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An Alternative to Time Share

Apr 10, 2008
If you own a home, you can be part of the growing network of home exchange systems. It does not have to be the same kind of a house, and it is easy to find exchange partners. You just pick homes that are comfortable for you and your family, and then try to find the home whose owners would like to vacation in your area. Voila! Instant holiday home. Many times people who frequently do home exchanges are open to almost any location that is interesting. Besides the financial savings, you also have the advantage of having someone in your home while you are away. You also see to it that your home exchanger's home is watched over during their absence. Traveling is fun but can be expensive. Even if you are able to get cheap airfare, it can be really expensive to stay in a hotel and eat out at restaurants all the time, especially if you are travelling with your family. Home exchanges offer a great solution. They are not very well known, so people don't really know what a great advantage they can be. Let us say you would like to go to England but when you checked the hotel rates you were shocked at how expensive they were. But if you were able to locate a family in England and use their home, your lodging would be free. This kind of a house swap is a win on both sides.

Exchanging one's home is not that well known, but it is growing in popularity. They are especially desirable in large cities. Veteran home exchangers recruit their friends to help out the exchanging party by meeting them, explaining the house, and giving them ideas about what to see and do in the area. Don't forget, the owners won't be there because they will be travelling to your home. This idea works whether you are traveling alone or with your family; you can exchange an apartment or an entire house. Many times, you can find a swap that is a perfect match. For instance, if you have a family with small children, perhaps you could find another family with small children and all of their toys, video games, etc. will be waiting for them. Living right in the residential neigborhoods of a country is a great way to learn about and enjoy the culture.

Retirees especially love to do home exchanges because they do not have many restrictions on when they can travel. When you do a home exchange, your airfare is just about your only expense if you are able to exchange vehicles as well. This is a big savings since you will not have to rent a car-just pay for the gas. If your exchange partner likes animals, you can also save money by leaving your pet home and not having to board him. Surprisingly, insurance companies are in favor of home exchanges, since it means your home is not empty, vulnerable to thieves. You should clarify this with your insurance company to make sure that your exchange partners will be covered while they stay in your home. Many people may worry about having strangers in their home, but you can get to know the exchangers ahead of time. Email and phone one another and maybe even consider exchanging pictures to get to know one another. You should take advantage of these contacts to exchange information about your home and region. Make sure you ask a lot of questions and are clear about what each side thinks they are getting. You can also ask for references for further assurance. Do whatever it takes to be comfortable about leaving your home and everything in it in strangers' hands. Most experiences by home exchangers has been positive, but there have been cases where the expectations were not met on one side or the other, or if one of the parties damaged the home of the other. Despite all of the advantages of home exchange, free accomodations, free vehicles, free pet and house sitting, laundry facilities and inexpensive meals at home, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your home exchange partners before you decide to take this step.
About the Author
Jack Blacksmith published principally for http://www.alicante-spain.com , a web publication covering information on apartments to let benidorm . You can come across his work on apartments to rent in benidorm over at http://www.alicante-spain.com .
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