Saving Money Is Great. Free Entertainment Is Epic!

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!

River to River (Manhattan, New York, US)


June 16-26, 2016

Since 2002, River to River has become a colorful thread in the fabric of Lower Manhattan’s diverse culture. There are 11 days of dance, visual arts, music, and free performances that take place in various Manhattan locations, including parks, along the waterfront, in empty offices, and at area landmarks. With more than 90 featured artists, this event offers something for everyone.

“It has some great performances and also access to museums. The city is full of festivals in the summer and this is a particularly good one with first-rate artists. I highly recommend this festival.”

Wendy, Manhattan. Profile #121627

Get right in the festival mix via our 740+ Listings in Manhattan, New York.

Jazz in Marciac (Marciac, France)


July 29-August 15, 2016

In August, this picturesque bastide village in the Gers department of southwestern France sways with world-class jazz performers and musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Lisa Simone, Diana Krall, Chick Corea, and others. Access to major acts requires ticket purchase, but right in town there’s a stage on the tented square that’s open to the public. Marciac buzzes each day with artists, jewelry and clothes booths, food and wine vendors, and more. At random spots, musicians show up to play just for the joy of playing. And you get to listen just for the joy of it, too.

Get right in the festival mix via our 400+ Listings in Southwestern France.

Fringe (Edinburgh, Scotland)


August 5-29, 2016

Also called the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this is the world’s largest arts festival. In 2015, more than 50,000 performances were featured at this open-access festival, presenting everything from comedy and dance to circus, cabaret, and opera. Due to the popularity of the event and the enormous number of performers and attendees who converge on the city, early planning is advised. Room rates and rents skyrocket. A great time for a home exchange, ay?

“Home exchange is a great option because in that period it’s so hard to find a stay and it’s (renting is) extremely expensive due to the Fringe festival.”

Ivan, Croatia. Profile #935394

Get right in the festival mix via our 100+ Listings in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Hungry Ghost Festival (Phuket, Thailand)


Commences August 26, 2016

The full moon of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is when the Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated all over Asia. That is when, or so it is believed, the gates of hell are flung wide open to let hungry ghosts visit the earth in search of food. Families put food, flowers, and candles on altars honoring the spirits of their ancestors. In Phuket, where it is known as Por Tur, a great deal of activity takes place in the Old Town. The Ranon Road fresh market is also a place of fun and flourish, with colorful decorations, lion dances, magic shows, concerts, and more from noon to midnight. Be sure to eat some Red Turtle Cakes for good luck and longevity!

Get right in the festival mix via our 150+ Listings in Thailand.

Festival Med (Loulé, Portugal)


June 30-July 2, 2016

Portugal’s stunning Algarve is home to Festival Med, a panoply of world music and arts that takes place in the historic center of Loulé. This is one of the most popular events in Portugal, attracting lots of people – but also presenting plenty of opportunities to taste, listen to, and see things that will make you want to return year after year. The lineup includes more than 40 musical groups, many street entertainers, theatrical performances and more. Warm Mediterranean summer nights and free entertainment? You’re there!

“I consider it one of the major events of the Algarve. I definitely recommend it to HomeExchange members. Besides music, there is good food, art exhibitions and street entertainment, crafts and dance.”

Antonio, Portugal. Profile #42367

Get right in the festival mix via our 375+ Listings in Portugal.

Midsummer Festival (Sweden)


June 24-25, 2016

It’s a time of national celebration, when families and friends, old and young, tourists and locals all celebrate with drinking, feasting, and dancing around the maypole. Some say it’s the best time to visit Sweden. On midsummer’s eve, always a Friday, most people leave their jobs early and head to parks, forests, and meadows. They sing a strange ditty about little frogs and then they eat pickled herring, potatoes, and other local goodies. Tip: If possible, leave the city and find a celebration in the countryside!

Get right in the festival mix via our 1,000+ Listings in Sweden.


Photo Credit: Edinburgh Festival Fringe /
Photo Credit: River to River NYC /
Photo Credit: Fringe
Photo Credit: Phuket Hungry Ghost Festival / Joey Santini
Photo Credit: Festival Med
Photo Credit: Swedish Midsummer Festival

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