If you live near a national park, a theme park, or water park you know how enjoyable it can be to stop by and have some fun. Don’t have a home nearby? No need to worry, with HomeExchange, you’ll find yourself feeling at home near some of these exciting attractions.
The Great Outdoors
Hit the Trails
Moab, Utah, USA: For the outdoor enthusiast, Moab is an all-encompassing destination. You have easy access to world-class bike trails, stunning hiking paths, rock climbing for all levels, and incredible rafting. Best of all, it can be fun for all ages. If you have young ones along for the ride, you can venture out and walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs!
Make your way to Moab
Take a Jungle Adventure
Costa Rica: Channel your inner jungle beast and explore the beautiful rainforests of Costa Rica. Whether zip-lining through the trees, spending days on the beautiful beaches, or spotting any number of the indigenous animals it’s an adventure you, and your travel companions, aren’t soon to forget.
Zip to Costa Rica
Make Some Fish Friends
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: If the white sandy beaches aren’t enough to entice you, perhaps the stunning blue water will. Relax or explore, this is an ideal location for whatever time of trip you are looking to experience. Make a point to visit Stingray City and discover the unique excitement of making friends with these mysterious and unusual aquatic creatures. Some legends say if you kiss a stingray you’ll get seven years of good luck. There has to be some truth to that tale because you are already pretty lucky to be spending any time in Grand Cayman.
Dive into the Grand Caymans
Let Adventure Reign
Queenstown, New Zealand: Looking for something a little more, shall we say, exciting? Head down to Queenstown and discover the go-to destination for adventure sports. Take the bungee jump plunge off the Kawarau Gorge bridge, find some rapids to paddle down, or take in some of the incredible skiing during the winter months. Or, for something a little more low-key, explore some of the astounding hiking trails. There’s no shortage of activities around Queenstown to help keep yourself occupied.
Rock out in the Canadian Rockies
Banff, Canada: Glaciers, hiking trails and indescribable lakes are just a few of the things you’ll discover in Banff National Park. The oldest park in Canada, you are going to find that the people are almost as friendly as the scenery is beautiful. Just watch your step on the glass path of the Glacier Skywalk. The next one is a doozy.
Discover Banff, Canada
Rust, Germany: Why settle for one country when you can visit the whole world? One day is hardly enough to explore what is consistently voted as one of the world’s best theme parks by TripAdvisor. Located on the border of Germany and France, this is an ideal stopping point while enjoying a European adventure with the whole family. Plan ahead and get tickets online.
Stay near Europa Park
Orlando, Florida, USA: Just one of the many Universal Parks in Orlando, Islands of Adventure takes things up a notch. Enter the world of Harry Potter and find your perfect wand, take out some aggression with the rush of The Incredible Hulk coaster or travel back in time to Jurassic Park. No matter your age, you are sure to discover some fun on these islands. Explore the map and plan out your day.
Find a home near Universal
Salous, Spain: Start your engine! PortAventura offers fun for everyone with various worlds and the rush of Ferrari Land. Located just an hour from Barcelona and right on the coast, you can spend the day experiencing all the fun of the park and still explore the area. If you swing by during the summer, make sure to stop by and take a dip in the water park. You won’t be disappointed. Purchase tickets ahead and save.
Stay close to PortAventura
Anaheim | Orlando | Paris | Hong Kong: No matter where in the world you might be, you are sure to find a taste of magic at a Disney Park. We dare you not to smile while watching the kids talk to Mickey Mouse or get to meet their favorite Princess. From the rides to the entertainment, few companies that get it quite as right as the House of Mouse. Make a wish, which park will you go to next?
The Canary Islands: Whatever speed you want to go, Siam Park will catch you in its current. From the lazy Mai Thai River to the rush of the Tower of Power, their expansive offerings will help you soak up as much sun as you and the family can take. It is no wonder they grabbed the top spot on TripAdvisor’s 2017 list of best water parks. Get your tickets ahead of time and be ready to make a splash.
