Close to world class restaurants, theatres and museums but able to escape to the friendly local neighbourhood

Traveling Group
  • Peter works in health insurance, zoo educator and passioned by nature and books (53)
  • Petra social worker and psychotherapist loves to meet people of all cultures and religions (49)
  • Robin law student, loves history, other languages and playing the piano, harpsichord and the carillion (19)
  • Caroline studying to become a social worker, loves arts, other languages and going out with friends (18)


Preferred Exchanges

  • Open to Any Destination
  • Open to Any Dates
  • Vienna, Austria

    August 29 — September 23, 2016 These dates are flexible

  • New York, United States

    February 1 — November 1, 2016 These dates are flexible


  • Swimming
  • Antiquing
  • Culinary Travel
  • Historic Sites
  • Museums
  • Theater/Cinema
  • Shopping
Especially Passionate About
Wonders of nature and highlights in culture and history. Amaizing cities too.

Wonders of nature and highlights in culture and history. Amaizing cities too.

Travelling is our passion! Surprise us.

Vacation Type

Exchange Reviews

July - July 2013

Petra and Peter and family have a comfortable house centrally ...

Martin from United States (USA) said

Petra and Peter and family have a comfortable house centrally located in Mechelen, Belgium, about a 30 minute drive north of Brussels and 30 minute drive south of Antwerp. We had the good fortune to meet Peter, Petra, Caroline and Robin at their house upon arrival in Belgium, where they served a light meal and gave a tour of the house [there was also a detailed booklet about the house and surrounds]. The house is a short distance from the center of Mechelen and provides easy access to Belgium and the surrounding countries. We went to Brugge, Ghent, the Belgian coast and Amsterdam all quite easily [and visited family] Peter and Petra were excellent and honest guests and left our house clean and ready for our arrival home. We give Peter and Petra our highest recommendation as exchange guests. The selection of books was amazing. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Peter & Petra
What we said about Martin's house:

In Juli 2013 we had the good fortune to go to the house of Marty, Myriam and their daughter Laura and it was a great experience! They contacted us a full year beforehand so we could buy our tickets for the flight for a better price, we had a lot of time to arrange everything and to get used to the idea of going to the States. We could get to know each other by frequent emails and they gave us a lot of practical and very useful information. Myriam wrote in Flemish as she is born in Belgium and Marty knows a lot about the Belgian/European way of life so he could give a lot of very important tips. Thanks to his detailed information we had a safe holiday and during our stay in America we knew we could count on them with any problem, day and night. We felt secure in their house that is big, light, cool, clean and the kitchen is very well equipped. They lived in our house for almost 3 weeks and had some friends and family staying over but we hardly noticed it as we came back in our house. They left our house clean and in order, and we found a lot of replaced food in the pantry and replaced products in our bathroom. They did a great job taking care of our cavies and chickens and goldfish who were healthier than ever. We had the chance to meet Marty, Myriam and Laura and after a year of emailing it was as if we knew them as friends. They are spontaneous, very honest and they showed a lot of respect for us and our house. They treated us as real guests in their house and we felt very welcome and at home. We can recommend this family as perfect home-exchangers and we wish them a lot of nice experiences in the future with home-exchange.

January - December 2012

The exchange home in Mechelen Belgium provided everything we could ...

Jeff and Katie Barnes
Jeff and Katie Barnes said

The exchange home in Mechelen Belgium provided everything we could have hoped for. The home is spacious and well decorated with an inspiring collection of books and music. The kitchen is very well equipped and comfortable for our family of 5. The garden is green and shady and was great for our kids to explore. The toys in the attic were a great bonus for our young kids, we spent hours in the finished attic playing. The home is also well located, walking distance to the city center and accessible to bus lines. The family provided detailed information on local restaurants and activities as well as many brochures. We were in contact with the exchange family when we had questions and they were very helpful and friendly. The neighbors were also helpful providing suggestions on local activities and making sure we had everything we needed for our stay. During the exchange our house was well cared for and everything was cleaned and in its place. Highly recommended exchange.

