanting to see what else is out there,” Stephen said. They found a cozy home swap in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a place they travel several times a year to see friends. This time, they were working from the HomeExchange, enjoying the change of scenery.
The most affordable, authentic way to travel
HomeExchange has an edge on other vacation accommodation options, in Stephen’s opinion. “There’s no hidden costs,” he said. “With Airbnb, I feel like they hit you over the head with cleaning fees, service fees, booking fees— they can be a little overpriced.” In addition to being affordable and flexible, home exchanging also lets you stay in a real home, equipped with all the amenities you might need.
Stephen said there’s no reason not to give HomeExchange a shot. “If you’re thinking about it, go for it, and don’t be afraid to change it up,” he said. “Everyone that I have spoken to has had a great experience— take a leap of faith.”
HomeExchange has more than 450,000 homes in 187 countries, letting travelers enjoy unlimited home swaps for the price of one night in a hotel. Sign up for free to experience this authentic, affordable way to travel.