Tag Archive for vacation home

Tips To Get The Most From House Swap Services

Originally on

For those who want to travel, yet perhaps also want something new and different – then it’s worth it to try house swapping, or the home exchange arrangement. Of course you can travel and house swap just about anywhere, so you use resources to find these interested people and just do it. You’ll be able to save quite a bit depending on the hotels you like to stay in, and it’s just much more relaxing in a house. This article covers a couple of effective approaches you should use in your next home exchange – or your first.

A home exchange with a person, or family, that leads the same style or standard of living as you is often preferred by people who do this. Think about singles and families, and you’ll realize that there could be major differences as well as preferences and habits.

On the other hand, think about the situation in which two families house exchange, and each family has children, so what each will find are things like toys and other useful items for the care of children. Another good point is that most people tend to feel more at ease in similar surroundings, and that relates to similar lifestyle, etc. It’s just that two people from two entirely dissimilar backgrounds, and homes will usually not feel 100% happy in the other person’s home. But of course there are people who live in the city yet often like to get away to the country, and vice versa. The thing about it is you can speak with people you’re considering doing a house exchange with.


If you desire to strategize for a home swapping compromise, it’s optimal to make arrangements as far ahead of time as you are able to. This is totally different than reserving a hotel room, where you have the option of calling a week or only a day ahead of time to book a room. If you want to stay at someone’s house, you should plan on making the arrangements at least six months ahead of time. You might also need to be a bit adaptable when it comes to your excursion dates and precise destination. For example, you may be able to find a situation in a particular country, but not necessarily in a specific town for the time you’re looking for. The more flexibility you have with your dates and places to visit, the better your chances of making a successful connection.

While a lot of individuals use house swaps as a method for having pleasant and affordable getaway, it can also be used as a form of exploration for an unfamiliar locale that you might be considering relocating to. A home exchange can be much better for scouting an new area than staying at hotels or bed and breakfasts. When you stay in another person’s home, you can get an actual idea of how it feels to live there, as opposed to being a tourist and booking a room in a hotel or at a resort. You will be staying in a neighborhood and the person whose home you are staying in can share some worthy information with you, pertaining to the neighborhood. If you really love the area, you can even do some house hunting while you are visiting. House swapping is a great way to visit a place and see it the way the local people do.

You can meet wonderful people and make new friends once you decide to sign-up with a house exchange agency. There is really no reason why everything shouldn’t proceed well, and remember clear communications is critical. The house swap guidelines we’ve been discussing are designed to help you relax and enjoy this fascinating travel experience.

No cash? No problem, if you barter

No cash? No problem, if you barter

originally posted by A. Kawlowski on

(CNN) — Miriam Brown has always wanted to visit Cape Cod, but when she recently began to plan a trip and found out she would have to pay $200 or more a night for lodging, her dream vacation seemed out of reach.
Miriam Brown and her husband bartered their services for room and board on Cape Cod.

Brown, who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, is an accountant. Her husband is a home renovations contractor.

Like many people dealing with a soft real estate market and high food and gas prices, they just don’t have that kind of extra cash for a trip.

“I have traveled a lot in prior years, but after [Hurricane] Katrina, there’s just no money for traveling,” Brown said.

So she still plans to go, but she won’t spend any cash at all on lodging.

Brown has joined the growing ranks of Americans who are bartering — trading goods and services without exchanging money — as a way to cope with tough economic times.

Brown posted an ad in the barter community last month, offering to trade her accounting skills and her husband’s knack for home repairs in exchange for room and board on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

She has lots of company.

“When the economy turns unfriendly, users become far more creative to get their everyday tasks done,” Susan MacTavish Best said.

Swapping ‘to get by’

Other Web sites that put Americans in touch with like-minded people who are willing to trade everything under the sun have also seen a boost in traffic.

“I think a few years ago it was more for fun,” said Jessica Hardwick.

“But we’ve seen a real shift in the last year, and especially an increase in the last few months, where I think people are really doing it to get by.”

Some of the most popular items to trade for late this summer were school uniforms, which some parents found they could not afford to buy for their children, Hardwick said.

