“Home swapping has changed our lives” – a real life story
Love Home Swap member Claire has found the ideal solution to travelling with a big family – she home swaps. With more than 60 exchanges under her belt, she explains why she prefers to travel this way.
“Even after one child, it became obvious to my husband and I that our holidays needed to change. Staying in hotels just wasn’t enjoyable anymore and our holidays didn’t end up feeling much like holidays. Then our second child came along, and then TWINS – and all of a sudden, we had four kids! We still wanted to travel and holiday with our family, but how could we realistically make it affordable, relaxing and fun for all the family now that we had so many children?
Then we discovered home swapping through Lovehomeswap.com. What a fantastic idea, especially for families – this was our answer!
The best thing about home swapping is having use of a kitchen. As a family we enjoy arriving in a location and visiting the local market or supermarket to see what’s different to eat or drink in this new place. We can also usually buy ingredients for family favourite dishes or meals that we know for sure that the kids will eat, which is especially important if you have fussy eaters or children with food allergies.
When shopping in the food markets, you’re not only exposed to the local cultures, you’re also supporting the local producers. Plus, it’s much more affordable than eating in restaurants all week! It takes the pressure off feeding the kids and of course, if we want a break from cooking or to experience locally-cooked dishes, we can go to restaurants too. With the cost of eating out vastly reduced and no accommodation costs, this style of exploration makes family travel delightfully possible!
Another great benefit (but not a very exciting one) is having access to a washing machine. This is great, as when you have small children, you don’t need to lug around supplies for a family of six! And if the children fall or spill food, it’s not a problem to wash their clothes.
Things like nap times and the children going to bed on time was always difficult in hotels. When we stayed in a hotel, we all slept in the same room. I remember trying to settle our children whilst we crept around the room in total darkness. The kids thought that this was really funny and wouldn’t settle, so my husband and I often found ourselves hiding in the bathroom during afternoon nap times – then the same would happen again in the evening, which put paid to thoughts of being able to enjoy cocktails on our long-awaited holiday. During our home swaps, we can enjoy a cocktail on the terrace or by the pool, or we can relax in the living room whilst the children go to sleep in their rooms.
In home swaps, there are often toys or games to keep the kids entertained. In one particular swap, we stayed next to a gorgeous lake in Canada, and we could use the owner’s paddleboards and kayaks, which was a great experience for the kids.
We’ve stayed at so many amazing properties such as ski chalets, villas on golf courses, homes by lakes, apartments in cities and houses by vineyards and beaches.
Having done over 60 swaps now with our children, we can safely say that home swapping has changed our lives and certainly the way that we travel.”