6 Reasons To Do a Vacation Home Exchange for Your Next Trip

Many travelers may have heard of a home exchange where you can stay in someone’s second or vacation home, but may not have any idea of why they should try this revolutionary way of traveling. If you want to travel the world for less, if you want to end the struggle of trying to find a suitable hotel for your next vacation, read on to see why it make sense to do a vacation home exchange!

1. A home exchange is much easier than booking a hotel.

Imagine everything that goes into a typical vacation. You need to book your flight or other travel arrangements, and of course, when you book a hotel, you have to put a lot of thought into it. Where will you stay? How much will it cost? Is it in a good area? Is there Wi-FI? How far are you from popular attractions and tourist destinations? All of these must be considered, and then most of us like to read reviews of hotels to make sure we’re staying in a clean and comfortable place. House exchange options are nowhere near this hassle-filled, because you know exactly where you’re staying, what it looks like, what to expect, and you’ll have the owner’s contact information.

2. You can see the world without paying high hotel prices, even during “peak seasons.”

As a seasoned traveler, you probably know how some destinations have peak seasons, where the hotel prices rise with demand. However, when you do a home exchange, you aren’t paying any nightly charges, and you certainly aren’t paying a seasonal rate. This means you could go to Florida and stay in an Orlando vacation home in the middle of summer, or find yourself enjoying the slopes during prime ski weekends in Colorado and other areas. We have properties located throughout the world!

Photo used under Creative Commons fromFlickr user LaurenProfeta

Photo used under Creative Commons fromFlickr user LaurenProfeta

3. Vacation on your own terms.

One of the most annoying things a traveler can experience in a hotel is that they aren’t vacationing on their own terms, and the place doesn’t feel like home. By engaging in a house exchange, you get to set the terms of your vacation, and don’t have to worry about hotel policy, loud guests, and other things that can plague your vacation.

4. Travel in style while living like a local.

On a house exchange, you really like get to live like a local. You can explore everything your new home away from home has to offer, and get the most out of your vacation. You won’t just get a generic tourist experience like everyone else who travels to your destination, and you’ll feel like you’re free to come and go as you please from your temporary home. You can even ask the neighbors of your home exchange property to recommend local places to dine.

5.  Cut down on meal expenses and savor your culinary experiences. 

House exchange properties are literally someone’s second home, so they’re set up with everything you’d expect a home to have, including a table and kitchen. If you’d like to go out and bring back home a bag of fresh-caught fish, local sausages, or whatever staples that your vacation destination is famous for, you’re able to do this. Your meal expenses can be cut down especially if you don’t eat out, but instead stay in and cook breakfast or dinner occasionally.

6. Save more than you can imagine.

Home exchange eliminates sticker shock over hotel prices. The average hotel price will include a nightly rate (sometimes higher on weekend) then taxes, fees, and optional charges as well. These may be Wi-Fi surcharges, pet fees, valet fees, and parking charges. Add in tips for bellhops and maid service, and you’ve accumulated quite a list of expenses! A home exchange with us means YOU PAY NOTHING the first year, and then, $69.95 annually, for the privilege of staying all over the world in beautiful vacation homes in Paris, Africa and many more locations!

What Sets Us Apart from Other Home Exchange Companies

The difference between us and other vacation home exchange services is that you don’t have to arrange a trip at the same time as a house swapping partner! Instead you get to leverage your second home or vacation for a stay in someone’s else’s, regardless if they don’t want to stay at your home! This is an indirect exchange, and you get an indirect exchange credit for letting them stay in your home. You can then use this credit to stay at other homes!

How do you get started? If you have a vacation home, you can join us today, and we’ll waive the fees for the first year. You only pay a fee when you arrange a vacation home exchange.

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5 Things To Know About Home Swapping with Pets

Just in time for National Love Your Pet Day, we’re talking pets!

Our pets are like family to us, and it makes sense that we bring them on vacation sometimes. If you’re embarking to a location by house swapping, there are a few things you need to consider before bringing Fido or Fluffy with you.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr user boblinsdell

Photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr user boblinsdell

Make Sure Pets Are Allowed

First things first, make sure you’re actually permitted to bring your pet to the house exchange property. If you’re participating in an exchange with a member of The Vacation Exchange Network, then you want to make sure you have chosen a property that welcomes pets. Many of the members will state “well-behaved pets welcome,” however, if the listing doesn’t state this, please check if pets are allowed. It will ensure both you and the vacation home owner have a great house swapping experience.

Be Prepared

Once you’ve decided to bring Fido or Fluffy with you for your vacation home swapping, you need to make a few preparations. You should make sure you have plenty of food on hand, plus you might want to bring comfort items, such as your pet’s blanket or toys. If you have a cat, a Feliway or other natural diffusers can make your pet more calm in an unfamiliar place. When it comes to food, consider bringing enough food to last your entire trip, plus enough for one more day. If your pet eats food that is prescription, doubling is up smart, just in case of an emergency during your travels. With cats, never forget litter or litter boxes!

