Swapping Homes Anybody?


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Home Swaps without surprises

Still thinking about doing a home swap or not? Once you get used to the idea of strangers sleeping in your bed, you will actually have a good time seeing the world or your preferred country for next to nothing.I have a few tips for you how to plan your trip and what to watch out for when you're embarking on your first home exchange.
Sign up with a well- renowned agency. That will set you back approx. $120. For that you get access to their database and can choose from thousands of members in over 100 countries.Maybe you just want to do one trip this year or next summer and test it.Maybe you want to make the flight overseas worth your while and add on another exchange in a different location?
For me the biggest joy comes with the planning, i.e. perusing different countries, looking at houses, seeing their gardens and interiors.It is not unlike signing up on a dating site and looking for a partner- if for a different purpose. I'm keeping my old professional etiquette as the owner of a dating agency and won't divulge which agency we signed up with.. (They are USA based).
There are also sites for seniors only, but they have smaller houses or condos only. If you have a family, you may want more space!

More tips the next time! We painted our porch since my last post. More to do...! Less than 3 weeks to go...Amsterdam is our first exchange destination.http://www.habitatapartments.com/resources/sections/amsterdam_canals.jpg

Friday, June 27, 2014

4 Weeks and counting....

Time tends to fly too fast every year when we prepare for our trips although we should know the routine by now. After all, it's our 4th year of swapping homes. It's useful to keep a check-list and start early enough...but what is early enough, I wonder and haven't found the answer.
We spruce up the house, spring clean and also store items of value or personal nature away into our owner's closet--only to take them back out on our return.We thought we were doing good until a minor storm blew over a tree in our backyard last weekend.Two days of chopping wood and hauling branches to the curb later, the mess is over.
It seems to be the year when everything wants to self-destruct and cause us additional chores.Within the last week the dryer went, we installed a new microwave, repaired a rusty stove door, the TV needed a serious repair and today I noticed that the toaster is on its last leg - or only burning on 2 cylinders.
Whether you decide to touch up paint or freshly paint in and around your house when you embark on a home swap is obviously up to you. Not everybody does that. We are happy campers when our swapping partners exchange faulty light bulbs, empty trash cans and removed enough stuff from overflowing closets so that we can hang up our clothes or put our own food into the fridge.
The cleaner is booked for our departure day so that I don't have to strip the beds and wash and put fresh sheets on. I also always appreciate not having to make the beds first when we arrive at our final destination after long day of traveling.