Sunday, October 25, 2015

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

An expert in home exchange program once asserted that “the very act of staying in someone's home, living, shopping, and doing the things residents do also makes for the kinds of personal interaction that is often deeper than just staying in a hotel and visiting tourist attractions.”

A frequent home swapper had declared that “there is something addictive about taking the place of a ‘native’ family in a different culture. You are immediately living a life, not being an exploited tourist. Your home exchange partner would leave hints like ‘Don't go to the market on a Thursday, go about 1:00 on a Friday when they have all the bargains’ or ‘The best and cheapest restaurant is…’ or ‘My neighbors will give you a typical meal from the region and take you to see the best view in our area’ and many more. People couldn't be more friendly and helpful.”

It makes no difference how good the tour guide says it or how well the travel book describes a destination; the real picture can only be seen from your ‘own’ backyard. Traveling to another country and staying as a guest in someone's home makes the experience richer, and more meaningful.


Sometimes however, you have to work a little harder in looking for a partner. If your place is not that appealing or is out of the way, perhaps, very few people will want to go there. So, the initial contact work has to come from you. Once a connection is set, there might be five or six letters and about four or five phone calls before things get settled.

On the average, one needs to send out 20 to 25 letters of interest to get at least one positive response.  One should not get very disappointed if there is no positive news in the first few contacts that were made.

All in all, the pros far outweigh our small complaints on home exchange. Simply put, it’s just so nice to live in a real home, especially on your vacation.

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