5 Exciting Places This Winter for a Vacation Exchange

As winter arrives, you may be thinking of a good destination for a home exchange vacation. While Aspen is one of the most popular winter vacation destinations, if you’re looking for a new set of ideas, we’ve got plenty. Consider a house swap vacation in one of these exciting spots this winter.


Have you ever visited Michigan in the winter? The state is known for its ample amounts of snow and an abundance of activities. It’s time to consider Michigan for your next house swap, because we have plenty of options for you to explore the state.

Frankenmuth is known as Michigan’s “Little Bavaria” and is less than three hours from several of our Michigan home exchange properties. This charming town features has things to do for adults and kids alike, including indoor and outdoor activities. The town has a magic about it, and you’ll feel you’ve been transported to a quaint German village. Tourists and residents love watching the clock tower at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. daily as the landmark plays a 35 bell Carillion and then depicts imagery from the Piped Piper of Hamlin folk tale. A Christmas museum, and Frankenmuth’s famous fried chicken are just a few of the reasons to visit for a quick day trip.

Photograph used under Creative Commons - Flickr user eepaul

Photograph used under Creative Commons from  Flickr user eepaul

If you’d like to indulge in winter sports, you can’t go wrong with Michigan. Tubing, sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling are just some of the options for this great state. Nubs Nob is known as a great ski destination for families, and features 43 slopes. For a departure from winter sports, consider a little cultural exploration. Do you love exploring wineries? Suttons Bay has several wineries for you to visit, such as Black Star Farms, L. Mawby Vineyards, and Longview Winery. If museums are more your taste, Michigan has several throughout the state worth seeing, including The Henry Ford Museum, Great Lakes Children’s Museum, and the History Center of Traverse. When the snow is falling, you can take in art and history at your leisure at these attractions.

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5 Things To do With Kids on a Vacation Home Swap: How to Get Out and Explore a New City

Traveling with your children can be one of the most rewarding experiences, especially when you get a chance to discover a new city. When you use the Vacation Exchange Network for a housing swap, you have a chance to visit exciting destinations all over the world. There are museums, landmarks, activities, shows to see and more. When you arrive at your destination, what are some of the best ways to keep your children engaged and entertained while exploring your new city? Read on and see!

1. Have a Vacation Photo Scavenger Hunt

Before arriving at your destination, you can devise a photo scavenger hunt. Look up the local landmarks, wildlife, points of interest, and attractions to make a list of images to “capture” with your children. You can make a quick list with checkboxes, and have your children run around taking photographs on everything on the list. Not only is this a way to explore the new area on a home exchange, but you will also have a great record of some of your experiences. When you get home, you can save the photographs in a special photo album or scrapbook. This is a great activity for children ages 3 and up.


2. Take a Set of “Buddy Pictures” At Fun Locales

Here’s an activity that’s very popular online with both adults and children! Have your children pick a beloved toy to take along as you explore the sights of  your vacation destination. Take photographs of the toy in front of signs, plants, and other interesting spots. Your child will love finding new places for their toy to go, and dreaming up fun situations for the “animal” to engage in. You might pose your buddy in front of a historic castle, or posing with a local delicacy.  The only rule is have fun and get creative! Your children will love sharing the images with friends and family when they return from your vacation, plus this activity can make even “boring” places seem fun.

3. Play Brochure “Roulette”

Read over the brochures for your destination and choose a handful with options that you feel are child-friendly. Then let your child decide the day’s “mystery” activity or destination by putting each brochure in its own envelope and pick from the pile. You never know where you’re going to end up! This is a great way to see the city in a new way, and not stick to a strict itinerary. Save the brochures to put in a scrapbook later, along with photos from the destination(s).

4. Get a pass for the local transportation system.

One of the best ways to explore the real culture of the city is to use the local transportation system. If you can jump on a subway, trolley, bus, tram or even train, you can discover new sights, fascinating exhibits, great places to eat and more. Most transportation options are easy and affordable to use, so as you prepare for your house swap, see your best options for getting around.

5.   Make Your Own Audio “Tour”

Take along your smartphone or tablet when you explore the new city, and let your children discuss the “must see” elements of your vacation, favorite sights, fun places to go, and what your family did. Let your child tell you their own “history” of the place, using their imagination and their surroundings to weave fun stories. You can save all of your recordings on your device, then mix it into MP3 files to play back anytime you need a walk down memory lane. You could even share it with a family member who might also be going to the same destination.

Your vacations are what you make of them, and each destination offers a chance to learn, play and explore a new area. Children are naturally curious, and you can use the world as their playroom and make memories by indulging in some of these fun activities.