Page 10 - 2014 REUNIONS GUIDE
P. 10
HOME SWAP

Home exchange
BY MANCURIAN

The first thing to understand is

that a home swap is not a

timeshare. You are not paying to

stay in a condo or resort, and you

don’t have to take the same week

every year.

The concept of exchanging

homes isn’t particularly new or

innovative. Generations of

student’s and those low on funds

have taken advantage of the

hospitality of friends–or friends of

friends. Travel clubs often have a

network of people prepared to offer

food and lodging to complete

strangers, usually in return for the

same hospitality extended to them.

In recent years, the idea has

become more accepted and appeals This cabin in the woods in Maine is a beautiful example of the types of
to a wider group that includes home exchanges available. Credit: Ken Cole
singles, professional couples, and

families. The economic advantages of this type of vacation are
The concept of home exchange vacations was obvious. The money saved by not having to pay for
accommodation can be substantial, especially for a
pioneered in Sweden in 1950 by a non-profit organi- family visiting cities or countries that are known to be
zation called Intervac. Today, Intervac still coordinates expensive. Apart from the cost element, many people
over 11,000 home swaps every year between 50 enjoy this type of vacation because they get to live with
countries around the world. You can stay in other the locals.
people’s homes in such exotic locations as Croatia,
Syria and Zambia. For a week or two, you get to experience what it’s
like to live in another country–rather than simply visit
Home swapping appeals to a wide range of people, as a tourist. Make sure you know your own limitations
though most home swappers are still fairly affluent as far as living in a stranger’s home because many
retirees, or families trying to save on expensive lodging apartments in large European cities can be tiny with no
costs. Some people would not vacation any other way elevator, and dishwashers and cable TV are unheard of
after experiencing the home swap and many people in some countries.
participate year after year. The record may well be over
80 home swaps by a retired American couple well into A home exchange allows you the comforts of home
their 70s. or a hotel, but with that intriguing element of

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