Jan and her family of 7 take off to Hawaii on a home exchange.  After many trips to Hawaii over the past few years, Jan and her husband decided to organize one big trip for the entire family.  

How did you find your exchange?

Another member sent me a request.

What attracted you to this exchange opportunity?

We love Hawaii! We were there on our honeymoon, the year we retired, and some years in-between. We even took a high school basketball team when teaching/coaching. It is a very special place, and we love the climate, beautiful beaches, warm ocean, tropical scenery, and laid back atmosphere. This trip we took our whole family for a wonderful spring break. And what a perfect opportunity, to stay in a lovely Hawaiian home that fit all 7 of us comfortably!

How was your arrival?

Our exchangers had already stayed at our home, so we met the previous year. They left us their car at the airport as they were leaving to fly to California the same day, so we didn't see them when we arrived. They mailed us the keys before we left, and directions to the car, so we had no trouble finding it in the carpark, and then driving to their home. They also mailed us all the information about their home and town before we left so we knew what to expect. And there was a binder of information, along with the instructions regarding the house and car waiting for us. We had no problem exchanging cars! The house was equipped with everything we needed along with some food in the fridge, a bottle of wine, and all the normal pantry items.

What did you see or do during your exchange?

We visited all the local beaches, swimming, snorkeling and body surfing. Kailua and Lanikai Beaches are among the best in the world! We drove along the coast road on the east side of Oahu, up past the Polynesian Cultural Centre, and around the top of the island to Turtle Bay and Sunset Beach. Sunset Beach is known for its huge waves and surfing championships. We saw some incredible surfing there. We also golfed, shopped, visited the food trucks, restaurants, tried some traditional dishes like ahi poke bowls, fish tacos, pulled pork, and poi. Hiked up some hillsides, and through a mountain canyon to a high waterfall. As our family is now spread out, it was such a treat to all be together at our home exchange.

What is the favorite memory from your exchange?

I think my favourite memory is just waking up in the morning and having coffee out on the back patio, overlooking a golf course, with all my family. And in the evening, spending time together again, barbecuing, sipping wine, playing night tag with our grandkids. But I do have to mention my other best memory is being in the ocean, trying to catch the waves, competing to see who can do the best.

How would you describe home exchange?

We have been doing home exchanges since 2012, all over the world. We think it is the best way to travel. One of the main reasons is the people we have exchanged with. We feel fortunate to have found like minds who want to share their homes, with no worries. We have made many friends through these exchanges, and still correspond with some. And we feel more a part of the community, especially when we stay longer.

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