If you’ve ever wondered about house exchange, you can now read about what it’s like from the people who matter most! Some of GuestToGuest’s most active members from all over the world are here to tell you about their experiences doing house exchange.
House Exchange Experiences from Our Members:
“A couple years ago I read something about HomeExchange and thought it was a neat idea. The price is unbeatable, and it’s a much nicer way to travel; you get to know people in a different way. When we went to Barbados, we messaged a couple of different hosts, and though we didn’t end up staying with one of them, we met for dinner and he later came to visit New York.
I’ve had great experiences as a guest, so as a host I also try to make my guests’ stay interesting. I leave a guide with information about the best local restaurants, how to use the subway, and my member’s passes to the Museum of Modern Art and the city bike system.
The level of trust is so much higher than with a rental or a hotel. On my first exchange with Philippe in Nice, France I was looking to rent a sailboat without much luck. A friend of my host offered to lend me his and we got to sail around the Mediterranean for the afternoon—we had a wonderful time!”
“What pushed me to try a house exchange, apart from the economic advantage, was that going to someone’s home lets you shop at the local market, live alongside the neighbours, and generally get to know the area. I think you get a much more real impression of the place you’re visiting than in a hotel where everyone else is also a tourist. House exchange gives you the opportunity to get to know people with a similar mind-set with whom you can form friendships.
I actually have a fun anecdote from my first exchange—my hosts told me they would leave the key in the kitchen of a restaurant next door and as we arrived in the middle of the lunch hour, they were very surprised to see me enter because they thought I was there to inspect the kitchen!”
“When I was younger, I belonged to a youth association that organised exchanges. I had the opportunity to visit Italy, Scotland, Cyprus, Belgium, France… What led me to continue this practice was that it seems to me home exchange is a brilliant way for people to travel, to expand their horizons, to learn about other cultures, and save money… Which can benefit all of us!
All of my experiences have been wonderful. Being conscious to respect my host and to treat their home as if it were my own, everything went well. We have to be there for each other, and substitute the existing paradigm of competition for one of collaboration. And I think the HomeExchange network is excellent in this regard! It was captivating to see the joy and excitement of our children, and to invite our hosts over for dinner. Learning to share their toys was a real life lesson!”
“I’m originally from England but I moved to Berlin four years ago and I’ve been living here ever since. I’ve been swapping my home for the last three and I have to say I love the benefits. First of all, I save a lot of money on my holiday budget, I meet new people more easily through home exchange, and I get to know the different lifestyles in each country in a very special way.
The best home exchange experience I had was in Xilxes, Spain. Thanks to HomeExchange my girlfriend and I found a beautiful house with a great piano, located right in front of the beach! I am a musician, so it was amazing to have a piano at my vacation accommodation.”
“I only recently registered with HomeExchange, but I’ve organised eight exchanges! I’ve been a host four times (she received exclusively 5-star reviews!), and with the GuestPoints I gained, I was able to visit Madrid and to organize a ski holiday to Megève, France. Both hosting and as a guest I had only positive experiences. I generally rent my apartment in Rome over the internet, but I thought it could be useful and fun to use the off-season for home exchanges, allowing me to travel more easily. My son and I are planning an upcoming ski holiday in a chalet rather than in a hotel. It’s less expensive and easier to get to know the place you’re staying, the customs and eating habits… I find it enriching!”
“Very welcoming, Cristina took the time to give us all the information we needed to take advantage of our stay to the fullest. The studio has all the necessary comforts and is ideally situated to visit the city by foot. We spent a wonderful holiday in the magnificent city that is Rome.” —Emilie, one of Christina’s guests
If you’re interested, sign up for free and join the HomeExchange community to take advantage of all our homes!