Home exchanging allows members like Caroline Fabacher to live as a "digital nomad"— relying on technology to work, not being dependent on a physical location. This has allowed Caroline to do plenty of "slow travel" as she calls it, seeing the world at a leisurely pace and working the whole time.
Caroline lives in Austin, Texas, and as a new homeowner who loves to travel and needs to be smart with money, she said HomeExchange is an ideal fit. Plus, her HOA restrictions prevent her from having short-term renters in her house, so home exchanging ensures her home is always taken care of by people who are more friends than renters.
During this global pandemic, which has made her restless, Caroline said there's no better time to try working from anywhere and taking this opportunity to explore. "COVID-19 has changed the conversation about working remotely," she said.
While Caroline travels, her home in Austin is occupied by home exchangers who have been respectful and courteous. "Home exchangers take exceptionally good care of their things," she said. "I love having somebody taking care of my house while I'm away— it's so much better than it being vacant. Nobody wants their home to be vacant for an extended period of time!"
Caroline has spent fewer than 10 days in her Austin home since Memorial Day, and she doesn't plan to stop back home until the end of October.
Caroline's first taste of working remotely was in 2017, when she spent a month in Peru. It was "such a normal month" of work, she said, and she found she was just as productive working there as from her own home in Austin. She had the added benefit of exploring during the evenings and weekends!
"My first extended home exchange was in Aspen," Caroline said. "I would work all week and then go skiing and snowshoeing on the weekends."
HomeExchange has allowed her to travel to Napa, Nantucket, Wyoming, and Montana. She prefers to stay in one place for 4-6 weeks so she can travel at an "unhurried pace." Caroline doesn't feel pressured to spend every day exploring and visiting tourist attractions— since she has plenty of time, she can live as a local and relax during her stay.
All she looks for in a work location is wi-fi, good access to trails or to town, and to remain in the same time zone so she can work seamlessly with her team. Because she has free accommodations wherever she travels, Caroline can spend her money on experiences, like spending a day with a fishing guide on the water. She also cooks most of her meals at her home exchange, so she can save money on eating out.
"I manage some of my expenses by traveling with a 'set up' box," she said. "This means kitchen staples like EVOO, salt and pepper, all purpose seasonings, coffee, and a few items of fresh produce for my first few meals. If I don't have to 'reset' at every location and do a big grocery shop, it helps me cut back on total trip cost."
Interested in working remotely from anywhere in the US with HomeExchange? Become a member so you can stay anywhere for free. The HomeExchange community has more than 70,000 homes in the US (and 450,000 in the world) and is looking forward to welcoming you! Sign up for free and start organizing a trip with HomeExchange.