Happy 2017! We hope that you celebrated New Year’s with style. Some of you did it in HomeExchange style, while in a home away from home and experiencing the festive culture of a new place. Here’s a glimpse of what’s possible.
Where were you on New Year’s Eve? Maybe you celebrated with family or friends. Perhaps you stayed home, sipped champagne in the living room of a neighbor, or traveled across town to a midnight ball. We heard from some HomeExchangers who traveled even further: to distant places where they experienced the warm hospitality of new friends and the convenience of living like a local.
Hello and happy new year! We went to Barcelona for New Year’s! It was a great exchange at Monica’s and Cesar’s cozy home. Great location, just a 10-minute walk to Sagrada Familia, next to metro and bus stations. Barcelona is such a gorgeous city, with so many things to do. And what a spectacular New Year’s Eve! Fireworks, music, and fountains with colored lights. We had a blast!
In our quest for an endless summer, my husband and I like to exchange our northern California home in the colder winter months with a warm destination in the Southern Hemisphere. When my husband’s son heard we were doing exchanges in Australia for one month during Christmas and the New Year (two weeks in Byron Bay and two weeks in Sydney), he decided to join us! While holding a koala in Queensland was the highlight of the first part of my trip, spending New Year’s Eve standing on the balcony of the Sydney Opera House and watching the world-famous firework display over the Harbour Bridge was one of the highlights of our life – truly spectacular. Being able to do home exchanges in Australia this year enabled us to splurge on an incredible evening that we will cherish our whole lives.
Lauren, CA, USA
This year we decided to spend the winter holidays in a warm place and eat the 12 grapes in bikinis. What a pleasant feeling to fulfill the San Silvestre bath tradition in such warm temperatures! Our exchange partners invited us to a private party to celebrate New Year’s Eve at a luxury resort. There, we met people from different continents and our daughter had a lot of fun with other children at the party. As it is also Mexican tradition to eat 12 grapes, we felt right at home with our important Spanish tradition. We want to thank David and Monica for taking such good care of us in every way, even if it was their first exchange!
London and its lights appealed to everyone in the family, which is why we decided to celebrate New Year’s in the British capital. FInding an exchange wasn’t easy, but after 50 requests and two cancellations we confirmed a swap with Sarah and Combie in a large and pleasant Victorian home in South London. It was so big that Papy and Mamy joined us on their very first exchange. London at this time of year is truly magical — splendid lights everywhere, majestic and sumptuously decorated pine trees, incredible events such as the illuminated walk in Kew Gardens or the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park! Papy and Mamy were so charmed by the home exchange that they are already thinking about registering their home! Happy New Year!
This was our 15th home exchange and our second time doing an exchange for New Year’s. Spending one week in Paris during the winter holidays would not have been affordable for us, so we were really happy when a Parisian family with kids accepted our request to do a simultaneous exchange. We had a fantastic time in Paris and enjoyed the city lights, some free rides at the “manèges,” the Christmas markets and the Galeries Lafayette holiday decorations. Plus, at our exchange home we had lots of toys and baby stuff to use! It was the best way to start 2017!
In order to have a family get-together over Christmas/New Year’s, we exchanged with a home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as our eldest son lives and works in St Louis, Missouri. My husband, youngest son, and I flew to Colorado from the Highlands of Scotland and were joined by my eldest son and youngest son’s girlfriend, who is working in USA as an au pair for a year! Our exchange partners come to our Highland and Island homes in Spring 2017. Fabulous house, location, town and great skiing! Great fun had by all!
Catherine Irene, UK
The best Christmas gift for me and my son was a HomeExchange with a family from Rome. It was just a few days, but enough to discover one of the most beautiful cities in the word! As always, it was a wonderful experience: a whole home for us, warm and cozy, and new friends in another part of Italy. What more could I ask for from Santa Claus? It was our 16th home exchange, and I think that there is no better way to travel; we are just at the beginning! So, Happy New Year to everybody and happy new home exchanges!
We celebrated New Year’s this year with our 10th home exchange in only three years. December 31st on Maui was a day of weather warnings, flash flood alerts and torrential rain that kept us under cover all day. We couldn’t help but think what it would have been like stuck in a hotel room for the whole day instead of enjoying the comfort of our two-bedroom condo with a covered lanai. By suppertime, the rain had subsided and the fireworks began. What a show that continued across the horizon until well past midnight. New Year’s Day started with a “polar bear” swim at the beach only a block from our house. This home exchange has been a great start to our new year and here’s looking forward to the next 10 exchanges!
We spent New Year’s Eve in Munich, Bavaria, a beautiful part of Germany. We hadn’t planned on going away at this time of the year because I had no vacation days. But when I received an inquiry from Michaela with dates that corresponded to the few free days in my crazy schedule, we didn’t hesitate long before accepting. Whenever possible, we like to get away at this time of year, right after Christmas with family, in order to get a real break. Since the children were a little disappointed not to have a party on New Year’s Eve, we compensated by going out for our first brunch of the year in a renowned Munich restaurant. What a treat!
It was a nice and friendly HomeExchange with Karlien, a young teacher from Brussels. She received us in her apartment and gave us the keys, because she was departing one day later. It was nice to meet and get to know the person who lives in “our” apartment. We felt right at home in her apartment and everything was perfect. We love to exchange our apartment with other people all over the world and get to know a country like an insider and not like a tourist.
We wish you all the very best for the new year!