Location, location, location. I believe if you live in an interesting area people will always want to exchange with you. I get requests to exchange so often, that many of them I have to reluctantly refuse the offer.
In 2013 we did a fantastic home exchange right here in the good old USA. People might think you have to swap with some exotic location in another part of the world, but there are great places within a car ride.
We had an unbelievable offer from a beautiful custom built woodland retreat house on a private lake in the Adirondacks of NY. I am not normally the mountain type of person, more so a beach any day. We filled up the gas tank, loaded up the SUV and took a lovely drive up through PA and NY into an area which I am totally unfamiliar.
It was a rather large house and IT WAS FANTASTIC! We were only 3 in our party so I had asked a girlfriend and her daughter to join us. It was so my daughter would have a playmate and It worked out really well.
That’s another great advantage of swapping a home – you can invite others along if you wish. You could even arrange to swap two houses along with a family member or friend – and all go on vacation together without being too cramped.
The house was like something out of Architectural Digest. My house is a very modest duplex – why would they want to trade with me – LOCATION!
We took long walks on the beautiful, bucolic grounds and private driveway (2 miles long I think). We roasted marshmallows in the outdoor fire pit and relaxed immensely in the great outdoors. We enjoyed breathtaking views of our private lake – while dining and doing yoga every day. Oh yes, and that amazing house had a gourmet kitchen and large playroom for the kids. Don’t forget the master bedroom with a large sliding glass door and a view of the lake.
The owner’s brother lived in another house up the road. We drove by one day and invited them to join us with drinks by the fire. We ended up making new friends and our kids found new playmates!
There was so much to do in the area with all of the area lakes, small towns, outdoor concerts, and bike rides with the ones we brought from home. We even indulged in a day at Six Flags Great Escape, where we were able to use our Six Flags season passes from home and enter free of charge (one day of commercialism allowed 🙂 ).
It was a fantastic, frugal, family vacation. We ate most every meal at home, paid nothing for accommodations and yet had one of our best family vacations!