Alexandra tell us about their family trip to Annecy, France, where they got to enjoy the crystal blue lake water and a lovely spacious home.

How did you find your exchange?

I contacted a member from the HomeExchange community contacted me.

What attracted you to this exchange opportunity?

We wanted to go to France, and Annecy seemed cooler in the summer as it's located in the Alps. The home looked cozy and with lots of stuff for the children - toys, gear and beds. To make the trip easier with kids was the main reason for skipping hotels.

How was your arrival at the home?

We decided to do something out of the ordinary and took the train to France from Sweden instead of flying - both out of environmental and climate concern and for the adventure. Thus we were traveling at the time our guests arrived, and did not meet our hosts. They had prepared lots of tips for the area which was placed in the flat. The flat was well prepared and very clean - they welcomed us with wine and cheese which was so nice!

What did you see or do during your exchange?

We tried four different beaches in the amazing, crystal clear and bright blue Annecy lake. As we had been on the road, taking trains through Sweden, Denmark and Germany for a few days it was perfect to settle down in one flat and town during a longer period of time! We enjoyed the old town and had massive amounts of crêpes, cheese and ice cream. During rainy days we stayed in and played with games and toys and cooked.

What is your favorite memory from the exchange?

To find "our" own local French bakery where we got our morning bread. To find completely clear, warm water in the Alp lake and spend all day enjoying the water and beach with our kids - it was a unique experience. The exchange in itself of course, to be welcomed home to another family which we had never met before and to feel complete trust! It is fascinating how much you learn about another culture by staying in someone's home.

How would you describe home exchange to your family and friends?

It is a great way to find an accommodation when you have kids! Who wants to be cramped in a small hotel room with no toys, not baby beds, or cooking opportunities?

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