Deciding to Try Vacation
By Helen Bergstein
Many travelers first choose a home exchange because they want to save money or
because they want to experience something unusual, but there are many reasons
why you might want to swap your home with someone. Home swapping simply means
that you make your home available to someone from another state or country while
you stay travel in their home as an accommodation on your own trip. You can
exchange homes for a few days or for months at a time. This style of traveling
is quickly becoming one of the hottest options for people of all ages, thanks to
the many advantages home swapping offers:
* Adventure. If you want to experience a new destination as an
invited guest anywhere in the world, then home exchange is a
perfect option for you. Home exchange is about people and
cultures and it offers you a way to see the world from a local
perspective. You can mingle with the neighbors (if you want),
head to the local pub, or visit a farmers market to cook your
own delicious meals. With this travel accommodation, you have
the adventure of exploring a new home, staying away from usual
tourist areas, and the adventure of traveling further and
longer than you ever imagined.
* Plenty of resources. When you choose to exchange homes, there
are wonderful online communities ready to help you find and
plan your next vacation exchange. Digsville.com, for example,
comes highly recommended by members as a safe and friendly
place to learn about available homes and offers worldwide.
Tips on preparing your home, advice for finding the perfect
swap partner, and members' articles of recent swaps will have
you feeling like a home swap pro in no time.
* Comfort. When you stay in someone's home, you enjoy the
pleasure of a real home, with all the amenities and personal
touches you've come to expect. Imagine a fully equipped
kitchen when you're in the mood for scrambled eggs at 2am or a
full size washer and dryer when your toddler has just covered
himself in chocolate ice cream. There is simply no need to
stay in a drab or impersonal hotel room ever again.
* Safety. Thanks to many of the secure online communities, you
can learn all about your host and their home before you
actually finalize any plans. Good communication is key to all
successful swaps. The Digsville.com home
listing provides plenty of opportunity to find out about the
home and neighborhood, home office amenities, and rules and
regulations such as no pets or smoking. Many emails and
several phone calls into planning your exchange vacation will
ensure that you'll feel like old friends by the time you
arrive at your home away from home. Once you arrive at your
temporary home, it's not unusual for hosts' friends and
neighbors to drop by or be available if you need them,
offering help, suggestions for sight-seeing, and some peace of
* Convenience. Today, finding homeowners to exchange with is
easier than ever. Join a community, register as a member and
then browse the listings from all over the world to find a
home you would enjoy vacationing in. Posting your own home or
vacation home will bring in offers from around the globe that
could just lead to the best vacation you've ever had!
* Flexibility. Whether you want to travel for a weekend, or
stay somewhere for months, chances are you can find suitable
accommodations to fit your lifestyle. Not all swaps must be
simultaneous, and very often 3 or more parties may be involved
to satisfy everyone's needs. If you can be a bit flexible with
dates and destinations the more opportunities (and fun) you'll
have. Experienced swappers say their best vacations came from
exchange offers in destinations they hadn't planned on
visiting before they started vacationing the home exchange
* Affordability. Without the cost of accommodations, and the
money saved on dining out at every meal, you'll save a
whopping amount of money to spend on more interesting things
such as cultural events, finer dining, maybe some adventure
trips on the side. Many homes are equipped with standard
sports equipment such as bicycles, tennis rackets,
canoes/kayaks, golf clubs, fishing equipment, snow shoes and
skis that you may very well have access to instead of renting.
Quite a few exchangers also swap their cars, which can offer
you even more savings.
* Great travel options. Few accommodations offer the options and
possibility of adventure that home swapping does. Whether you
want a cottage in Washington State, a loft in Paris, or a home
in the Australian Outback, you can find it through home
exchanges. Whether your preferences are modest or glamorous,
home swapping lets you travel as you please.
With all these great advantages, it's time to starting thinking travel - the
home exchange way!
Helen Bergstein is the founder of the
Digsville Home Exchange Club and an internationally-recognized expert on
home exchange. Helen has written countless articles, newsletters, and surveys
about home swapping and has won awards for her online home exchange service.
Even though she keeps busy acting as chief, editor, customer service leader, and
domain expert for
Digsville.com, Helen still finds time to
exchange her own home and do what fueled her passion for home exchange - travel.