Advice: Family Vacation in Europe - Exchanging Places Is Easy.
Imagine living on the Costa del Sol for two weeks or staying within walking distance of the Thames in London. Maybe you would like your family vacation home base to be a villa in Tuscany or a beach house Oahu. You can make and awesome family vacation happen by simply exchanging places.
In Family Travel Files continuing search for family vacation bargains we asked Ed Kushins, cofounder of HomeExchange.com to explain his innovative family vacation concept, the fast growing vacation alternative of home exchange which allows families to truly "vacation like there's no recession".
Families expect value for their money, value that doesn't compromise service or quality, value that elevates comfort and security, value - period. That emphasis on value has led families to consider the convenience (and fun) of home exchanges which provides families the opportunity to maintain or expand their range of travel while operating within a budget.
With a home exchange it's all possible, because except for the cost of getting there, it doesn't have to cost any more than staying at home. Families can broaden their vacation choices and significantly upgrade the quality of their accommodations. Indeed, home exchange is the new, popular, international travel alternative that enables people of all interests - from individuals who value simplicity to those who expect absolute luxury - to find the right home-away-from home.
As the founder of HomeExchange.com, the largest agency on the web, I'm known as “Mr. Home Exchange" and for my own vacation and business travel, I find home exchanges to be the most effective and comfortable way of to travel. For example, during my own recent four week vacation to France, Switzerland and Tuscany, my family got to experience the area as locals, not tourists. We ate at restaurants not in any tour book, shopped at local stores and enjoyed home cooked meals with neighbors and even our exchange partners.
The process is simple, secure and effective. Members may select the country, state, or area they want to visit, and easily send privacy protected inquiries to potential exchange partners. At the same time, with their own listing posted, families will be receiving inquiries from other members interested in doing a home exchange.
Home exchanges are by far the best travel value on the web. Arthur Frommer says so. Budget Travel says so. Almost every major media outlet says so. Think about it. A one year membership for unlimited exchanges, which means no extra per exchange or per day fees of any kind, costs only $99.95. To put that figure in context: $99.95 is far less than the price of a mediocre hotel room for a single night. And these days, a family traveling with teenage children may really need two hotel rooms every night, on top of restaurant food or room service. Besides saving money, families can stay in a comfortable private residence, with room to spread out and bonus amenities like a private pool or home theater.
For families, home exchanges truly represent the democratization of travel. Staying at a real home in a local neighborhood, with introductions to the neighbors from your exchange partner, a family can suddenly expand (and extend) travel plans to include more fun.
Once used primarily for international vacations, members now routinely use home exchanges for weekend getaways, family reunions, to visit children in college, for alumni football games, or just to visit friends or relatives without imposing. And the range of accommodations is incredible, from studio lofts to estates, villas and architecturally distinguished properties.
Home exchanges also inspire correspondence and genuine friendships. "THE HOLIDAY," the romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, is an accurate portrayal of how friendships can and do develop between exchange partners, or the people who they meet on their exchanges. For families, the opportunity to meet an exchange partner - another family with similar interests - is something no hotel, not even at the highest level, can match.
Families should take advantage of this opportunity to travel comfortably and affordably. The demand among travelers for genuine value continues to expand the popularity of home exchanges. With tremendous cost savings, exceptional accommodations and an emphasis on the needs of families, home exchanges really do enable people to "vacation like there's no recession." Get more details by logging on to www.HomeExchange.com Content and images provided by Ed Kushins. Copyright 2009.