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Home Exchange: The Latest Trend in Vacation Savings

Vacations are a wonderful - and necessary - way to relax, rejuvenate, and spend time with your family. Unfortunately, vacations are also costly - especially when it comes to accommodations. A week's stay in a hotel can easily cost close to $1,500. Add in a week of eating in restaurants, and that cost doubles. The bottom line is that those kinds of costs can keep you going to the same destination year after year, and prevent you from visiting exciting new places around the world. Home exchange is a new trend that is helping to change all that.

How Do Home Exchanges Work? Home exchange is just what it sounds like: you swap homes with another couple or another family for your vacation. The power of the Internet makes home exchanges an inexpensive way to find vacation accommodations. Suppose you live in Los Angeles and would like to visit Vancouver on your vacation. You simply find a home exchange website, list your home as being available for an exchange, and then find a home in Vancouver that is also listed, the owners of which would like to vacation in Los Angeles. You and the other homeowner work out the details of dates and times, and then swap homes for the time period you agree upon.

Of course, the more flexible you are about locations and dates, the easier it will be to successfully conduct a home exchange. What Are the Advantages of Home Exchanges? The primary advantage of finding vacation homes through a home exchange is that you have no accommodations costs. Zero. Plus, you'll save considerable money on meals, since you'll have the option of cooking at your vacation home. In addition, there's no resentment factor: your home doesn't have to remain empty while you pay premium prices for a hotel room. You'll also have added security for your own home while you're on vacation, since someone will be staying there. Ultimately, people who regularly vacation with a home exchange find that they can visit exciting new place worldwide at a fraction of the normal price. Desirable Vacation Homes When listing your home on a home exchange website, it's important to show it in its best light as a desirable vacation home. You don't have to live in a mansion in order to have successful vacation home experiences; people exchange all types of homes. However, you'll receive more interest if you have several quality photos of the inside and outside of your home, and if you describe your home's features.

Ground Rules for a Home Exchange Some homeowners are understandably hesitant about home exchanges, and have privacy concerns. That's why it's critical to find a home exchange website that won't reveal your name, address, phone, or email, and instead uses an online form that hides your personal information. You should use that online form to your best advantage, however. When sending information to a prospective home exchange partner, you should include a description of your property and neighborhood, and outline who will be in your traveling party and when you would like to make the exchange. Before you seal the deal, you should speak with the other homeowner on the phone. Good home exchanges are built on mutual trust, so it's important that you both feel comfortable with the exchange. If you're not quite ready for a home exchange, or just want a more conventional holiday, many home exchange sites also offer vacation rentals and property rentals. But give a home exchange a try - you'll most likely be pleased by the outcome.


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