***I don’t have any affiliation with homeexchange.com ***
This home exchange post, l have been meaning to write for 3 months or so, but with moving from Malta to Spain, it somehow got pushed into the background. Our home exchange came about via an old article l read. It was about a woman who wanted to travel, had somehow found out about homeexchange.com which is a site dedicated to people who want to live like locals on their travels. The site guides you through the process of listing your place. You can then look through other listings in whatever far flung places in the world you would like to visit. You can limit your search to a specific city, country, continent etc. If you find a listing that appeals to you, you contact the lister and if you can come to an agreement, then you make plans to home exchange. Very clever…no?
It sounded like a good idea to me. l listed our place because they were offering a 14 day trial. At this point, we had made our plans for our first Budapest trip. This lady contacted me on the same day that we left ironically. Her place looked nice and l told her l would keep in touch… If we liked Budapest. As you know, four days were not enough for us , as we really loved Budapest. As soon as we got back, we decided to go for the exchange. I ended up joining homexchange.com for an extra month because our trial was over at that point.
The home exchange was with a newswoman and her psychologist husband. They had a 3 year old girl. They had visited Malta once before years ago and were looking to spend a couple of weeks in the country so their little girl could take English classes. We chatted via Skype a couple of times, and exchanged a few emails. We booked our tickets through Wizz Air on the same day, and made arrangements for keys to be picked up on both sides.
We actually ended up meeting them at the airport..in line…while we were waiting to get on, and they were getting off the plane. We chatted for a few minutes, and off we went. Their apartment was located in the 6th district. We definitely lived like locals. The places were familiar from our first visit!!!. It was less frenzied, we even spent a couple of days at the bath house. It was nice to be even closer to everything than we had been on our first visit, when we stayed in the 5th district. There were so many restaurants and ruin pubs nearby. Everything was pretty much walking distance. Upon our return, we met up with them one night to catch up and exchange stories. They left our home clean, and we did the same. It was quite a pain free experience. They were such a nice couple. We talked about doing another home exchange again this year :-)
We got so many requests through home exchange website that we were overwhelmed and had to turn down so many. They came from places like India, New York, Australia, South Africa and Thailand. It is a nice way to save money, and meet new people. A little common sense of course is called for, like lock up your valuables or sensitive information. I also get the feeling that some of the listings are old. They don’t get taken off, even after the people are no longer members. I say this because we contacted a lot of people too, and did not hear back, and we heard the same feedback from people we chatted with. We almost made an exchange with a family from Paris too, but my husband didn’t want to be in Paris for the summer..Mr Killjoy! :-)
My membership has expired, but l am seriously thinking of joining again. In my opinion, we saved at least €500 on lodging alone on this home exchange, even more since we cooked at home also.
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