Amy and Doug are two teachers from Wyoming who love to take their family on trips using HomeExchange. Thanks to the long periods of vacations given to them during the school year, they have plenty of time to travel the world with their young daughters. As avid home swappers, they were eager to share their story of how two teachers were able to take so many affordable vacations.

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Could you please introduce your family?

My husband and I are teachers and we have two elementary-aged daughters. We live near Jackson Hole in Wyoming. We are outdoor enthusiasts and love to travel.

How long have you been a HomeExchange member and how many exchanges have you completed?

We have been doing home exchange since 2020 and have completed 31 exchanges in three years. Our preference is reciprocal exchanges, but we enjoy utilizing the flexibility of GuestPoints.

Where have you been with HomeExchange?

Our most exciting home exchange was in Panama. We used GuestPoints with a very kind family that allowed us to stay in their home in the city and their beach property. Home exchange is a great way to go on vacation! We’ve been to Tampa, FL, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Anaheim, Mill Valley, and San Francisco CA. It’s also a great way to visit family and friends but have your own place to stay. We have done many trips to Colorado this way.

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As teachers, why do you think HomeExchange is a good way to travel?

HomeExchange is the best way to travel! As teachers, we have a limited budget and home exchange helps minimize accommodation costs so we can spend our money on having fun when we get to our destination.

Did you have any fears when you first joined? If so, how did you overcome them?

We were hesitant about having someone else stay in our home at first. I think HomeExchange feels more like having a house sitter and a house guest than a situation where there is money involved. We view exchanging our home as a kindness. We are so grateful when someone shares their home with us and appreciate when others feel the same.

What first drew you to try home exchanging instead of using more traditional travel accommodations?

We were first drawn to HomeExchange as an economical way to travel. Now, I realize there are many other benefits. I really love having some pressure to clean our house very thoroughly before we leave. It is SO nice to come home to a clean house. It also creates a little external pressure to take care of things around the house. You might leave something a little broken or deal with a problem in your house instead of fixing it, but when you know someone else will be in your home, it feels better to have everything dialed and really that’s better for you too.

As a family with young children, what do you like the most about home exchanging?

Home exchange with kids is ideal!!! We look for families with kids to exchange with and it makes traveling much easier and more fun. When your kids have a whole house full of new toys to play with, it gives you more relaxation time. You also discover new toys, instruments, and games that you may not have otherwise. We recently stayed at a house with a ukulele and now it is our family’s favorite instrument. It's also nice to take care of other’s pets and have that experience without owning the pet.

Would you mind sharing a favorite memory from a HomeExchange trip?

So many…

  • Taking care of chickens and hot tubing after playing at the beach in Petaluma, CA.
  • The rope swing and Koi fish pond in the backyard after a day of SeaWorld in San Diego, CA.
  • The rainforest and market in a small village in Panama.
  • We also had a family cancel a reciprocal just a week before the trip which was really disappointing, but HomeExchange helped make it right. We were able to find a different place in the same area and were comped GuestPoints to stay there.
  • Seeing The Lion King on Broadway as a spur of the moment trip for me and my daughter with a family we had previously exchanged with.

What are your upcoming travel plans with HomeExchange?

So many!!! We are going to the Big Island of Hawaii for spring break using GuestPoints. This summer, we are doing a reciprocal exchange with a Fort Collins family so that we can comfortably visit family and friends. We are doing three weeks in France - one on the Normandy coast for GuestPoints, one in Paris as a non-simultaneous reciprocal (they will come to our house summer 2024), and a reciprocal in the Alps. So excited!!! Then we will end the summer with a reciprocal exchange in Santa Cruz. We love the area and we have some friends to visit there. The best part is that our home and pets will be cared for while we are traveling thanks to HomeExchange!

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HomeExchange has more than 1000,000 members in over 130 countries and is looking forward to welcoming you. Join our community and start organizing your next vacation with HomeExchange.