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HomeExchange.com member Francesca has stayed in exchange homes for some of the world’s biggest festivals. We asked her to share some of what she’s learned along the way! How many exchanges have you done? Ten! Valencia for Fallas, Guadalupe, Lima, Buenos Aires twice, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador De Bahia for Carnival, Bail, and twice to Paris.   What’s something that surprised you about the Carnival in Brazil? I traveled to Carnival in February of this year and learned that the celebration is different from town to town! Salvador is…

10 Free Rio EN

In celebration of the World Cup, we asked travel blogger (and frequent Rio visitor) Elsa Bastos about her favorite free things to do in Rio de Janeiro. Here’s what she recommends in Brazil’s Cidade Maravilhosa! 1. Swim at Arpoador Beach This gorgeous beach located between Copacabana and Ipanema has fewer waves than most of the city’s beaches, making it easier to swim. This is also a famous scenic spot to watch the sunset; people even clap their hands when the sun goes down. 2. Watch a samba rehearsal…

street food top 10

Traditional restaurants can be wonderful, but when you need a quick, authentic (and sometimes adventurous) bite, nothing beats grab-and-go street food. Check out our picks for the top 10 street food cities worldwide!   1. Istanbul, Turkey Flickr: roboppy / Creative Commons What to try: börek (flaky pastry), simit (sesame bread), kumpir (stuffed baked potatoes), and döner (pita sandwiches filled with shaved meat and toppings).   2. Berlin, Germany Flickr: muckster / Creative Commons What to try: currywurst (fried sausage covered in curry ketchup), fresh pretzels filled with butter. Bonus: in Berlin,…

tour de france

It might be too late to travel to the 2014 Olympic games, but there are still plenty of exciting world sporting events coming up!