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Home Exchanging is much more than free accommodations. It’s sharing. Sharing your home, sharing a little bit of yourself, your hospitality, your favorite recipes, your insider knowledge on what makes your part of the world special and unique.

One way our community expresses this is the welcome gift. You’ve gotten to know your exchange partners as the dialogue developed from inquiry to exchange. Leaving a little something for your friends just feels right.

Often it’s food. Food has always been a component in bringing cultures together. Stocking the fridge with some staples, local delicacies, their favorite foods or even a home cooked meal are just some of the welcome gifts our members have found.

Here are some stories of welcome gifts our members have shared with us on Facebook. Read More

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You love music festivals and have no plans yet for the summer? Check out this fun and local suggestion by Christine, a HomeExchange Member living in Quebec!

 

You love music? Great stars, small bands, street artists? Pop, rock? You would like to discover music from Quebec or from around the world? There is music for every taste at the Festival d’été de Québec. 11 days with 300 shows on 10 stages. Sting & Peter Gabriel will be heading the list this year, but dozens of others will also be present.

Even if it were for this event only, a home exchange in Quebec City or nearby would be worth the trip. It’s 11 days of pure musical joy waiting for you. The city vibrates as dynamic performances take place on small and large stages. To enjoy an outdoor show on the Plaines of Abraham, among others, is a unique experience, for the public as well as for the artists. Read More

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When Magalie (aka Petite Planète) and her partner, who live in a 48-square-meter flat in Paris, received an exchange request with a large and beautiful house in Australia, they just couldn’t believe it was real. When two couples exchange their homes and their lifestyles, here is what happens.

“One day, we received this home exchange offer. A mistake?”

David, Kym and six-year-old Liam are used to big views, the ocean, and a relaxed environment. Their house in Ballina, New South Wales, is located near the ocean. While they definitely enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, they wished to visit Paris for a few weeks. This was in the month of February. The family decided to leave behind the Australian summer, the beach, their quiet life and spacious house with palm trees, art and a Jacuzzi to spend three weeks in a Paris winter, immersed in an urban jungle and shacked up in a two-bedroom apartment.

When Magalie and her partner first received the home exchange offer, they didn’t believe it was real. It had to be a mistake! How could these people really want to exchange their seaside house for a small apartment? But soon they understood the value of their assets: a flexible calendar and the location of their home. Read More

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Happy HomeExchangers Share Their Best-Evers!

Warm and friendly people, gorgeous locations, thrilling experiences (including the marriage of two HomeExchange Members!), and unforgettable memories. These are what make for “favorite exchanges.” Here are stories from some happy home exchangers about their best-evers…so far.

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Our trip to Australia was absolutely amazing. Besides the breathtaking landscapes (which our Sardinia has as well), what we enjoyed immensely was the wealth of wildlife, birds, fantastic colored parrots, and kangaroos… there are really lots of them and it’s exciting to see them!

Luisella, Italy. Profile #67795

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Houseboats Offer Convenient and Cool Home Exchange Opportunities

What’s the most interesting way to see and experience the picturesque city of Amsterdam? By boat. Well, actually by living on a houseboat!

Today, more than 2,000 houseboats are permanently moored in the 17th-century canal system that rings Amsterdam. Their central location, comfortable amenities, and charming ambience make them exotic and practical accommodation choices when visiting the Netherlands.

Here are stories from a few Members whose houseboat exchanges left them buoyantly happy.

Explore houses, houseboats and more than 1000 Listings in Amsterdam!

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Six Free Summer Events & Where You Can Find Them

A home exchange can put you in the right place at the right time to enjoy free fun and entertainment. There are hundreds of free local summer festivals and events throughout the world.

When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious that you can save money when you exchange homes, right?

  • Free lodging
  • Your own kitchen, which means you save on the cost of eating out
  • Possible use of a car, motorcycle or bike as part of the exchange, which saves on transportation costs

These are great benefits even beyond enjoying the comforts of home, living like a local, and being open to the possibility of staying in very cool exchange homes like houseboats or yachts. But another great way to achieve epic economies is by taking advantage of free entertainment opportunities.

Here are a few fantastic festivals in some great HomeExchange locales. And they’re all free!

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“Who will want to come to my place?” You might recognize this question, as many Home Exchangers ask themselves this before joining our community. Well, the truth is that there is always someone interested in coming to your place for multiple reasons! What began as a whimsical experiment to see if anyone would want to stay in the small town of Forres in Northeast Scotland transformed into the trip of a lifetime. 19 back-to-back exchanges within 6 months. Elspeth and James tell us all about it.


 

How Whimsy Led to the Trip of a Lifetime

“Well, where to start … We joined Home Exchange just to see what would happen as we weren’t sure how many people would want to come to our small town, Forres in the northeast of Scotland. Really, we didn’t set out with a plan for a six month trip. We both wanted to see New Zealand, so I sent off a few tentative inquiries and in the meantime offers started to come in. So exciting! We had a couple of offers from Australia and we thought, why not? Read More

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Earth Day, celebrated worldwide each year on April 22, reminds us all that we are invited guests of our planet. On HomeExchange, however, every day is Earth Day for the many members who have converted to or built eco-friendly homes. On every continent and with remarkable diversity and creativity, home exchangers are at the forefront of efforts to champion sustainable living. They employ a variety of means: electricity generated by photovoltaic systems; solar water heaters; renewable building materials such as bamboo, red cedar and other natural products; rainwater cisterns and grey water recycling systems; wooden floors sourced from managed forests; environmentally friendly paint; organic gardens, chemical-free swimming pools and more. Here are 10 eco-friendly homes on HomeExchange:

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