When we decided to buy the holiday home in Suvereto, we already knew that we would also use it to make a different type of holiday, which I had long dreamed of doing. I am referring to ‘Home Exchange’, an alternative travel method widely used abroad and in northern Europe and made famous by the film Love does not go on vacation in 2006.
I posted some travel stories and the beautiful houses in which we were guests on Instagram and I realized that many of you still do not know him, or have heard about him but do not have the ‘courage’ to start. So I decided to tell you about my experience, with the hope of being able to transmit the incredible positive energy that has led to our way of traveling.
Now after seeing or reviewing the trailer I hope I have intrigued you…not all exchanges involve Jude Law unfortunately… :-) but still worth a try!
How Does the Home Exchange Platform Work?
There are many circuits to choose from; I relied on Home Exchange, which is present both on the web and in app version. You have to pay an annual membership fee to stay within the circuit, and this inhibits the use of the app for all those people who would like to list their homes only for rental purposes by pretending to be interested in exchanging.
Which house should I exchange?
The choice is yours. I use La Casa nel Castello, which I already use for rent and therefore it is enough for me to ‘block’ the dates involved in the exchange on the calendar in order to proceed. But this is by no means a prerequisite. Many, especially in northern Europe, use their first home, also using guests as an aid to give water to the plants during their absence, to control and feed any pets. It is necessary to declare in the ‘house rules’ all the activities that will be carried out by the guest in total transparency. We happened to take care of cats, feed chickens, guinea pigs and fish in an aquarium. If you think about it, this solves every problem related to the management of pets on vacation!
Where do I put my things?
There is no anxiety about having to make the house look like a hotel or a B&B. You have to leave the house clean, as you would like to find it too, leave clean sheets and towels for guests and perhaps free up a shelf in the pantry in the kitchen or a closet. It is a home exchange and it is expected that in the house that hosts us there are objects and clothes or shoes of the other family. Nobody will want to get their hands on it .. but if you feel calmer you can equip yourself with a locker with padlock for the personal effects you care most about. I always leave some groceries to the guests, a guide of the area, the toys available to the children, maybe some homemade pasta or a bottle of wine. These are all precautions that I also use when renting and in my case it was all very natural. Everyone is free to interpret hospitality in their own way, however, and that’s the beauty of it!
What if I don’t live in a tourist area?
It does not matter! The beauty of this circuit is that every house and every place is interesting for someone. And in turn, you shouldn’t expect to choose a house as if you were on Booking, starting from the area where you want to go and expecting to have a thousand choices available. I often start first from the houses, from the profile of the host that I feel closest to me, from the composition of the family … because in this way I know that my children will feel welcome, that maybe they will have toys of other children of theirs available. age and therefore that in addition to the various activities that the area offers, even the stay in the house itself is an enrichment and a moment of vacation for everyone. The needs of each family can vary, and it is also great to do a home exchange alone or as a couple. If you take a look at the site you will see that the choice is very wide and satisfies all types of travelers, the more urban ones and those looking for more tranquility.
How to go about dates?
There are three types of exchanges: simultaneous reciprocal, non-simultaneous or through GP. With the simultaneous exchange you and your guest will exchange the house (in the same period or in two different periods – as can happen to me who have a second home), with the exchange through GP instead it is possible to earn points (GP) by hosting guests in a period when the house is free and use them later to go to your guests wherever you want in another house without reciprocity. Each home is assigned a different range of points per night indicated by Home Exchange (based on location, services offered, etc.).
Throw yourself into this new experience and if you live it with the lightness of discovery and the joy of hospitality, I’m sure you won’t regret it! You can log into the site and enter my code to get started so we will both give ourselves 250 GP!