People vacation in different ways. Many tourists like cookie-cutter hotels and predictable plans. Their main goal is to hit every attraction they’re “supposed” to see. Travelers, on the other hand, want to experience the everyday life and culture of the places they visit. The sites are fascinating, but not nearly as much as the experience of immersing themselves in an unfamiliar town. Home Exchange offers opportunities for the open-minded traveler to live like a local and participate in activities outside the pages of a guidebook.


“The first thing I do when I arrive at a new exchange home: Visit the house and the neighborhood. Then I find a market and do the food shopping so that I feel at home.” Mirey, Istanbul, Turkey
Market shopping – having the time to peruse and appreciate local goods – is one of the great charms of staying in an exchange home. Here is a handful of the world’s revered markets most beloved by HomeExchange Members.


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

You’ve done your homework on the accommodation front, but once you’ve arrived, how will you eat like a local?

Locals Beer

This week we are in Palm Desert, California. Not far from the more readily recognized Palm Springs, Palm Desert has a charm of its own and one which is probably overlooked by many visitors. But what exactly are the benefits of going off the beaten track and visiting places that may not have stood out to you before?