We feel we get better vacations for a fraction of the cost. Not paying for accommodations, means we can spend money on other things.
A Bit About Us
We are Ivan, Arlene, Lauryn and Ally (43, 40, 10, 7 yrs old) and we really enjoy our home in County Meath, Ireland. Arlene is a director working with an agency of the Department of Education and Ivan is a director of information systems working in the health service. We have some hens and rabbits which are great for children. We arrange to have our pets looked after during exchanges, if our exchange partners prefer. Our neighbors on either side are both friendly, helpful couples with young children. Our girls are at school so our exchanges are restricted to school holidays. Arlene and I work full time and really appreciate our travel time.
Where We Have Traveled
We have been to Germany twice. Our first exchange was in Dusseldorf and we also exchanged in Bavaria beside Munich, Italy, France, Switzerland, Boston, Toronto and we also completed a local exchange in Ireland. In the last couple of years we have tried to have two exchanges each year and in 2013 we hope to have Easter in London and the summer in Belgium.
Why We Became Members
Before home exchanging we had already had a passion for sightseeing, exploring the type of vacations where we booked accommodations, flights. rented cars, and did our own thing. When we discovered the concept of home exchanging, it simply took away two of the three costs involved and provided better accommodations and typically bigger and better cars. For us it was a relatively straightforward proposition. We tried the first exchange, thought it was great and immediately went for the next. And of course we enjoy not paying for our accommodations, so that we can spend our money on other things while traveling.
“One consequence of home exchanging is that I find myself almost looking forward to the retirement age, when we won’t have a problem of limited vacation days each year.”
Our Funniest Exchange Story
One consequence of home exchanging is that I find myself almost looking forward to the retirement age, when we won’t have a problem of limited vacation days each year. Then, there will be almost no limitation to travel and explore the world other than having the money for flights!
What Are the Main Benefits of Home Exchanging for You?
As a rule, you get what you pay for, and higher prices generally means better quality. Home exchanging is an exception to the rule. We feel we get better vacations for a fraction of the cost. In 2011, we had two foreign trips totaling, totaling four weeks of vacation time in France and Switzerland in lovely homes with cars. This involved round-trip flights for four, twice and the total cost was less than 1,700 euro for the accommodations, cars and flights. Apart from the financial aspects, there are lots of small costs that all add up in our view. Generally, we bring our car to the airport to the short term car park, fly to our destination airport and pick up our exchange car from the short term car park on that side. Our exchange family comes in the opposite direction doing the same thing. The convenience of this is great. In all our exchange homes we have always had the internet to plan and research day trips and sightseeing, get co-ordinates for the satellite navigation, etc. This allows us to get around like a local person would, while making the best of our holiday and the area we happen to be in.
“As a rule, you get what you pay for, and higher prices generally means better quality. Home exchanging is an exception to the rule. We feel we get better vacations for a fraction of the cost.”
About Exchanging Homes
Over the years, we have tried various types of vacations, including package vacations, motor home vacations, etc. Once we discovered home exchange we have not wanted to go back to traditional vacations. We have always enjoyed the planning of vacations and with home exchanging we are either on vacations or planning the next one. We enjoy making contact with other families and discussing the possibilities with them, even if it does not work out. Home Exchange is like a hobby for us, and considering the offers that come in at any time of the year is enjoyable in itself.