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Old 08-01-2011, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,490,033 times
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Has anyone joined one of the "exchange home" programs and used it with someone in Europe or other continents? If so how did it go?? And for how long was the exchange? I think the idea is great since living expenses are the biggest cost when travelling.

(And I have this in the WORLD section too, as I am not sure where this should go!)
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:01 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,928,266 times
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Did you do a search of this forum?

It has been discussed here before. One of the regular posters, Mooseketeer, does home exchanges all the time and highly recommends it.

A friend of mine has been staying in an exchange home in Ireland and emailed me that after a week, they finally figured out how to turn on the stove. I guess things like that are all part of the fun.

We've thought about doing it ourselves, but are not sure what would be done with our large slobbery dogs.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,490,033 times
Reputation: 1098
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
Did you do a search of this forum?

It has been discussed here before. One of the regular posters, Mooseketeer, does home exchanges all the time and highly recommends it.

A friend of mine has been staying in an exchange home in Ireland and emailed me that after a week, they finally figured out how to turn on the stove. I guess things like that are all part of the fun.

We've thought about doing it ourselves, but are not sure what would be done with our large slobbery dogs.

Thank you for responding. I did do some searching, but should have done it here first and not in the world section, then this post would not be! GRRRR And yes, Mooseketeer has been very helpful....something to definitely think about.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,025,373 times
Reputation: 19908
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
Did you do a search of this forum?

It has been discussed here before. One of the regular posters, Mooseketeer, does home exchanges all the time and highly recommends it.

A friend of mine has been staying in an exchange home in Ireland and emailed me that after a week, they finally figured out how to turn on the stove. I guess things like that are all part of the fun.

We've thought about doing it ourselves, but are not sure what would be done with our large slobbery dogs.
We have had our share of fun experiences like trying to work out appliances but the most bizarre was the place we exchanged to which did not have a cooker or oven . They only had a microwave which to us was really, really weird.

And trying to explain to our Senior Canadian exchangees where our boiler ( for heating and hot water) whilst on the phone to them from Montreal. Guiding the husband to it ( which is right by our back door) and telling him how to switch it on and him telling us no, that was our dishwasher ( because it looks like other kitchen appliances being white and compact by North American standards...). It even says boiler and hot water/heating on the thing !!

He simply would not accept what we were telling him !! There we were giggling silently whilst he argued with us that we were basically wrong !



We have a very comprehensive house file with details of all our appliances, how to set the heating/hot water, where things are, quirks etc... as well as recommendations for places to see, restaurants etc... but of course people never want to read it even though we have made it as user friendly as humanly possible and as short too ! Some home exchangees though just leave you their keys and you are left in the dark ( once quite literally !!) as to how to work out new stuff. It is part of the adventure though ! We have become masters at deciphering how appliances work .


I think Hubby and I can now work just about every single type of foreign appliance there is . And we are also pretty good at supermarket/ deli shopping in every country even with a minimum of Estonian for example !
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: London
1 posts, read 939 times
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Home Exchange is such a great way to travel and it is becoming more and more popular with all ages and types.There are many websites offering Home Exchange so search around before you sign up. Some are good and some are not so, some are free and some charge, in a few cases, I think, far too much. Some websites specialise, like ourselves, in a particular type, be it teachers, doctors, 2nd homes and many others, which help you to swap homes with similar like minded exchangers.

I recommend you look at our Q&A pages for answer to some of your questions or email me at our website and I will help all I can.

Good luck and enjoy your travels.

Brian Luckhurst from Home Exchange 50plus
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:03 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,159,161 times
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If the website charges you, it's not really worth it in my book.
Besides the endeavour seems to me a tad complicated, because it ain't easy to find the right landlord who has exactly the kind of property corresponding to yours and who wants to exhange it for the same number of days or weeks at the same dates, and has the same requirements (comfort, accessibility, tidiness, etc). And there is always the risk of being scammed.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,025,373 times
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Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
If the website charges you, it's not really worth it in my book.
Besides the endeavour seems to me a tad complicated, because it ain't easy to find the right landlord who has exactly the kind of property corresponding to yours and who wants to exhange it for the same number of days or weeks at the same dates, and has the same requirements (comfort, accessibility, tidiness, etc). And there is always the risk of being scammed.
We pay about 85 Euros a year and I think it is worth every penny of it. Even only by doing week end exchanges and shorter term exchanges we save hundreds . This year we have so far done two weeks in Scotland, two long week-ends and then 4 weeks in California ( exchanging cars as well). We do it with an organisation which is one of the longest running one, has the largest amount of members and in over 2 decades we have NEVER failed to find a suitable home exchange.

And exchanges do not have to be of the same house size either. British homes are smaller than American , Canadian or Australian ones for example and we are ninundated with requests. I actually have to keep turning people down despite us living in a small cottage. The website is fantastic and makes it easy for you to narrow down people to contact , and you can sign a contract and even ask for references.

We have done almost 60 exchanges now and never been scammed once. You exchange emails, photos, letters, call each other so you tend to have a pretty good idea about people fairly quickly. We have actually stayed in touch with many partners even years afterwards. And done exchanges with the same people more than once too.

The people we exchange with are all professionals , many of them retired. The "average" professions are probably Lawyer, Nurse, Teacher, Doctor, Architect so hardly hoboes.


And they are not "Landlords" , they are exchange partners. It is an exchange not a rental.

Yes there is an element of trust involved but I think the risk is so minimal it is not even worth worrying about it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:35 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,159,161 times
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You live in a cottage in a quaint town in a picturesque part o southern England, not far from London, Mooseketeer, that's why you receive so many demands. But I did tried home exchange too, but it didn't work out, because most people are not interested in spending their vacations in a 710 sqft 1-bedroom flat in a 6-floor building in the Paris banlieue!
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,025,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
You live in a cottage in a quaint town in a picturesque part o southern England, not far from London, Mooseketeer, that's why you receive so many demands. But I did tried home exchange too, but it didn't work out, because most people are not interested in spending their vacations in a 710 sqft 1-bedroom flat in a 6-floor building in the Paris banlieue!

Of course location helps but I have just had a look at different websites and there seems to be quite a few people in the Banlieues, some of them even in places like Creteil and Nanterre which I would not consider " Les Grands Quartiers" to say the least.

We lived in a really dodgy part of a Glasgow suburb for a while in a tiny appartment ( it was very nice but really quite small and in a depressed and industrial town) and still had no trouble finding a suitable exchange. A lot of people are only looking for a clean and comfortable base.

I am sorry it didn't work out for you though.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Santaluz - San Diego, CA
4,485 posts, read 8,149,853 times
Reputation: 1976
Definitely Home Exchanges are GREAT! We signed up for www.homeexchange.com over 3 years ago and have done over 25 exchanges around the world. We've always had really great experiences and stayed in some really great properties.

We've been traveling around the world for the past 4 months and did many exchanges. In fact, I'm sitting in a great house here in Breckenridge, Colorado in a home exchange.

I've done several exchanges in Europe and had a great time. We're spending all of next summer in Europe in Home Exchanges. Definitely highly recommended and the way to travel.
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