Consider the Water

Vets say that a different type of water can make your pet sick to their stomach, so you may consider bottling your tapwater for your pet to drink while on vacation during a house exchange. If you’re going out of the country or to a new state, you may find that the water taste differently. If you notice it, your pet will too!

Remember ID

We don’t like to think the worst, but what if your pet were somehow lost while you were traveling or on a house exchange? You should make sure your pet is well-identified, with a collar with your name, cell phone number, and maybe even email. If you adopted your pet from an animal shelter, it may be microchipped, so check with your vet. A microchipped animal can be scanned at nearly at vet, animal hospital or shelter. You may also want to bring a copy of your pet’s records in case they need to visit a vet while the two of you are home swapping. A recent picture on your smartphone is always recommended as well. Some pet owners even make a “pet passport,” which is a journal to hold all of their pet’s information for travel.

Follow the Rules When House Swapping with a Pet

On a house exchange, you should ask the homeowner if there’s any guidelines for pets. Do they not want pets in a certain area of the home? Are pets allowed on the furniture?  Home swapping with pets is easy when you respect the rules of the homeowner.

Are you ready to learn more about house exchange, with or without a pet? The Vacation Exchange Network is full of vacation home owners who love home swapping with people just like you! Find a new destination for you and your furry friend today at our websitePlease visit The Vacation Exchange Network’s site to join our home swap network, to learn more about how home exchanges work, or see all of our properties at great destinations all over the world. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!


How to Have the Best Vacation on Any Budget

Vacationing doesn’t have to be expensive, if you’re smart about your financial planning. One of the best ways to save money on a vacation is to leverage your existing home for a vacation home exchange with us, The Vacation Exchange Network. However, there are many other ways to save money on a trip besides house swapping, and we’re going to share a few for when you book your next vacation, whether it be across the country or around the world.

how to save money on a vacation

Original image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user fdecomite

Travel in an Area’s “Off Season”

Every destination you visit will probably have an off season, or a period of time when it’s not as busy. These are the times where you can expect to have a pleasurable vacation, because activities, recreational parks, etc, won’t be as crowded, and you can probably find good rates. By simply searching online for your destination plus the words “off season” in Google, you can determine when’s a good time to go. Now granted, the off season may be a time when the weather isn’t ideal, so be prepared. However, sometimes the off season is just a season where the travel dips because kids are still in school and it’s harder for people to take off work. You can enjoy a less-crowded vacation at a great price, especially when you participate in a house exchange. Our homes are available for vacation home exchange throughout the year, so take a look today if you’re interested in house swapping!

Find Coupons for Attractions, Restaurants and More

Once you’ve decided where you’re visiting, it’s time to start looking for ways to save money! Many locations you may visit will have discounts. You may decide to visit an area where there’s attractions, and most attractions (with the exception of Disney and Universal) have coupons in local travel brochures in the area, or you can find coupons online. Sometimes the official visitors website for a destination, such as Palm Beach, Houston, etc, will have an option for discounts. If you’re visiting a popular destination for families, visit parenting message boards and blogs to find sources for discounts as well, and don’t forget Pinterest!

Keep Food Expenses Down

Food is one of the most priciest purchases you can make on a vacation. Instead of going out for breakfast every day, why not bring your own breakfast food? Once you get to your destination, you can find a nearby grocery or pack your own options for breakfast. Our house exchange properties come with great kitchens, so you can prepare eggs and other breakfast staples. You can’t go wrong with packing muffins, protein or breakfast bars, snack mixes, plus cereal in grab-and-go containers. You’ll save yourself time and money, even if you don’t embark on a vacation home exchange.

Travel On the Right Days

There are certain days that are better to travel on than others, especially in the airline industry. When you’re looking for plane tickets for your next trip, try a variety of different departure days, if possible. It’s better to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, because those are the least popular flight days. You may be able to get a ticket that’s $50-$100 off if you opt for flying on these days rather than Mondays and Sundays. You may also consider picking a very early flight time. Yes, you will be tired but the earlier you get in, the more hours you get to enjoy on your first day of vacation. Instead of departing at 1:00 p.m., consider taking in the early hours of the morning, such as 6 or 7.  Don’t forget to start looking for airline tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and not the weekend!

Pack Smart

Why tote a large suitcase and a carry on on your next trip? If you’re flying, pack smart by making it easy by getting rid of the large cumbersome suitcase, especially if you’re only going to be gone a few days. You may combine all of the family members clothes into one big suitcase, instead of three small ones as well. You’ll save on luggage fees, because which would you rather pay, one suitcase for $25 or 3 suitcases at $25 each? Sams, TJ Max and other discount stores have large size suitcases that are fairly inexpensive. March is known as one of the best times to buy new luggage, because winter is over and summer has started yet, so stores put luggage on big discount. Take the time to snag a good durable large suitcase if you feel like you’ll need one for an upcoming trip or house exchange!

We’re big proponents of one of the best ways to save money on vacation, house swapping. Our properties are located throughout the world, and none of them are rentals. Instead, they’re all second homes owned by travel lovers just like you! If you want to know more about the network, see our properties, or get in contact, please visit our website!