Discover home exchange with stories from our members.

This adventurous story of many home exchange experiences was shared by Paty after exploring Europe with GuestToGuest.

1. Where did you go on home exchange?

From Milan-Lake Como- Cinque Terre- Nice- Provence the 1st trip (one month long).
The next trip was 2+ months long driving adventure visiting friends, family and new places. We started in Bilbao and visited Pamplona, San Sebastián, Nancy, Pornic, Angers, Vannes, Amiens, Lille, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Leiden, Haarlem, Hamburg, Berlin, Regensburg, Passau, Heerenchiemsee, Raabs, and Vienna.
In another trip, we exchanged points with Wendy in Paris and our son and new wife went in a one week trip to Paris.
Another trip we mostly did the north of Spain (Burgos, Santander, Astorga, Leon), the French Pyrenees, Toulouse, and Galicia (Santiago de Compostela, Pontevedra, Vigo, La Coruna, Ourense, and the Rias Altas y Rias Altas), visited Porto and Braga in Portugal, then returned to Spain and visited Salamanca, Avila and Madrid.
We are planning another long 2+ months to Europe in 2019.

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2. How did you choose your destination and home exchange?

I plan trips visiting mostly new places, and if these are close to friends and family, we make a detour and stop for a visit.

3. What was the conversation like with your host?

We introduced ourselves, we exchanged a few details about our families, and how excited we were to be planning a new trip.

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4. Your arrival: How was the house? Did you meet your host? Did they give you any gifts or tips for visiting the area?

The houses/apartments are always clean and match the photos. Sometimes we meet the hosts and other times they left the keys in a lockbox or with a neighbor-friend. Some hosts left a bottle of wine or cookies as a welcome gift. In Toulouse, we received an amazing apple tart as a welcome gift.

5. How did exchanging your home influence your vacation, compared to a traditional vacation rental?

It is so much nicer when you exchange as you gain new friends.

6. Tell us what you saw during your trip.

We saw lovely cathedrals and churches , beautiful castles, convents, monuments, parks, museums, nature (ocean, gorges, mountains, beaches, rivers, lakes,...), roman ruins, markets, fairs, festivals, etc. We walk in the city/town neighborhoods to see how other people live. We visit restaurants where locals eat.

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7. Bonus Question: What is the best memory from your trip?

Meeting with Uncle Vlady and Aunt Elizabeth and walking in their favorite garden in Hamburg where 14,000 + dahlias bloom at the same time.