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To get to know Greece a little better, we asked our Greek representative, Ioanna, to give us the inside scoop on her home country. This is Greece: Unlocked!

How to say hello:

Kalimera (literally good morning, but is also used as hello) or Yia sou (which means health to you)

How to say goodbye:

Adio or Ya!

How to say thank you:

Efharisto!

Currency used:

Euro (at least for now…)

 

2309597255_9d4fc294e3_zPhoto by Ester via Flickr CC Read More

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Some of you have asked us:

Q: I love the idea of Home Exchange, but I have a pet. Can I still do it?
A: Yes, absolutely! Check out our Pet Travel Infographic and discover 13,000+ pet friendly listings around the world. Connect with thousands of pet lovers just like you all around the world at HomeExchange.com

 

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Vancouver, Colombie Britanique, Canada, 08-2013(1)

With wide-eyed amazement, these 15 kids entered their vacation home exchanges seeking new adventures. They weren’t disappointed. From pet-sitting to dashing down mountains, these kids show how much fun they had during their vacations. Sort of makes you want to be a kid again!

“Holidays are more fun than in a hotel!”

diego galan“In my first exchange, I was eight years old. We went to Asheville, North Carolina. When we got to the airport, Alex and Rachel’s grandmother was holding a sign with our names on it. I told my mother that she was right; it was true that people awaited us there! The home was so different to mine. We found bikes, a canoe and a room full of toys. Then I thought that our vacation would be more fun than what we ever had in a hotel. Best of all was when I went to sleep in Alex’s bed and found under the pillow a letter telling me how to get to his secret hideout in the house. I found it, and it was full of goodies!!!”

Diego, 12, Spain


“Getting to know how other children live”

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“As far as I can remember, holidays were always thought of as ‘Holidays in a Home.’ I’m always very excited to discover a new room, new toys, new books, new…. Everything!! I guess we were very lucky having parents who decided to travel this way. Also, during our holidays, I really like that we pick up a little bit of the other children’s lifestyle. It’s nice to see that all children are playing with more or less the same games, are having the same heroes and have our own language to communicate. I hope all children are lucky enough to travel this fantastic way!”

Ersi, 10, Greece Read More

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Here it is, the 10 Most Popular Homes of 2014, as chosen by you!

These listings were viewed more than all others across the entire network of HomeExchange.com websites. They are spread all over the globe, from popular countries like France, the U.S., and Italy, to far flung places like the Andean Mountains in Peru, and exotic locales like Morocco. Ready to find out where these homes are? Let’s go!
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Try these tips for traveling with children to make a family vacation more fun for everyone, including parents. HomeExchange.com is a stress-free way to travel, but it still offers that magical shift in perspective that only getting out of your own routine and culture can offer.

Packing

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Photo: Katsuhito Nojiri via flickr

Packing for travel with children doesn’t need to be as overwhelming as it might initially seem. And yes, it’s possible to travel light, with simplicity and minimalism in mind, even with young and/or multiple children. In our family, we’ve found it helpful to limit ourselves to packing a week’s worth of clothing, regardless of whether our trip is 7 days or 27 days. (Traveling across climates may require extra.) Packing cubes are a great way to keep the packing organized by individual, and the cubes also serve as portable luggage for each person upon arrival. We use one cube per child (and adults, too), and use smaller bags to separate shoes or other items inside the packing cube. (For our babies we use an extra cube for diapers, making it possible to travel using cloth diapers exclusively.) Upon arrival, our kids can open their packing cubes and place them inside a dresser or on counters. While we limit clothing, we do make sure that at least one of the outfits packed is fine to get dirty. We also try to make clothing interchangeable. We opt for baby carriers over strollers (with rare exceptions), also in keeping with traveling light.Threlfall-1 Read More

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It is a little-known secret, but all the data prove it: January is the best time to lock in your travel dreams for the year ahead.

So, how good does it get? Take just one example of what some January planning can accomplish.

HomeExchange.com members Daniel and Carole were kind enough to share this unsolicited testimonial: “Our last exchange was in Spain for a month in four different homes; the trip was a dream come true. We know we are among the fortunate few and we can see how this way of travelling has become a fast-growing, global phenomenon.”

You can be just as fortunate by using the information in this blog and applying it immediately.
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Winter break is the perfect moment to get our kids creative minds going. What does home exchange mean to them? How would they describe their home? Or even better,  how would they draw it to show other people where they live?

Help us create the first HomeExchange.com drawing album! Take some paper, colored pencils, and ask your children, nephews, grand-children… to draw their home. Upload it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest with #HomeExchangeKids or send us by email to community@homeexchange.com. The best drawings will be featured on our page.

We are looking forward to seeing all your lovely hand drawn homes!

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Welcome to another post of our Meet a member series, to learn about your fellow Community members, or should we say, “fellow furry Community members?” Meet Crusoe, the celebrity Dachshund dog who explores the world with HomeExchange.com.

Guest Post by Crusoe, Celebritydachshund.com

As a world-famous celebrity dog and with certain high standards, I take my travel arrangements very seriously – and especially so for where I stay. It’s enough I have to put up with this cramped little carry-on bag for several hours just to get to my destination…!

So obviously, I want to know that wherever I’m headed, I’m going to be a happy pup when I get there!

It’s a sad fact that the vast majority of hotels still do not accept dogs (yes, even celebrity dogs), which is not only insulting but also a hindrance when it comes to planning out a great vacation…

That is, until I discovered HomeExchange.com! Read More