Tubbataha_Reef

Diving in South East Asia is a like a dream come true. Tropical warm weather, picturesque beaches to relax in, but more importantly, the diverse under water life that thrive in these waters are pretty unreal, offering you some of the best dive spots and experiences in the world. So sit back, read, and maybe even end up living like a local through home exchange in one of these many stunning destinations.


 

Tubbataha, Philippines

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Photo by http://alterra.cc/en

Known as the last frontier of untouched beauty, this UNESCO world heritage site is located in the Sulu Sea. It is a perfect example of a pristine coral reef with a remarkable 100m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands. The dives here are truly one of a kind and a must do for every avid diver. Although most of the dive spots are only accessible by live-aboard dive boats, the rewards are worth it as white and black tip reef sharks, whale sharks, mantas, turtles and hammerheads are often spotted here. Naturally, since it is only accessible by live-aboard boats, the price tag on diving here is quite steep, but is well worth it as each dive boasts of amazing underwater bio diversity. Read More

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New Maps and Easy Access Filters

Many of you liked the new map on the home page, so we decided to spruce up the Search page as well. Now, a full-width map allows you to easily zoom in on a region. Search filters have a new layout so the most common filters are at your fingertips. Below the filters, search results have larger photos, and you no longer need to click to go from page to page.

We’re hard at work putting the final, finishing touches in place. Be on the lookout for the new Search page!

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Are You Interested in Last Minute Home Exchanges?

If you’re open to last minute travel opportunities, you will want others to find you. Make sure to mark your own listing as a last minute exchange.

Begin by choosing “Edit Listing.”

Dashboard > Your Listing > Edit Listing

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Along the left side, scroll down to find the Last Minute radio button to “Turn Last Minute On.”

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Once you have turned on that button, you are instantly included in search results as a Last Minute Home Exchanger. Those looking for last minute home exchanges will now find you.

Enjoy those spur-of-the-moment trips. The unexpected and spontaneous travel opportunities are sometimes the sweetest treats.

 

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Rewarding travel experiences may not be as far off as you think

Sometimes, you don’t have to travel far to find the most rewarding trips. Check out what these actual HomeExchangers have to say about finding unusually meaningful travel experiences without travel to the other side of the globe….

In the summer my family did a weekend swap to Copenhagen, in order to attend a wedding. Since my 3 kids are teenagers, we would have had to book at least 3 hotel rooms (their grandfather was joining us), which would have been too expensive. It was very easy to find an exchange partner through a reverse search since there were several families in Copenhagen who wanted to take a short trip to Oslo. We needed to stay in the hip neighborhood of Vesterbro where the wedding was. Our hosts kindly left a bottle of wine, chocolate and good coffee for us, and recommended a nice restaurant down the street. We loved staying in their spacious and centrally located apartment. Everyone was happy; they reported they loved staying in our island house and swimming at the beach.

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It’s easier than you might think. Here are 5 real-world examples to inspire you (and to imitate)

Clear, well composed photographs are clearly the lifeblood of your home listing, helping attract the best exchange opportunities. But, there’s nothing like moving pictures (with voice and music) to wow and woo your audience.

Time to get into your best Steven Spielberg mindset and make it happen. As an added bonus, extra tips and resource links pertaining to each of the following example videos are found at the bottom of this blog.

Intimidated? Don’t be. Let’s begin… and… ACTION!

1. Hand Held Walking Tour

Comm324_Video_Profile1_250x250Whether you own a dedicated video camera, or even just a smart phone, quality and ease of production are well within your grasp. Remember, landscape mode (horizontal picture) is always more impressive than portrait (vertical) video. The current generation of smart phones — both Apple and Android — automatically capture high-definition video that you can upload to YouTube directly from your phone.

Diane and William of Snohomish, Washington US simply took advantage of the fact that they live in a gorgeous, and spotless home. Even with a little wobble in the picture and no music or voice (which can be added later), this is an impressive video. Diane and William knew that adding video to their listing is valuable well beyond regular photos, and that making the video can be done in less than 15 minutes. Just “point and shoot” and let the house speak for itself.


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Suitcases: Check!

Home cleaning: Check!

Sunscreen: Check!

Are you all packed for your next home exchange adventure? Wether it’s summer or winter in your destination, July & August are the moment when most of the Home Exchangers are up for a new adventure. Where are you headed next? Send us a short video or a photo waving your hand from your holiday destination this year! We’d love to collect photos and videos from all over the world!

Among all photos and videos received until August 31st, we will draw 5 yearly memberships at HomeExchange.com!

How to participate

Share your photo or a 5-10 second video and hashtag it #MyHomeExchange! You can share it on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook (for Facebook, please make sure you post it on our Facebook page and that it is public, so that we can see it!). If you prefer, you can also send it by email to social@homeexchange.com

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Waving is a big thing at the Home Exchange family – and all our Members are keen doing it! We look forward to receiving your photos & videos from all over the world!   

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With summer around the corner, many of us are planning a getaway within the next few months. Planning leads to thinking of our budgets and the highest travel costs which almost always are flights and the price of accommodations.

For those of us who scuba dive and surf, we know we will have extra to think about and pay for due to the cost of the sport and equipment. Scuba divers and surfers are always looking for that next paradise where we can explore new waters and have new adventures. In whichever destination our feet meet, finding affordable accommodations allows us to surf and dive more, and who would turn that down? With Home Exchange, you swap homes with another individual and the cost of accommodation is taken completely out of the picture.

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Here is how Home Exchange benefits scuba divers and surfers from all around the world: Read More

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New places can tug at our hearts in different ways, renewing our senses. Sometimes all you need is a weekend.

Would you like to get away, even just for a weekend? You’ll imagine new sights and sounds around every corner. Sometimes just a few days are enough to leave you marveling that you stepped away from your everyday life for such a short time but found yourself thoroughly refreshed.

New places can tug at our hearts in different ways, renewing our senses and expanding our experience.

Sometimes all you need is a weekend.

Ireland – Galway

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Photo Credit: Elliot Gilfix

Situated on Ireland’s west coast, Galway is known the world over for its friendly people, lively music scene, and local charm. Wander the city’s cobbled streets, watch the world go by and feel yourself step back in time. You may even hear the odd word of Gaelic still spoken.

Did you know the winding lanes of Galway’s Latin Quarter still retain portions of the city’s medieval walls? Now brimming with cafes, boutiques, independent shops, and art galleries, it’s the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and taste some local delicacies such as Irish Stew and home-baked brown bread.

Head to Galway City Museum to find out more about the city’s rich heritage or walk in the footsteps of Galway’s medieval history with a leisurely 90 minute Galway Walking Tour.

Looking for some lively Irish entertainment? Trad on the Prom is not to be missed, a memorising mix of traditional world-class Irish music, song, and dance. Choose from over 120 bottled craft beers from around the world at Salt House Bar on Raven Terrace or The Crane Bar, a little away from the main tourist area, is well worth the walk for a pint of Guinness.

Beyond the city, don’t miss the 2,500 km driving route, Wild Atlantic Way, for a real taste of Ireland’s natural beauty or Connemara National Park, 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, grass, and woodland. Enjoy breathtaking scenery along one of the picturesque walking trails or climb the 400-metre high Diamond Hill for stunning views.


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