Peter & Petra
What we said about Jeff and Katie Barnes's house:

We are a Belgian family, two adults and two teenagers. We stayed in this apartment for one week in the beginning of August 2012. Clean, comfortable and light apartment, larger than expected from the photographs. Neighborhood with all amenities (restaurants, shops) and with good public transport connections (tram) to the city centre of Prague. We received useful information beforehand; they were very helpful, honest and friendly. We had the opportunity to meet the family and found them very sympathetic. Decent, friendly and open minded people, always willing to help if we had a question. During our stay we kept contact by e-mail. They left our house the same as we left it, clean and everything in place. Highly recommended.

January - December 2012

We stayed in this home for Easter holidays in April 2012. ...

Fabio & family
Fabio & family said

We stayed in this home for Easter holidays in April 2012. The home is located in a quiet street in the outskirts of Mechelen (don't be fooled: here outskirts means a twenty minutes walk to the very center). Mechelen is very centrally located (just north of Brussels) and is a convenient base for exploring Belgium. The home is really spacious, comfortable, clean and easy to manage being at the same time full of character (for example there is a huge - and I mean HUGE collection for books). Petra and Peter were very helpful and even if this was their first exchange all the information, tips, house organization and communication have been clear and right to the point. At the end of the exchange we managed to shortly meet them and spent a very pleasant time together. Needless to say we found our home exactly as we left it, clean and in order. Our experience is totally positive.

Peter & Petra
What we said about Fabio & family's house:

We stayed in this appartment for 6 days just for 'bed and breakfast'. Clean, comfortable appartment, larger than expected from the photographs. Neighbourhood with all amenities (restaurants, shops) and with good public transport connections (bus, tram) to both Vatican city and the historic centre of Rome. We received a lot of useful information beforehand; they were very helpfull, honest and friendly. We had the opportunity to meet the family afterwards at our home and found them very sympathetic, with quiet and polite children. They left our house the same as we left it. Highly recommended.

January - December 2013

We enjoyed a great Easter week at the home of ...

Rufus from Beckenham said

We enjoyed a great Easter week at the home of Petra and Peter. They were very understanding that while their party would be three of them, ours would be much larger as one of our daughters took three friends and we celebrated her birthday in Belgium. Being Belgium at Easter, a massive bowl of chocolate eggs and animal shapes welcomed us to the house and the girls made best "use" of them during the week. Mechelen is little known now but was once the capital of Belgium and today sits less than 30 mins drive from Brussells (and a similar driving time from Antwerp). We visited both cities and walked in the cobbled streets and along side the canals of Mechelen itself too. We went slightly further afield to the brilliantly presented historical site of the battle of Waterloo as well and soaked up stories of many peoples of Europe uniting to oppose Napolean's army... very interesting it was. In the garden of the house we fed the many cavies (guinea-pigs if you prefer their pet name) and Deborah the hen - who refused to lay a single egg all week - and the goldfish too, who were very well behaved! Eating out was easy, English widely spoken, the roads easy to drive on and short distances took us to other gems for attractive walks, such as Leuven. We kept in touch one family with the other by email from time to time to check stuff was going to plan at each home, which was comforting, and I have a fear that our house might well have been more clean when we returned than it had been when we left it. Mechelen is not a famous city in an underrated country for tourism and yet I would thoroughly recommend a home-excahnge there for a blend of peace, beauty, ease of access to lots of better known towns and cities and as a base to uncover unexpected information - such as the bitterly sad holocaust memorial museum recalling the very many Jews sent from occupied Belgium to death camps in occupied Poland during the second world war. Sorry to end on a sad/serious note! Rufus

October - November 2013

Very nice town. Ideal location for kids since there are ...

coralie said

Very nice town. Ideal location for kids since there are a lot of opportunities for them (museum, zoo,...). The house is comfortabe, clean, and very well furnished. We even had the opportunity to eat some natural eggs from the garden's hen ! Petra, Peter and family are really nice, hepful and reliable. Very nice holidays are guaranteed !!

May - June 2014

In june we did an exchange with this very nice ...