Experts aren’t surprised Americans are becoming more financially creative during an economic downturn.
Dealing with the economy

• 67 percent of consumers have haggled in recent months, compared with 33 percent in 2006

• 61 percent of consumers now regularly use a shopping list, compared with 35 percent last fall

• 70 percent of shoppers now look primarily for “the deal” in the Sunday inserts, compared with 51 percent last fall

“Historically, when times get tough, you see a 50 percent-plus increase in bartering as a way for people to be able to buy things or get things and do it economically,” said C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America’s Research Group.

The company talks with thousands of consumers every week to gauge their spending habits and attitudes.

A couple of years ago, many Americans had $500 to spend at the end of the month, but that money has evaporated because of rising prices, Beemer said.

“We’ve never had a time, at least in my lifetime, where you have food and fuel going up at the same time. So it isn’t a question of buying things, it’s a question of buying nothing,” Beemer said.

Breast implants and a horse

Businesses have long recognized the benefits of bartering, and there are hundreds of barter networks set up across the country to fill their needs.

They use barter credits as currency, so a plumber in need of a filling doesn’t need to search for a dentist’s office with plumbing problems to make a deal. He can fix a leaky pipe for one member of a network and use the credits he earned for that job at any other.

“Really, there are no limits to it. We trade for just about anything you can think of,” Michael Krane said.

Bartering on this scale is also robust in tough economic times. Krane said his exchange has seen a 20 percent rise in barter transaction volume in the first six months of this year.

A longtime client is Thomas Forrest, an orthodontist in suburban Pittsburgh who barters his services for everything from office improvements to stationery. His practice hasn’t been affected by the economic downturn, Forrest said, but some of his patients seem glad to be able to visit him under the barter arrangement.

“I think if you have a business owner who has children in need of braces, I sense a gratitude that that’s available,” Forrest said.

Barter exchanges must carefully document all trades, since the Internal Revenue Service considers income from bartering as taxable. However, a barter exchange “does not include arrangements that provide solely for the informal exchange of similar services on a noncommercial basis,” according to the IRS.

In New Orleans, Brown and her husband are getting ready to go to Cape Cod after finding a taker for her bartering offer. The couple will work five hours a day in exchange for staying in “a beautiful three-bedroom house right in the center of it all,” Brown said.

“We can do a lot more if we don’t have to pay for room and board,” she added.

Ways to Save Money during Summer

originally posted by Farnoosh Torabi on

Summer’s well upon us, and after last year’s “staycation” trend there’s some pent-up demand to go out, get away and have fun. At the same time, we still want to save money. From dining out to buying airline and concert tickets, here are some great saving strategies, … and in some cases free deals!


Americans spent more than $200 billion eating out last summer, according to the U.S. Census.

Day Trips

• Look for Target free arts and culture events. The retailer offers free or discounted entry to museums, concerts and galleries across the country. This year there are more than 2,000 free events.

• Free summer movie days at Regal Theatres. The chain runs a “Free Family Film Festival,” with a nine-week schedule of free movies with select days and times.

• If you’re a member of a discount club you may get discounts when they buy movie tickets in bulk.

• The U.S. National Park Service is offering free admission on August 14-15 at more than 100 parks that normally charge a fee.



The average family of four will spend $4,000 on a vacation this summer, according to American Express. Eighty percent of those surveyed said they plan to lower their travel costs. Here’s some help.

• Swap homes. Join a home exchange club like There’s also a housing swap section.

• Book plane tickets on either Tuesday or Wednesday when prices are cheapest, according to travel experts.

• Reserve hotel rooms on Sundays, when the weekend rush is over and hotel managers have time to talk on the phone and discuss available discounts.


Stock up on food, drinks, beach towels and chairs before you get to the beach. Otherwise, you’re likely to pay a premium for things you can easily get for much, much less back home.

Westgate Vacation Condo

You can enjoy the largest and only 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom 3 story vacation condo within walking distance to the Westgate area for your next getaway. This offer is for 1 week between June 1st and July 31st and includes the cleaning fee! Even the 4th of July weekend! There is a 3 night minimum stay required. We are available in April and May, but the price goes up. It’s truly a GREAT location. The Westgate area is amazing. Our Condo is fully furnished with the WIDE OPEN high ceiling floor plan, dark wood floors, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, hi-tech TVs, 4 pillowtop queen sized mattresses & the oversized balcony is breathtaking.

