Guest Post by Pam Kirkbride
Last year, we wanted to start traveling with our two school-aged girls, and at the same time, I went from working full-time to part-time. We wanted to still travel as a family, but knew that we had to change how we vacationed as a family. We wanted to be comfortable, have the amenities of being in a home, yet we didn’t want the expense of 5-digit vacation. How could we accomplish this? Answer: Home Exchange. Why would a family want to do Home Exchange?
1. Home Exchange is economical.
Like I said, this is the #1 reason why we decided to become Home Exchange members. The cost of a hotel could be over 50% of the entire cost of a family vacation. Imagine saving that money?! With a Home Exchange, you do. The only cost with home exchanging is the cost of Membership and the actual cost of traveling, like airfare.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many people who can afford to pay for a 3-bedroom hotel suite with two bathrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen in Paris, France. Well, that’s what we got when we exchanged with a Parisian family and we didn’t have to pay for it!
2. You’ve got a dining table and a kitchen.
Because you are in a home instead of a hotel, your can still have family meals around a table. No need to run around stressing where your next meal will be. And if your kids wake up at the crack of dawn, you know that a full kitchen is nearby to make a bowl of cereal or some frozen waffles.
Every morning in Paris, we would go to the local patisserie for our daily breakfast of a baguette, three croissants and two chocolate croissants. We would bring the bag of freshly baked goodies to our Parisian apartment and eat at the family dining table. We went to the patisserie so often that the baker got to know us so well that when we passed by to go to the metro, he would wave to us, just like regulars.
3. Your kids can still play.
As a parent doing Home Exchange, I highly encourage you to find other parent home exchangers with children around the same age as yours. That way, you can be sure that they have toys and books that your kids can play with.
At our recent Washington D.C. Home Exchange, the family we exchanged had a large playroom filled with toys and books. This was fantastic because I knew they would never get bored being in the house. In fact, they never wanted to leave to see the Washington, D.C. sites!
4. Your kids can experience things that they wouldn’t be able to if they
were in a hotel.
The Washington D.C home we stayed at also had a garage full of bikes, which we encouraged our oldest child to try out. Being a NYC family, it’s a challenge to find a safe, un-crowded area to encourage our daughter to learn how to ride a bike. But in our Home Exchange, it took her less than one hour in their backyard to start peddling around!
5. You and your family REALLY get to see how other people live.
One of Home Exchange’s mottos is “Live Like a Local, Not a Tourist.” That’s what traveling is truly all about, right? You want you and your kids to experience how other people really live in other parts of the world – something that you truly get to experience when you exchange your home for another home.
Family traveling is a luxury, but you don’t have to pay luxury prices with a Home Exchange. In fact, you get that family vacation of your dreams without the high costs, but more of the memories and experiences!
About The Author
Pam Kirkbride is the editor and publisher of the New York City mom blog, Triple Threat Mommy, a social media consultant, and the mommy of two fabulous New York City girls. When she is not writing, she can be found tweeting @triplethreatmom, updating her Facebook status, Instagram-ing her latest pic and pinning on Pinterest.