Home swapping is becoming increasingly popular. Whenever I mention that this is our preferred way of vacationing, people usually have heard about it or seen that film..A Hollywood movie "The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett. That's a start to talk about the topic, but I make it clear from the start that we don't swap partners!
In case you are thinking about it and choose Ireland for your favorite destination, I need to tell you that the Emerald Isle is hard to come by. This is not only my experience but was mentioned in Homelink's own newsletter. Now I said it. We are subscribed to USA Homelink.org for six years running now. In addition, we took out a subscription for Homeexchange.com to have even more choices. In fact, two of our three exchanges this year were made through the latter. The reason is simple: thousands of emigrants or descendants of Irish living in the States, England or Australia choose this option to trace their roots on the Ould Sod. For me who lived in Ireland for so many years, the choice becomes even more difficult when you know certain areas well.
As we are always doing more than one swap, you may wonder how we get from place a to place b.
The home swaps we do always come with a car swap. That's how you save money: free accommodation plus free use of car. For the interim and the travel between each swap we need to rent a car. With some years of experience under our belt now, we can give you an important advice. It works best for us to get the car the day before we vacate our adopted home, then return it at our new destination the day after our arrival. This way we can drive to the car rental place
with the car that goes with the house. We pack up that day and leave the next at the appointed time.
You may have your own experiences with car rentals! We found out the hard way that rentals are not always new, impeccable car but have dents and scratches. We learned to inspect each new rental top to bottom. First I scoffed at a man who walked around the rental and took pictures. But then it happened to us that we were held responsible for prior scratches. Bring a flashlight for your inspection. The rental company will do it; especially when you return the car in a multi-story car park.