This is our second home, so we only rent out occasionally which also allows us to be flexible with times of arrival and departure, so you don’t feel like you have to get out on time. Corporate luxury yet family friendly atmosphere. We even clean the comforters after every stay! The Westgate offers numerous entertainment options. Staying at the condo gives you the option to walk to a football game, home of the AZ Cardinals University of Phoenix stadium, concerts or Hockey games at arena, shopping, movies, fine dining and nightlife.

A Great Holiday Deal – House Swapping

Posted in Budget Travel ,November 16th, 2009

There is an old saying that goes (it better to give than to receive). Who came it with that saying, I say it is better to do both at the same time. If you want cheap-discount-travel, how about house swapping. That’s right I said it house swapping. I would rather call it vacation swapping. This is newest, latest thing in cheap-discount travel. Here is how it works. You find a family or a person that wants to travel to your location the town or city where or near where you live. You will stay in their house in their city, town or different country, and they will come to where you live. Yes, they will actually be staying in your house, so you have to be ok with sharing your personal space.

There are a couple of precautions that I would take. You might want to put up all your valuable and personal information or anything that you would be terrified if it gotten broken. I sure they would not intentionally destroy anything, but mistakes do happen. Prior to the switch, you have to decide who would pay the utilities and other usable items. Everyone usually purchases their own food and clean the house when the visit is over. You can also swap automobiles with that person; this will further save you some money on car rental fees again adding to your cheap-discount- travel experience. Again each person would pay for their gas while in usage and fill and clean the automobile up on completion of usage. Thus, both parties receive and give a free vacation stay and transportation for free. Not to mention that the family in question; might have some family pass to local events, that can be used by their home guess, since your staying in their home, your more like an extended family instead of a visitor. Again, adding more value to your cheap-discount-travel vacation.

Depending on where you want to go and where you want to visit, will determine how many responses you get to your offer. If you live in a hot vacation spot or big city or not to far from one this might be a very easy task for you. However, if your location is not so popular, you might have to do a little research. Do some research and find out what types of events or activities that are happing is your area. Make a list and enhance the features. You would be surprised at what local activities that don’t necessary appeal to you might be the very thing that some else is looking for. Cheap Vacations, Vacations Available for Swapping, House Swapping Locations

Is Permanent Exchange of Real Estate a Good Idea?

In times of the financial crises, moving sometimes is the only way for a new future, but how to sell your house in these times?

The real estate prices are at the bottom, buyers not really in sight – so what to do?

Have you ever thought about exchanging your home? Not only for vacation but forever? Permanent exchange is a new and helpful procedure and a lot of people already posted their homes or their land to swap.

Your dream might come true, it’s only one swap away….

a condo in Orlando, Florida
or a residence at a lake in New Mexico

More Real Estate on BQ

How to Do a House Swapping’

This weekend I overheard a conversation about house swapping in a cafe. One of the guys wanted to try it for the first time this summer with an apartment in Australia. And of course his friends were a bit skeptical. I joined their conversation and I quickly found out that house swapping isn't just going on a trip for little money. People are concerned about all kinds of things. So here are some things I found on the internet that should help you not worry too much about this great thing called house swapping:
Mutual Trust Do you believe in humanity? You should, but if you don't do too much at least we try to make our users as transparent as possible by our rating system. No early decisions Be open minded about your destination. Sometimes there comes a surprise along you never ever would have dreamed of. If you stick to one particular place you want to go it will most definitely end up in a letdown.
Living Details I don't know about you, but even though I'm open minded to new cultural experiences some places in this world just work completely different than ours and because of that I'm always very thankful if someone helps me with the cultural differences. So the best you can do, is making a list about all the stuff you would like to know and exchange it with your swapping partner. And also where you keep your daily stuff which grab everyday but only you know where it is. Writing and talking always helps
Don't die of thirst! Make sure you know where you can get your water and food. If you go on a trip to Thailand and you are somewhere in the jungle the next supermarket could be a far cry from your refrigerator.
Cleaner than clean (this includes smells you got used to) If you think your house is clean, just do it all over again. Just imagine trading a place in Paris, arrive there and then... well start looking for Mr. Clean. I think you wanna do something else (in the city of love).
Trust is good, Insurance is better Talk to your insurance agent about your swapping plans! This will give you additional peace of mind. So what else do you need? Well a destination for starters! What about this one...