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Using a Home Exchange Service to Rent a Apartment in Paris

Jul 4, 2008
Are you dreaming about visiting the beautiful city of Paris? Do you live in an area where others would like to visit or get away from it all? Would you like to take a vacation and not have to spend a dime on sleeping accommodations? If so, a home exchange service could be the perfect solution!

When the movie, "The Holiday", starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black hit the big screen in December 2006, many Americans became aware of home exchange programs. However, the Europeans have been using home exchange programs for nearly 50 years.

Basically, there are two types of exchange programs: home exchange and hospitality exchange. With home exchange, you swap houses with another interested party. They stay in your home, while you stay in theirs. With hospitality exchange, you host visitors in your home for a specified period of time, than they host you in their home for the same amount of time.

Most people prefer using a home exchange opposed to hospitality exchange, as they feel somewhat awkward inviting guests they do not know to stay with them. And, while you might be somewhat apprehensive to allow strangers into your home unattended, most home exchange programs allow you to develop a personal relationship with the individuals long before the exchange takes place.

According to Rotary Home Exchange, more than 250,000 successful exchanges occur annually. The majority of home exchange organizations require a membership fee. These generally range from $50 to $200 per year.

This fee allows you to post information about your home, including photos. In your listing, you can list specific details such as whether your home is pet-friendly, allows indoor smoking, is handicap accessible, and what amenities are included. Additionally, you can include a detailed description of the type of home and location of where you would like to visit.

Using a home exchange service provides you with more flexibility than booking a hotel reservation or searching for a apartment on your own. It also provides you with the opportunity to meet new friends and offers the benefit of knowing your home is being looked after while you are away. It also allows you to stay in a nice home for free!

Every home exchange is unique and dependent upon developing a relationship of mutual goodwill and trust. Obviously, there are some risks involved. But, there are also risks involved with booking a hotel reservation or locating a apartment rental. The difference is that the people you are exchanging homes with are taking the same risk.

There are many reputable home exchange services available via the Internet. To locate the different organizations, type in "Home Exchange Service" at your favorite search engine and begin researching the ones of interest to you.

You'll want to spend several hours conducting research on each organization before making your final decision. Visit each website in order to determine which service offers the types of homes in locations you desire. Once you have made your selection, sign-up as a member and begin entering your information.

Never, ever exaggerate information about your home. If you reside in a small home out in the middle of "nowhere", you might be surprised at how many people are looking for a place where they can get away from it all. Focus on providing information about the benefits staying in your home will offer to potential visitors, and be honest about what type of home you own.

Home exchangers consist of people from all walks of life. Some are single, others are married, and many have children. You can decide what type of person you prefer to exchange with and how long you would like to exchange. Generally, it takes four to six months to complete the transaction, so allow plenty of lead time.

If you do your research and plan ahead, you can potentially save thousands of dollars in accommodation expenses by using a home exchange service. Give it a try. You just might discover a new way to explore the world!
About the Author
Rita Borges, Managing Director,Paris Luxe Apartments, http://www.parisluxeapt.com, http://www.parishoneymoonrentals.com
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