Find a home on the Canary Islands
Krausnick, Germany: Located just an hour outside of Berlin, this converted airplane hangar is a world all on its own. With indoor and outdoor attractions, this is a fun place to experience no matter what time of year. Find yourself exploring the world’s largest indoor rainforest, take a break at the spa, or take a trip down the waterslide tower. It might be hard to decide what is the most fun. Plan ahead and pick up your tickets before making the trip.
Stay close to Tropical Islands
Orlando, Florida, USA: Two distinctly different parks and both with some much to offer. Explore the frosty fun of Blizzard Beach and find the run of your life on the Downhill Double Dipper. Or get more tropical and snorkel with sharks with Typhoon Lagoon. Whatever you decide, make sure to pack some sunscreen, it’s going to be a lot of fun in the sun.
Find an exchange in Orlando
Kuta, Indonesia: Most might think of Bali as the ideal destination for yoga retreats and romantic getaways, but it can also be the perfect spot for a little fun and excitement. That’s where Waterbom comes into play. We dare you not to scream (in delight or fright) as you feel for the force of the drop with the Climax. No yoga pose will prepare you for the feel of the 2.5 G-forces you’ll endure. Explore all their offerings and see what will help bring you inner peace.
Discover a different side of Bali
Whatever type of adventure you a looking for, you are one step closer with the help of HomeExchange. We can’t wait to hear where you go next.
Wondering where to go for your next holiday? Grab your swimsuit and get ready for some fun in the sun with these incredible homes. Scattered around the world, each one features a pool that is sure to have you wishing for a few extra days away from work.
Bali, Indonesia – If it’s a retreat from the everyday grind that you’re looking for, this is the place. Beautifully decorated, and in a prime location, your worries will float away as you relax in the meticulously maintained pool and garden.
Surfers Paradise, Australia – A home built for the outdoor enthusiast, you can make a splash in the pool or enjoy the private beach. Soak in the sun and enjoy the area called Paradise Waters. Yeah, that pretty perfect.
Galatas, Greece – Modern and contemporary design finds its way into the historic lands with this incredible home. Look out over the water and let the scent from the olive groves wash over you as you splash about in the exquisite infinity pool.
Bilthoven, The Netherlands – Explore all the joys of Holland, or… simply get lost in the incredible garden. With a natural swimming pond, you can float, wander and splash and then bike into town for groceries. Discover the magic of the Netherlands.
Flottes, France – Tucked between the wheat and sunflower fields, you’ll find this remarkable oasis. Away from the hustle of the city, this updated farmhouse offers all the modern comforts while allowing you to enjoy all the beauty of the outdoors. Relax in the pool and take in the Pyrenees, or soak up the local culture.
South Africa – This may be the smallest pool on our list, but it makes up for size in wildlife! We can’t say that about too many places in the world, which earns this Bush House a well-deserved place on our list. Plunge into your African adventure as Zebras and Giraffes roam freely in the background.
Garden Bay, Canada – Love nature, amazing sunsets and luxurious pools? This cabin is the spot for you. In addition to being sustainably constructed and designed, this exceptional home is surrounded by majestic wildlife including, Orca and Gray Whales, Eagles, Seals and a neverending landscape of lush wilderness.
Florida, USA – Fan of soaking in a refreshing pool while watching the sun dip into the ocean? This is a home where sunset dreams become a reality. Grab a kayak or paddleboard the day away and then come back to relax and celebrate another day in paradise.
Hawaii, USA – The island of Maui is waiting for you. Steps away from the beach but a world away from the hustle. This enclosed Mediterranean compound is warm and inviting and is just waiting for you to call it home.
Looking for more? Explore the Pools category and find plenty of homes that are worth diving into.
As an experienced HomeExchanger, you know how exciting it is when you get a response to an Exchange Enquiry. Even if that response is a simple “Sorry, not at this time,” it is nice to know that someone has taken a moment to give your request serious consideration. But what does that magic Response Rate number really mean?
Why should you aim for a high Response Rate?
- It increases your search presence
- It lets other Members know that you are more likely to answer their enquiries in a timely manner
- Your home can be discovered when someone uses the ‘Show only Members with high response rate’ filter.
