Many of us have pets, and it can be a conundrum what to do when we go on vacation. Do you board them at a kennel/animal hostel, hire a sitter or have them stay with a friend?
Home Exchange is a great option for many pet owners. Whether you have cats, dogs or chickens, many members are searching for exchanges with furry, feathered or fishy companions. Check out a few member stories that show how pets made the vacation more enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved.
“Home Exchange is not only an exciting way of meeting new people and traveling around the world, but also a pet-friendly way of making the holidays great! Being a family with one dog, Dicky, and one cat, Monty, we found out that our pets felt much better at home instead of being left in an animal hostel during our time abroad. When we exchanged our home with a family from the Netherlands, their love for pets was a crucial factor. They took care of our cat and our dog and became very attached to the children of our family. In fact and as the father of the family joked, Dicky used to escort them during their long bike rides, and he helped them to ‘…understand how to cross the street in the Greek way.’ In our turn, we took care of their cat, Shartiee, who, in the beginning, was a bit suspicious of us, but soon relaxed and became friendlier.”
Efi, Greece. Listing ID 3237745
“We did 27 home exchanges with families from around world. There’s a part of the experience that’s very cheerful to our hearts. It’s when we take care of Home Exchangers’ pets. We had three exchange pets: Mayra (a Swedish cat), Lluvia (a cat in Cantabria, Spain) and the sweet Alba (a golden dog living in Galicia). To us, pets complete the vacation experience and make our exchanges richer experiences. It’s the best lesson of life for our kids; respect and care of foreign belongings and animals.”
Marta, Spain. Listing ID 117675
“We have six chickens, two cats, and three dogs. Generally, the dogs go to the family farm while our guests look after the cats (that saved us a fortune) and the chickens. We find people love looking after the chickens as they are easy to care for and, of course, they get fresh eggs every day. Children particularly find the chickens are fun. We have yet to look after a regular pet ourselves. However, we have looked after a parrot at an exchange in Spain and two turtles in Morocco! The kids loved it. We do two to three exchanges a year. Next year is Senegal and France. We are addicted to exchanging!”
Heather, UK. Listing ID 246785
“I don’t have a cat or dog, but I was very excited to take care of Pippo while exchanging homes. Pippo is a cat, who I had a very special connection with while I was in Montreal for a week in the summer of 2014. As soon as we met, I knew we would become close friends. He was patient and clean, and very independent. I was in touch with his owner, and we were all happy to have a home exchange as on option for me to stay and take care of this lovely being. Next time, if needed, I will also look to take care of a pet of a HomeExchange.com Member; maybe next time it will be dog!”
Rujana, Croatia. Listing ID 132093
“I am the Danish Representative at HomeExchange.com. Once when I answered a member support mail, I mentioned, on the fly, that the dog in the pictures looked really sweet. They asked me if I would be willing to dog sit at some point. Of course, I would! So a couple of months ago, I took care of this sweetie, Emma, for a week while the couple was on an exchange in Barcelona. Emma loved to make a heck of a noise chewing on empty plastic bottles. I received an Iberico ham in return. Not bad.”
Ellen, Denmark. Listing ID 70030
“HomeExchange.com is great for pet testing. Testing, you ask? Testing is our code for pet sitting. This perk saved us a lot more than money and frustration. For several years, my children have begged me for a pet, but moving halfway around the world, and traveling regularly does not make pet ownership something that I would jump into lightly. A small and simple pet like a guinea pig had been worthy of consideration. So when we were offered an exchange in Paris that included pet sitting two guinea pigs, we were excited. The children loved playing with the animals but realized that caring for them was a lot more work than they imagined. Having a pet on vacation provided the invaluable experience of learning what it is like to have one every day.”
Hollee, Switzerland. Listing ID 429115
“First home exchange done! It was easy to entrust our home and our cat, Bezel. Their children were happy to play in my son’s room, and on our return we found our house and cat in perfect condition. We exchanged with two homes in Paris. It was exciting to share the space and get to know the district with its shops. I think it’s always helpful to learn about different ways of living. Home Exchange was, therefore, an excellent opportunity to make this trip. They continue to get requests from all over the world, and if I could, I would be happy to accept them all!”
Michela, Italy. Listing ID 435808