Why try home exchange? Discover the testimony of a member in Paris!
Feeling skeptical? Here’s why try home exchange. Also, as we approach Valentine’s Day, what better way to celebrate than in Paris, one of the most romantic cities in the world? With her legendary monuments, traditional bistros, and vivid cultural life, it’s impossible not to fall for the charm of the city of lights.
In honor of the holiday, GuestToGuest has interviewed Virginie, home exchange expert, about her experience as a host. In the last two years she and her husband have participated in no less than eight exchanges with members from all over the world, and she is here to convince you why try home exchange.
GTG: Virginie, what made you want to try home exchange?
“We were looking for accommodation to visit friends in Spain, and after an unsuccessful search on several rental sites, we discovered HomeExchange. The concept pleased us right away, even more so because we found a gorgeous home in a distant corner of Spain. We quickly decided to host people in our own home to continue the experience. For us, it’s a way to be more open to the world and to offer this experience to others.”
What travel advice do you give your guests?
“Most of the time I give them pamphlets from the Paris Office du Tourisme, but I also try to give them recommendations of places to go that are more personal, places that we ourselves would go. For example, if I find a good deal for an event that I’m interested in, I make sure to let them know. The most important thing is to adapt to their needs and what interests them, so that their stay can be really personalized. We try to be available to give them advice, but also to keep them company. More than once we’ve gone out with our guests and had a great time!”
Can you tell us your best hosting story?
“In December 2014, we hosted a young Spanish couple that had a very original approach to travel. They were in the middle of studying for their exams and decided to spend the day working at the house and go out in the evening to admire the Christmas lights. So finally they only saw Paris by night! What we really enjoy is when the roles are reversed, and our guests invite us for dinner at our own home!”
Lastly, what does home exchange mean to you?
“For me, home exchange is above all very human—as both guest and host it allows us to meet new people with whom we can stay in contact. And it’s a great way to travel more because we save on accommodation.”