Hospitality Exchange is the third type and this is when you take turns staying as guests in each other’s homes. This form of exchange appeals to the more sociable amongst us and I think works particularly well for singles, who are often worried about travelling alone in a different city or country and it also helps to avoid the dreaded supplements that single travelers often have to endure. Providing space and the number of bedrooms aren’t an issue, you may also consider Hospitality Exchange if you have someone else staying at home, like a lodger or older offspring, where a traditional exchange may not be appropriate as you can’t provide an empty home.
It is normal and good practice when exchanging to leave a welcome pack with lots of interesting information about the property but, more especially about the area and what can be done and seen locally, where to shop and eat, some exchangers even arrange for the neighbors to pop in to introduce themselves. Often with Hospitality Exchanges this local info is taken to the next stage with the home partner acting as a local tourist guide taking you sightseeing, for a meal out and even perhaps for a round of golf at their club.
Home Exchange – who does it? It would be incorrect to think of those who home exchange simply as budget travelers, for that is far from the truth: they represent a wide cross-section of the travelling public. A recent survey showed that 70% of home exchangers are over the age of 45, 60% regard themselves as highly educated, 25% are self employed and 24% are retired.
Home Exchange – why do it? Saving money is the obvious benefit – with no accommodation costs, the savings can be substantial. The same survey listed 33% of home exchangers’ motivation was to save money, 23% wanted to travel more often and swapping homes allowed them to do so, and just over 18% are looking for the authentic cultural experience that comes with staying in a home. Home exchange provides the freedom to do what you want, when you want, armed with the more intimate local knowledge of your exchange partner rather than just a guide book.
Well, is Home Exchanging for you? Why not try it and see? Once you have tried it, I am sure you will want to do it again.
Home Exchange is the vacation alternative and a great way to travel.