Miriam from The Netherlands said

In june we did an exchange with this very nice family from Belgium. We felt very welcome in their home: Peter, Petra and their children, are very frendly people. The contact between us and them was easy and we could ask them anything. Their home is a great place to stay. We loved all the (very kind) animals! It was fun for us and the kids to take care of them all. And we enjoyed the fresh eggs from the chickens. The animal care was very easy and not much work; the instructions were very clear. The garden is a great place to wander around with little cozy corners. The beds were great and the house was very clean. The ambiance of this house is beautiful. Mechelen is a beautiful city. We went there several times by bike. We borrowed the bikes from the family. We also visited the French part of Belgium and the famous caves of the city of Han. We had a great time here and when you would consider visiting Belgium, this house is the perfect place to stay!

Peter & Petra
What we said about Miriam's house:

We spent a long weekend in Holten in June 2014 and we loved it! We had the occasion to meet Miriam, Gerard, Reena and Nino in our house at the beginning of our exchange. They are honest and easy to negotiate and trustworthy and before and even during our swap we could ask them any questions, there was always an immediate answer. We got a lot of information about everything in the house and what to do in the neighbourhood. The house is tastefully decorated and full of character. It was warm in the house, the beds are comfortable and the shower is one of the best we have ever had. It was all very clean and well kept. It was easy to take care of the two chickens as it was all well organised with good instructions. There was a little chick, we loved it! And we ate all the eggs. We went for a big hike on ‘the mountain’ in the neighbourhood, visited the Canadian cemetery and fell in love with the cosy city of Deventer, close by. Just outside the house are shops and restaurants but the kitchen in the house is well equipped so you can cook at home, which we did twice. We give this home-exchange our highest recommendation!

June - July 2014

Mechellen is small city in Flanders, the north region of ...

Conde-Oppenheim Family
Conde-Oppenheim Family said

Mechellen is small city in Flanders, the north region of Belgium. This is not a turistic place with lots of attractions. It is ideal for us, coming from Canada, to learn how people live in Europe. We would bike to do groceries, take the bus and lots of trains to explore the area. Here you deal with the locals and not with workers of the turists industry. Mechellen itself has a charming city center where you can enjoy a beer or have dinner, and admire the old cathedral with its massive tower. But the real hidden treasure is the region: Flanders. You can spend weeks visiting cities with lots to offer. You are just minutes away from Brussels and Antwerp (people commute there from Mechellen), both with truly exceptional sites that reflect the rich history and cultural wealth of Flanders. I was very surprised at the low profile of these cities, specially Brussels that should rate high among the European destinations. I have travelled extensively the world, yet walking in Brussels old center, and enjoying a meal in its Grand Place rates really high. We went hunting for chocolate around the many great chocolateries of the area. Then, there is the proximity to other incredible places to visit. With one train change, and a total of 2 hours ride, we were in Amsterdam, Luxembourg or Paris. Mechellen is so close to them all... it makes for an excellent base to visit western Europe. Peter and Petra make for the best hosts you can ask for. Always ready to answer any question and take care of you before, during and after the exchange. Great communication makes all the difference. We could also leverage Peter and Petra's friends and neighbours to help us out, for example, for babysitting. This was so much better than arriving to a hotel and not knowing anyone. Instead, we arrived as if we were some distant relatives :) The house itself is spacious and nice. Don't expect luxury or every gadget (get ready to wash the dishes by hand), but everything you need is there and you'll be very comfortable staying in their house. The house is also very much ready for visitors, with lots of tags to indicate where things are. The place was immaculate clean and very tidy. Last but not least, the garden. It is big, and kids love it. Lots of paths to explore, birds singing and a few animals to take care of. All in all, I highly recommend exchanging with this family. Excellent location to live and explore Europe. Responsible and caring owners. Nice and comfortable house. Cheers!

April - April 2015

We swapped with this lovely Belgian family the Easter week 2015 ...