- You will earn the ‘Expert Responder’ badge
It is a question that comes up almost daily through our Happiness Support Team or via the Members-only Facebook Groups: “When will there be an app for HomeExchange?” Well, as you may have seen, the time is now! If you click over to the Apple App Store, you can bring all the power of HomeExchange with you wherever you might go.
What can the App do?
As of right now, the app is only available for iPhone and iPad devices and only in English. Other languages are in development and the Android version will launch as soon as possible. With the current version of the App you will be able to:
- Log in to an existing account
- Perform searches
- Perform a reverse search
- View search results in a list or on the map
- Use the map to search for listings in a specified area
- View members listings and profiles
- Contact other members
- Access all your messages
- View your listing and profile
Are there any limitations?
We are continually working to improve the functionality of not only HomeExchange.com but also the app. That said, as of now, you cannot do the following actions with the HomeExchange App:
- Create a new account
- Renew your expired account or submit a payment
- Add a listing to an existing account
- Edit your account, listing or profile
- Send messages to multiple members at the same time
- Access your lists or add listings to a list
- Register an exchange (in the messaging system)
Our help section has several articles available to talk you through how to leverage the power of the newest way to Exchange. Here are a few to get you started:
- How to log-in to the HomeExchange App
- How to view your listing and profile in the App
- How to perform a search in the App
- How to check your messages in the App
This is only the beginning! We hope you will find the HomeExchange App a useful tool to help make your travel dreams a reality. If you have any feedback, please feel free to share as it will to help us continue to plan and make improvements to the App.
As members of the HomeExchange Team, we tend to spend quite a bit of time looking through Listings. Each one is special, but some homes make you stop and say “wow!” Explore our list of places that “break the mold” and make our list of Most Unique Homes.
If you’re a fan of converted churches, this home in Connecticut is worth more than a second look.
Plan Montmin, France – With breathtaking scenery and a relaxed, casual feel, this historic 1897 alpine schoolhouse is located in a village high above Lake Annecy, Rhône-Alpes, France. This home gets an A+ for history and extra credit for its environment.
Seattle, Washington, USA – Welcome aboard “Banjo” on Lake Union, docked in the heart of Seattle, Washington. This iconic houseboat is a fully functional stern wheel vessel that has been renovated into a charming mid-century modern urban home. Launch your paddle boards and kayaks for added adventure on the water or use it as a base to explore some of Seattle’s most famous attractions.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Sure, this Listing does stretch the definition of “home,” but we’re willing to bet that if you get to exchange your home with the Reef Encounter, you’ll still be able to live like a local with your water-based neighbors.
Carate, Costa Rica – Move over Swiss Family Robinson. It is time to make way for HomeExchangers. This breezy bungalow nestled in the lush jungles of Costa Rica is a tropical-lover’s dream! With a wide open floor plan and a spectacular… and we mean SPECTACULAR ocean view, and its wild setting, this home is miles from ordinary.
Joshua Tree, California, USA – Escape the hustle of city life and immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings of Joshua Tree National Park. This geodesic dome features 360-degree views, and it is tailor-made for you to leave inspired.
Saint-Martin-de-Caralp, France – Something about a home that looks like it was made using Lincoln Logs speaks to our inner child, yet our real-life adult desires the creature comforts of home. This gem of a home delivers both. It’s the rugged log cabin with all the modern furnishings and amenities to make us (young and old) happy.
Begha, South Africa – This home deserves to be on a list of unique abodes purely based on its architecture, but its location puts The Sand Castle over the top. One exchange partner left this review: “It is even more beautiful than words can describe, or pictures can show… from the living room, we could see whales in the sea and, on the other side, the sunset and giraffes in the bushes.”
Kilkenny, Ireland – Enter this medieval Irish Castle and you’ll feel transported back in time. With thick stone walls and exposed wood beams, this home beckons you to explore every nook and cranny all while surrendering to the inspiring beauty of the Irish Countryside. This is the epitome of a Unique Home.
