Meet Lisa, from Colorado USA, who is currently at the Rio Olympics on a home exchange. Surely, planning a trip to Brazil to attend the Rio Olympics was downright daunting, right? “Not if you’re with HomeExchange,” she says. Lisa shares her experience finding a HomeExchange in near the Rio Olympics below.

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Planning a trip to any foreign place can present many challenges. This is especially true when trying to attend a major sporting or cultural event. As it turned out, my accommodations were the easiest thing about this trip, which made everything else easier!

Finding the perfect home exchange

After researching the Rio area and Olympic sites, I honed in on Ipanema Beach for my stay. I’d determined it was conveniently located to the events I hoped to attend, yet far enough away so as not to be in the middle of the noise and crowds. It turns out to have been the perfect choice.

Lisa Green Olympics Rio Appartment Home Exchange
My Home Exchange apartment at Ipanema Beach

And it was so simple! I just went onto HomeExchange, looked for apartments in the area, reached out to only a few people, and within days I had interest from other members who wanted to use my ski home in Colorado for their family holiday. Like many Brazilians, they wanted no part in the Olympics, and were happy to give me their home for two weeks.

Home swapping made the trip even better

Living in an apartment is so much more comfortable than a hotel, especially for a longer stay. You become a part of the community. You have a place to call “home,” which is truly grounding when traveling in a foreign country.

Add to that the demanding schedule of attending many Olympic events! And when I’m not actually at the games, I have regular residential cable TV with over 35 channels of Olympics coverage, as compared to more limited hotel cable systems. As much as I love hotels, there is no better choice than a home exchange for a trip like this.

View from my apartment at Ipanema Beach home exchange
View from my apartment at Ipanema Beach

Cultural exchange

It’s been a wonderful cultural exchange as well, and I made new friends. All throughout my planning, I got updates from Rio about the progress, which helped make it even easier for me.

While everyone was panicking about Zika, incomplete transport and other potential issues, my local hosts assured me that it was winter, so there were no more mosquitos, and they even showed me the metro station one block from the apartment during one of our Skype calls.

I had an inside track on the preparations in Brazil, provided by my new friends! This just enhanced my excitement and sense of ease.

Saving money with a house swap

Of course, another major factor is the affordability. I wasn’t stuck spending thousands of dollars on inflated hotel room prices – if you could even find an available room! And I had far nicer accommodations than a basic hotel room.

With these arrangements, I was left with an even bigger budget to spend on tickets to events, which is, after all, why I am here! Special sporting events like the Super Bowl or Wimbledon or World Cup can be very expensive, and the Olympics are at the top of that list.

I was able to maximize my visit to the Olympics, and enjoy over 20 events, live and in person. Many of them are finals and “marquee” events, like gymnastics, tennis and swimming.

Witnessing history with HomeExchange

I’ve witnessed history. How many more gold medals will Michael Phelps win?! He’s already got three in Rio, and I was there for all of them! And Katie Ledecky has been thrilling to watch, especially as she commandingly won the 400m freestyle by more than a full body-length! And the women’s gymnastics team was beyond outstanding; today I get to see the individual all-around competition.

On my first day, I just fell upon the cycling road race, which went right past my front door. Today I will hit my first beach volleyball session at Copacabana Beach…just up the road from here.** Surely that will be a party, too. The men’s and women’s tennis finals, equestrian, soccer, and track and field are all on deck.

Lisa Green Olympics Rio swimming home exchange

There is no doubt about the many wonderful benefits of using Home Exchange most especially one like this. I already have plans for future exchanges in other exciting parts of the world, and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to consider this amazing alternative to travel lodging!

Travel with HomeExchange