Moving From Me To We BlogMoving From Me To We Blog

You May Not Fall in Love On Your Next Trip, But….

… you may fall “in like” with kindred spirits who are interested in meeting you. In fact you’re likely to make lifelong friends. Here’s how.

Rather than scouting guidebooks for your next dream vacation, hoping to discern not only the best sightseeing spots but the undiscovered foods, customs and places only the locals know about, why not trade homesEven if you don’t find romance as the women played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet did, using this site in the movie, The Holiday, you may meet interesting locals who know the owners of the home in which you get to stay. And all that money you save by not staying in a hotel means you can splurge on your trip or take more trips. (What recession?) Yet, if you’re like me, the first fear that pops in your head is, “What! Let strangers stay in my home! Are you kidding?Yet more and more people are swapping homes.

Hear how the founder of the first home exchange community, Ed Kushins, has built into his system two vital traits to grow a loyal online community:

1. A clear, compelling reason to join and participate: trade homes for a more interesting and relaxing and less expensive way to vacation.

2. A way to establish trust with another member before trading homes: exchange emails to get to know each other, check out referrals from their past exchanges, read closely their self-written descriptions of their home and themselves and view the unlimited number of photos they can choose to display.

Members can exchange homes, for short or longer times, and advice about what to see and do, and who to meet, “when you’re here in my town.” Deeper friendships have sprung out of common interests as diverse as runners, amateur historians and foodies. As a hiker, author, glass lover with a lifelong interest in urban design and behavioral science I am diving into the new world of trading homes.

Yes it means I can afford to see more places but, more than that, I’ll be able to find people in other parts of the world with whom I can exchange ideas and share experiences.  Finding those matches will be simpler in an online community than on my own as this charming man and this anonymous person are apparently doing on their own. Everyone loves value, even the ultra-rich.

Who’s Your City? Instead, some avid home swappers appear to become citizens of the world. As my semi-retired, world-traveling friends, Shari and Bob put it, home exchange is a captivating way to create world peace by getting to know each other better.

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  1. Posted April 12, 2008 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    I thought you might like this quote byan experienced home exchanger from Wales in a recent issue of Home Swappers Newsletter:

    ‘I have come to appreciate that the process of home exchange is more than just about exchanging your home and how tidy you find it on your return. When you exchange homes you often experience a kindness and level of trust that so often feels in short supply in today’s busy world. When else would you freely hand over the keys to your home, invite people you may never meet to sleep in your bed and use your car? As a family, we have stayed in many different types of homes and neighbourhoods and had experiences we would never have had if we not been on a home exchange. My children still talk about the open air cinema in Switzerland (the tickets were left as a gift), the ice cream they received from the kindly neighbour during the heatwave in France, the children who came to call when we stayed in Ireland, the invite we received from our exchange partners’ friends in Canada to use their pool, the neighbours who called with fish from their fishing trip etc.’

    Cheers from London
    Travel the Home Exchange Way

  2. Posted April 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    What an affirming opinion re the experience of exchanging homes in this way – and your blog is chuck full of helpful insights. Thank you

  3. Posted March 21, 2009 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Let me add a different strategy. Home exchanges are great, but I think homestays–where the people who live there are part of your visit too–are even better. We’ve been members of Servas, an international homestay network, since 1983, and so many of our travel memories are bound up with people we’ve met through this wonderful network. US: – elsewhere:

    An article I wrote about memorable homestay moments was just reprinted in Australia:

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