Speaking of castles, our list wouldn’t be complete without a special mention of this regal Scottish estate.
Explore these and more unusual listings with our Unique Homes category. Have a unique home that you think deserves a spot on our list? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploration awaits you. Load up your car, grab some family and friends and hit the open road. With HomeExchange, the adventure doesn’t cost much more than the supplies to keep you moving and fed. Discover a few routes to take you away from your every day and to unlock your imagination.
If you have the time, there is no better way to explore an area than by car. It offers you the flexibility to set your own schedule and allows you to veer off the beaten track to see what life is really like. Below are some suggested routes to experience the many incredible offerings that Europe has. Jump in at any point and allow your exchanges to act as a compass. We shared our tips on how to plan a road trip with HomeExchange so, now, it’s time to start exploring!
A drive through history
Few cities are quite as dynamic as London. And we don’t just mean because of the traffic. The culture and the options for exploration are practically endless in and around the sprawling metropolis. Once you have had your fill, pack up and head towards the channel. There are plenty of options to get across but why not enjoy the ride and take a ferry. We recommend landing in Calais which offers you the perfect launch point to explore the beauty of the French regions of Normandy and Brittany.
Master your fear of heights at the Étretat cliffs, investigate the extraordinary Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen and move on to take a moment to remember the historical impact of the Normandy beaches. Move along the coast and find a little religion at the Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel. Taste the Cancale oysters while you wander through Brittany making a point to stop in Saint Breic, Quimper and seeing how many menhirs you can count as you roam Carnac. Finish your journey off with a spark of curiosity as you investigate the îsl de Nantes and discover the Machines of the Isle.
- Good for: History Fans & Families
- Optimal Length of Trip: 2-3 weeks
- Insider Tip: Time your visit to Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel to be there with low tide and watch as the water rises. It’s spectacular to witness the ocean flow as the Abbey transforms into a floating island. Park your car in the Mont Saint-Michel lot and the Abbey on the complimentary bus (free with the Mont tickets).
The flavor of adventure
Capture a taste of the region by beginning your trip in Bordeaux. The beaches and sea along the sprawling Landes de Gascogne offer an ideal welcome for your culinary exploration.
In 2016, San Sebastián (Basque Country, Spain) was designated as the “European Capital of Culture” and, it is known one of the best gastronomic destinations in the world. Savor the “pintxos” route through the city and discover the famous and beautiful La Concha Beach. All our quest for culture to continue to Bilbao where you can marvel at the Guggenheim or head out of the city and adventure into the National Parks and beautiful landscapes of Cantabria and Asturias. The power of the Picos de Europa National Park will provide you with a lasting memory of the strength of nature.
A meal of traditional food of the areas including Cocido Lebaniego of Cantabria and Fabada Asturiana of Asturias will give you a greater understanding of the area’s strength! From Asturias, continue on to Galicia and find your way to the final stop of the pilgrimage route, the famous Santiago de Compostela. Allow your journey to continue along into Portugal where you can wander through Porto and Coimbra before the Belem pastries welcome you to Lisbon.
- Good for: Those who love food and wine
- Optimal Length of Trip: About 2 weeks
- Insider Tip: Make a point to visit the Dune of Pilat (close to Bordeaux) it is the tallest sand dune in Europe. Once you arrive in Lisbon, it’s worth taking a day trip to Sintra to explore Quinta da Regaleira.
A Northern journey
Start this excursion in Belgium by diving into the enchanting areas of Wallonia and Flanders. Use Brussels as your bases as you spend days visiting the area. Kids will love the opportunity to discover Le Lion de Waterloo, riding a cable car La Citadelle de Dinant, or digging into as many mussels as possible at restaurants of Belgium. Who can say no to the magic of Brussels with its ever-present chocolate and delicious waffles? Marvel at the Atomium or venture out and find kid-friendly destinations like the Frietmuseum (French Fry Museum) in Bruges.
