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Vacation Home Exchange V Renting - Trade and Save, or Do You ?
Vacation Home Exchange V Renting Trade and save, or do you ?
Ever thought of trading your home with another family for a few weeks instead of renting a Vacation Home?. Lets look at the differences and see if it's an option you might consider.
Renting a vacation property is easy enough, pay a rent for as many weeks as you need. Rent direct with the owner or via the thousands of rental agents, or via a travel agent.
The choice is pretty vast and often you can select properties from a book or brochure, there are sizes and prices to suit everyone. Many allow pets and come fully fitted out.
Bigger properties housing 7-12 or more offer a low cost break as you pay for the property, rather than per person, as you would in a hotel. Downside is you get to do all the work, although some rentals can come with housekeeping or maid duties.
The attraction of renting is usually one of cost and choice, and works best in your own country. Renting abroad involves a high travel cost (per person) and unlike a package tour you are often down to organising and paying for travel from airport to the property. There is usually someone on hand to see you in, the owner or their agent, and most properties provide a good break.
Risky sometimes to book direct with foreign owners, large agencies vet both the properties and the owners and although perhaps more costly give better piece of mind. Paying $1,000 and arriving at a run down hut may not be the sort of vacation you seek.
Home swapping offers 2 choices, first to trade a few weeks or longer with another persons normal home. Or trade a period in a second vacation home or time share they, or you own.
The attraction is obvious in that no rental monies change hands and this gets better the longer the stay is. Older, retired folk often look for 3-6 month trades which clearly would be too costly on a rental basis, but a workable option for 2 retired families to trade homes for a long period.
Again a DIY vacation, unless maids are on hand. Number of choices are less, so to succeed you need to be open minded rather than have fixed dates, locations and types of properties in mind. Most experienced swappers seek good clean accommodation in the area they wish to visit. You get to know the owners before agreeing the swap before you go. You rarely build friendships with rental owners you usually do with home swappers.
A home trade often comes with an auto thrown in, so this is a big plus if you can arrange pick up at the airport and makes a big difference in local travel during your stay. Do check insurance cover though and make sure you agree miles and damage costs.
With the advent of the electronic age many home swap offers are viewable on Internet web sites so you can review property (and owners) details, get to know the area through web site links and then open up discussions with potential trade partners. using E-mail the world is just a few seconds away.
More complex to organise than a rental, it can be both an exciting family interest or a drudge, which can put you off the concept. Worries and concerns about having someone else in your home and loads of "what if" questions can again excite you or deter you.
One of the best routes is a Tutorial on the subject which is freely available at the Homes Seekers web site with advice from some of the leading home exchange experts .
In summary - renting is easy, choose your property, book, pay and go - there is a big choice. Home swapping is a way of life, you get more involved and the money saving is not in practice the reason for most people trading homes. The desire to make new friends and contacts, see new places, new countries, learn the language and so on takes over. Home swapping does not suit everyone but it does offer an alterative and to many an ideal way of taking vacations - for many the only way they would go.
If you want to save a few hundred if not thousands of dollars on a Vacation break take a serious look at vacation home exchanging as a useful alternative to traditional house rental breaks.
Maurice S Clarke is the CEO of Homes Seekers and has created an online tutorial about Homes Exchange and swapping to answer all you "what if" or "how do I?" questions at http://www.homes-seekers.net/swaps
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Copyright © Maurice S Clarke 1997-2004
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