Discover home exchange stories from our Members.

This story was brought to us by our Member Yvonne while on home exchange in Bristol.

Well, this was a first for us! Although we’d stayed many times using HomeExchange to both swap and stay for points in a whole house, we hadn’t yet tried a house share. This time, however, as we found there to be only a limited number of house swaps available in the area of Bristol, and our hosts seemed so helpful and friendly, we decided, well, why not take up their offer to share their home with them for the weekend?

We were soon to find that rather than being something to ‘get around’, it, on the contrary, had many benefits. Through spending time with Graham and Ivana we gained some perspective on what day to day life was like in an entirely different city. We also came to realise that however different people’s day to day lives can be, how much we could still have in common. Perhaps home swappers are a particularly open-minded bunch?

Through meeting them we now have a much more detailed knowledge of what it’s like to live in the city of Bristol. I also now know some quite unexpected things… For instance, where the best and most quirky places to visit in Bristol are (including the coolest board game café). What the Bristol Pound looks like (a currency made by the local people, run by a non-profit community company, using digital and paper currency to trade locally) and unexpected of all, how to make my own kefir (a wholesome probiotic drink). I also know that something called the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft exists! And that its aim is to help the Bristol neighbourhood of Stokes Croft recognise its special qualities, improve the streetscape and street art and to generally help protect Bristol from becoming one big generic shopping mall.

So I’d highly recommend you give the house sharing a try and I’d recommend visiting the city of Bristol too – With its grand old buildings, it’s quirky vibe and it’s graffiti adorned streets, back-alleys, and bridges that Banksy and other artists have transformed – (so now stunning street murals even exist on the big ugly town centre roundabout, which has turned into an open-air art gallery).

All in all our stay at Graham and Ivana’s place was a really good experience. After only 4 days we really had a familiar feeling of the town and grew to really love it, especially the areas of Clifton – a picturesque area containing cafés and boutique shops and the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the Harbour area with S.S. Great Britain.

So thank you Graham and Ivana and thank you, Bristol, I think we’ll be back.

Travel with HomeExchange