Sunday, October 25, 2015

Home Exchange – Pros and Cons (part 1 of 2)

Home exchange has gone a long way since the 50’s when it was a simple travel lodging option popularized by the academia (teachers, writers, professors, graduate students) wanting to go to places but saddled with very limited budgets. From printed pamphlets sent out periodically before, home exchange organizations now have their own websites where one can surf through thousands of listed homes for exchange.

Typically, home exchange is an agreement between two people or families from different parts of the country (or the world) deciding to “exchange” their places of residence for an agreed period of time. The main consideration then was money, or the lack of it, actually.


Of course, money is still the biggest factor why home exchange is still popular now, and getting to be more so. The hard cash principle is simple – you don't pay a single cent for the accommodations.

Very often the exchange reaches beyond dwellings to include cars and/or pet care, rewarding you with additional savings on rentals and boarding. Many people opt to travel to more exotic locations for longer periods with significant savings on accommodation costs.

But other reasons like comfort and culture are added to its being a good, cost-effective travel option. Most of today’s accommodations are tight, there is minimal privacy, never enough bathrooms, and places are usually crowded with tourists for a traveler to really enjoy the place of destination.

In a real home, you can whip up scrambled eggs sandwich and warm milk at 2 a.m. in a real kitchen. Or, go to a real terrace to take in some real breeze. It is always fun just to go shopping in a neighborhood market. And after a hectic day and you don’t feel like getting dressed up just for dinner, you can eat supper in your favorite pajamas.

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