2020 was a challenging year, and we all had to change our priorities and habits. We are convinced that home exchanging is the most responsible and safe way of traveling, but we would like to encourage you to make 2021 the year we all start adopting even more responsible travel habits, because the choices and conscious actions of everyone today will impact the tourism of tomorrow.
Now is the time for 2021 resolutions! We invite you to add some eco-friendly traveling goals to your New Year’s resolutions.
1- Traveling slowly and spending quality time in our destinations
We have learned the importance of enjoying the little things, our loved ones, and every daily detail. So we encourage you to do the same while you travel: enjoy our destination slowly, without the need to visit all the touristic attractions or to book those trendy restaurants. Let's stay longer in that small cafeteria with a friend, enjoy that sunset, or play a new or tried and true board game in your home exchange with the kids. By home exchanging you can travel more or stay longer at your destination while still feeling at home. Why not enjoy an afternoon watering the garden at your home exchange or having a nice talk with their neighbor?
What I like the most about home exchanging is that it allows me to take trips that I otherwise could not take. I invest the money I save with the accommodation in experiences: excursions, visits, culinary exploration, etc... I can also extend my stays longer to live like a local. I don't have the stress of needing to make the most of my time by not resting a single second. Exchanging houses encourages slow travel. On more than one occasion we have spent the day at the village swimming pool or have gone on a picnic in the park, something our son appreciates a lot. - Laia, 40 exchanges
What I like best is that I have finally understood the concept of going on vacation. Before when I traveled, my only obsession was to see and visit all the sights I could in the time I had. Now I enjoy the local immersion - Torcuato, 23 exchanges
2- Choosing to be an engaged traveler who contributes to the local economy.
With the pandemic, many HomeExchangers have chosen to travel locally, off the beaten track. And many of us will continue traveling locally for our next vacation, when we can travel again safely. Let’s support the local economies with our travels by enjoying local activities and local products. Our exchange partners can give us their best recommendations so we can choose to live in our destinations like a local. You don't have to go to the other side of the world to discover wonderful places!
If you would like to discover some local recommendations of HomeExchangers, you can take a look at our global map of local recommendations. You can find great inspiration for your next vacations.
When we can travel safely again we must support the small businesses and shops that bring our streets to life. And when we travel, let us also support small businesses and local businesses - Nieves, 48 exchanges
I love living like a local. Going to a new place is alway interesting, but much more comfortable when the exchange partner leaves information. It is like staying at a friend’s home when they are out of town.- Jan, 33 exchanges
What I particularly like is finding out what attractions our guests liked or what they enjoyed discovering around my home. You always get new ideas about what is special to see where you live, in places that are just round the corner that you hadn’t even discovered yourself. I will always remember our Spanish hosts from Andalucia telling us about "Beloeil Castle" just 30 minutes from our home. We were very curious about it and decided to visit it on a Sunday afternoon. We were amazed! We didn't know such a beautiful castle existed in our area!” - Sophie, HomeExchanger
3- Acting like a guest and a participant, not like a spectating tourist.
At HomeExchange we know the importance of respecting the homes we exchange. Respect is one of our key values. We leave everything as we found it, are grateful for our partner’s hospitality, and respect the habits and traditions of their different cultures. For us this applies not only to homes, but to the whole destination. We like to live in every location like guests, not as tourists. So let’s respect the environment in every city or village we visit with our activities and actions. We can act responsibly with transportation, the kind of activities we choose, and being more environmentally friendly in our destinations. Let’s have a positive impact!
I love travelling. I feel that with home exchange I could travel, meet people and know and understand different cultures. At the end the goal is to be a traveler but not a tourist, and try to think outside the box. - Stefano, 35 exchanges
I feel I no longer go to places as a tourist but as a member of the different communities I visit. I have been able to visit and get to know places I wouldn’t have experienced so intimately otherwise. These stays have enabled me to get to know the places, the cities and most importantly the people in a way I couldn’t have dreamed of. Being at home where you travel is a very comforting experience. By plugging into the local stops, I have met very interesting people. Some of them have become real friends for life. Exchanging homes is not only a way of traveling, it’s a way of life! - Javier, 58 exchanges
4- Connecting more with people.
We couldn’t meet and communicate with our loved ones as much as we wanted to in 2020, and we discovered that people can still offer their best under difficult circumstances. Many members offered their support to other HomeExchangers, or did their best in their neighborhoods and communities to help in the hard year we lived through.
Communication is key at HomeExchange, and the community is our big strength. Let’s connect more with other HomeExchangers, as well as with the local communities in the destinations we visit, to learn more about those places through the people. Locals can help us to understand their point of views and feel like a local ourselves in any place.
What we like the most is to find such kind and generous people around the world. It is something that always surprises us, and the feeling is very pleasant - Mónica, 32 exchanges
I love the fact that you travel more like a local, can really get a feel for a town and make friends. The home exchange community is a great group of people. - Deb, 52 exchanges
We hope you like our responsible resolutions for 2021! Feel free to add them to your own list. We would love to hear which are your resolutions for the New Year!