From there, head out to the country and explore the incredible parks and channels of Amsterdam. With Rotterdam and La Hague are only an hour away by car, and you can easily explore some of their nearby beaches, the Madurodam Park, the Windmills and tulips of the area or (for something spectacular) the Alkmaar cheese market. Families with children should take a moment to stop by De Efteling Theme Park where traditional European fairy tales come to life!
If we continue on to Bremen where your children can sing along with the statue of the Bremen Musicians or make the jump to Hamburg and enjoy a boat tour or a stroll through its Botanical Garden. From there, you can build on the fun of Legoland in Billund, Denmark before making a splash at the beaches of Aarhus. Finally, your fairy tale adventure comes to a conclusion with the rainbow homes of Copenhagen.
- Good for: Families or those who want to live a fairy tale
- Optimal Length of Trip: 3 weeks
- Insider Tip: Parking in Amsterdam can be a challenge. If your HomeExchange is in the city center, considering storing your car at a Park & Ride on the outskirts of the city. With its incredible public transport system, you’ll have no trouble finding your way around town. And for those of you who are planning on exploring some of the theme parks along this route, consider purchasing your tickets in advance through their website. It will not only save you money but offer you the chance to skip the lines when you first arrive.
Head to the coast
It is next to impossible not to allow the glamour and beauty of the French Riviera to wash over you. As you explore the coast from Marseille and move on to Niza and Cannes, you will find yourself in awe of the beaches and the incredible climate. It is almost like you have stepped into a film version of a holiday adventure. Move on to Italy and prepare yourself for the visual feast of Cinque Terre. A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997, these five villages tucked into the Italian hills are as delightful as they are stunning.
Continue your trip across the Northern part of Italy until you find yourself in the warm embrace of Venice. Cars are, of course, not allowed in town but it is the perfect launch point to catch a ferry ride over to Croatia. The exquisite blue of the Adriatic Sea will guide you from Pula to Zadar where you will be serenaded by the Sea Organ. Make the most of your time by spending a few days in Split with a day trip (or two) over to the Dalmatian Islands.
- Good for: Couple or those who love the beach and sun
- Optimal Length of Trip: 2 to 3 weeks
- Insider Tip: Make a point to take your car with you to the Dalmatians Islands. It is especially useful if you go to the largest of the islands, as you can explore more of these incredible isles.
Fresh mountain air
Allow yourself to get lost in the atmosphere of Alsace. The beauty of the landscape and the houses welcome and invite you to slow down and stroll through the streets of these magic villages. From there the vibrant homes of Colmar or the majesty of Strasbourg Cathedral will take you back to another age. Allow yourself to wander to Freiburg and explore the glory of the Black Forest. It is as though the stories by the Brothers Grimm have come to life with castles, villages and the enchanting local traditions. Make a point to taste the Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake) or a traditional Black Forest wine. Top your trip off with a refreshing dip in Lake Konstanz. You might find yourself wanting to bask in the views or continue your journey on to experience the winding road of Klausen Pass in Switzerland. The scenery alone is worth the effort.
- Good for: Couples looking to get a taste of the region and enjoy the stunning views
- Optimal Length of Trip: 1 to 2 weeks
- Insider Tip: If you happen to take this trip during the Summer, make a point to experience the night festival in Konstanz. It’s a show to experience at least once in your life.
Can’t get enough road-time? You can always check out what is described as the “Ultimate” trip around Europe. It covers 16,287 miles (26,211 km) and takes a few months to complete. But just think of how much you’d save by finding your accommodations through HomeExchange!
It’s that time of year when we can, at last, emerge from hibernation! Winter is behind us and the great outdoors becomes so much more appealing. It’s getting warmer, greener and we have longer brighter days at long last.
The UK is far more appealing at this time of year and has so much to offer. If you haven’t planned something already, this is often a time when we start getting itchy feet for another exchange and what better than to explore your own country.
To help with some suggestions of where to go, here is a list of our Top 6 places to visit at Easter in the UK – or any other time of the year for that matter!
Unleash your expectations of traveling with pets. With HomeExchange, you can forget about kennels, finding a pet-sitter, convincing a friend to check on them or the crazy fees to board your animal-family member and can start dreaming of adventure.