Discover home exchange with stories from our Members.
1. Where did you go on home exchange?
2. How did you choose your destination and home exchange?
When Marlina's home in Jávea popped upon my screen it looked like the perfect destination for us to visit with our friends. The flights to Valencia were 'bargain' prices and the weather was sure to be warmer than here in Scotland. Working in the hospitality industry in the Highlands means we always look forward to our autumn break at the end of the season.
Marlina's home wowed us from the moment we saw the photos.
3. What was the conversation like with your host?
Communication with Marlina was effortless and after a few emails we concluded our non-reciprocal exchange.
4. Your arrival: How was the house? Did you meet your host? Did they give you any gifts or tips for visiting the area?
Arriving at night, we were thrilled to see the house illuminated and looking very welcoming. The keys were held by a neighbour and we had no trouble at all in gaining access to the house. Once inside we, three couples, were thrilled to see the vast space, modern fittings and comfortable bedrooms. At daybreak, after a great night's sleep, we awoke to the most incredible views of the surrounding countryside including the mountain in front of the house, Montgo, known locally as the 'Sleeping Elephant'. The large garden offered several terraces for eating and relaxing, each one affording panoramic views at sunrise or sunset.
5. How did exchanging your home influence your vacation, compared to a traditional vacation rental?
This year we've made four exchanges: Rome, La Rochelle, Jávea and Cornwall and each one has provided a unique, budget-friendly vacation for us whether we were travelling as a couple, as a family with grandchildren, or with some friends. Nowadays John and I don't even consider taking holidays in any other way.
6. Tell us what you saw during your trip.
Jávea is located almost midway between Valencia and Alicante which meant we could tour the countryside easily. Naturally we visited the lovely beaches on the coast but we also walked in Montgo Park, we dined on wonderful seafood, John played a round of golf, but best of all we took a paella cooking course!
There's a fabulous Rice School in Valencia and the six of us were taught how to make paella in the proper Valencian style - and of course we enjoyed eating the results of our efforts accompanied by some rather nice wine. Our class comprised people from several countries which resulted in great conversation during the meal which added another layer to our holiday experience.
7. Bonus Question: What is the best memory from your trip?
Our best memory was definitely the paella cooking course that we all took part in - what fun we had! Of course proper paella is now on the menu back home in Inverness!