Lesley from Headington said

We swapped with this lovely Belgian family the Easter week 2015 and had a really great time. Their house is in a lovely quiet street yet a short walk to the historical centre of Mechelen, a perfect location. We had not visited the city before and found it totally charming and so well located for visiting other cities and we made it to Leuven, Antwerp and Brussels during our stay on the very efficient railway system, catching the bus from near the house to the station only 10 minutes away on the bus. The house is very comfortable and quiet with a little of menagerie of animals in the lovely garden, which were a pleasure to feed each day. We now want guinea pigs! It was really comfortable and homely with plenty of space for us and the exchange family had been very thoughtful leaving us food on our arrival and lots of towels etc. They are obviously a very experienced exchange family with exactly the right balance of organisation and relaxed attitude and left a really useful folder with all the instructions we needed and were a joy to communicate with both before and during the exchange. They left my house very tidy and clean and again with very thoughtful gifts and had looked after my home very well. We felt really welcome in their home and our only regret is that we didn't get to meet as we were travelling at the same time, they now feel like friends!

June - July 2015

Very friendly and nice Family! Exclusively good location for sightseeing ...

Laura from Vilnius said

Very friendly and nice Family! Exclusively good location for sightseeing in north Belgium. Very nicely designed interior of the house, it is very cosy inside. Family owns, I would say, not a garden, but real natural park! Children were fascinating playing there! We enjoyed it as well - every morning having breakfast outside and relaxing here in the evenings. I should mention, that staying just for one week, few days we decided to stay at home - this was because of so huge library with extremely interesting books on different topics :) Thank You very much, Petra and Peter - we had rich time here!

July - July 2015

Belgium is a real nice country to visit.Peter and ...

Claire et compagnie
Claire et compagnie said

Belgium is a real nice country to visit.Peter and petra's house is a very nice "cottage". it's welcoming, warm and comfortable.The house is well equipped for a comfortable stay and is located in a residential quiet area nearby many facilities (bakery, butcher, supermarket).It takes only 10 mn walking to go to the charming city center of Mechelen. I stayed 2 weeks with my 3 children and enjoyed various recreational such as nautical center, Technopolis (very good activities for a full day).Mechelen is central to go and visit from Brussels, Anvers et Gant. We also went to Zeeland (1 hour driving) which is the southern Netherlands coast with nice little towns. Peter and Petra are very nice welcoming and people attentive to the fact that the stay takes place at best.Peter and Petra very well maintained home during the stay.We communicated a lot by email and it was very nice getting to know and give advice visit. Until now i's my very best home exchange.

Peter & Petra
What we said about Claire et compagnie's house:

As a couple, we spent two weeks of July in the beautiful wooden house of Claire and her three children and still didn’t have time to visit everything in the neighbourhood because there is so much to visit and experience! Claire gave us a lot of good advice, like the guided barefoot trip from the Mont-Saint-Michel to the island Tombeleine and back, a fantastic trip to do. Close to the house is a bakery with freshly baked bio bread. There’s lots of nature (les onze ecluses!) to make beautiful walks. The cities close by are nice to visit and have interesting architecture and in summer it is relaxing to wander around and drink a coffee on the terrace (Rennes, Dinan, Bécherel, Dol de Brtagne, etc… ). The sea is only a 50 kilometer drive away on easy roads. St-Malo is ‘incontournable’ of course. One minus point: you need a car! It is in the countryside and no public transport provided! The coast path (GR 34 Sentier des Douaniers) is also good for a beautiful day out and a good way to get to know the wild Brittanny coast. The visit to the resident seal at Plage de Mordreuc was another of Claire’s golden insider’s tips! The house is clean, well organized, the kitchen is well equipped and we cooked fresh food every day. We got my sister and her husband on a visit for a whole week, so suddenly there was four adults in the house which was totally unexpected for Claire, but she didn’t make any problem of this. We got to know Claire as an honest and hardworking, independent and strong woman who managed to give her children some unforgettable holidays and our house spic and span, the animals fed and the plants (a lot!) enough water. When there was any problem, she let us know immediately and when we had some questions, she answered right back. During our holidays we had contact by email or text message so this gave us a really safe feeling. All the things that she used from our pantry, she replaced and left even more than there was originally provided. We find Claire a perfect home-exchanger!