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Have You Seen…

posted by admin
archived in Home Exchange, using the website

Since the initial times when our home exchange service started to build a reputation in the online world there have been some incredible changes made to the portal. Design, functions, improvements… All of them have been based on the feedback received from our users. Have you seen our growth? Everyone that uses the portal contributes to its improvement, even in silence, but some users have been brave enough to share their experience using HomeForHome in our promotional videos. Have you seen those?

You can watch them on HomeForHome’s YouTube channel, but here you have the video with English subtitles:

Now that you saw it, what do you think? Is there an experience you would like to share with other home swappers? We are not asking for volunteers to make another video (yet) but it would be very nice if more people share experiences to enrich our community’s own knowledge-base so when a new user thinks about joining is encouraged to do so and starts his experience in the house swap world on the right track and taking full advantage of the site’s features.

What Do You Want to Read About?

posted by admin
archived in Uncategorized

We have been writing about home exchange destinations in the Mediterranean coast, and there are several interesting spots we have not mentioned yet. However, since we have dedicated a lot of time to this area, we believe it is time to pause that series and wander to other interesting areas for a while. Then we will return to the Mediterranean with interesting facts about Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey (maybe soon).

w-h-a-t-? We want to keep the blog interesting and useful, and the best way to do so is to get our readers involved in the process. That is why we are going to ask you: What do you want to read about? Is there anything you would like to be explained thoroughly in this space?

You can send us the answers using the “Leave a comment” link located right below this article, or you can use the contact form which is accessible by clicking the link located in the footer of this page.

We sincerely hope to hear from you, to make a better home exchange blog.

Happy house swapping!

Image: courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Home Swap Experiences: Where to Find Them and How to Use Them

posted by admin
archived in Home Exchange, Tips, using the website

People that are tempted to try home exchange often have many questions, such as: Who is going to find my house attractive? What type of person does home swaps? How are they going to take care of my house? How should I get started? And some of these questions find answers in the information HomeForHome shares in the website and the blog. There are several different facts explained in the FAQ section of the website and many more in different posts in the using the website category (see image), but there is another important area of the website that probably can help with issues related to trust and peace of mind.

using the websiteThe forum has a section for users to share Experiences. It is an area for users to share details about their real experiences with home exchange, both what when well, and what went bad, because we know there is a lot to improve, and it is not an easy road for people that are getting started. When you read some of these topics, you realise that there are many people taking home exchange seriously, people you can trust if you decide to give this way of travelling a try.

Scroll down the panel on the right and click on the using the website category to see all the blog posts related to this topic.

5 tips to have a greener home when you make a home exchange:

posted by admin
archived in Home Exchange, green travelling

mintCreate a plant and herb garden: your guests will enjoy the smell of the plants and being able to pick up herbs from your garden. If they need to take care of your garden make sure to specify it in the description of your home.

Switch your light bulbs to CFLs: you can find different eco light bulbs for different ambiences, from warm lights to ice whites.

Don’t use disposable bags. Use reusable bags and leave them at home so your guests can be as green as you!

Support the local stores by shopping at farmer’s market and avoid big chains. Leave a list of local stores for your guests so they can enjoy the local products as much as you do!

Fix all the faucets that might be leaking. Water is a precious resource and we need to save it!

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Holidays in the Netherlands

posted by admin
archived in cities

Utrecht

Hurry up! In Homeforhome we have a lot of houses and apartments for you to do home exchanges in the Netherlands.

In what areas? Here’s a small description of the different provinces where you can find houses to exchange:

  • Noordh-Holland: Arrive in the Schipol airport and visit Amsterdam. The city is there for you, with all the museums and beautiful canals. Enjoy a city full of history!
  • Zeeland: Zeeland is a great place to surf, if you like to ride the waves go to Zeeland and start enjoying the sea! Don’t forget your wetsuit. The water is pretty cold there!
  • Zuid-Holland: If, when you hear “Holland” you think of Gouda cheese, this is the place to go! The city of Gouda is in this province. Enjoy! If you are interested in architecture, you can visit Rotterdam.
  • Overijssel: Are you a nature lover? Overijssel is your place! Bike through their national parks and later on, stop to eat in one of their famous restaurants. If you like cities, visit Giethoorn, also called the Venice of the north.
  • Noord-Brabant: The Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre is in this province. Do not miss it! Spend hours examining the paintings and discovering strange figures!
  • Ultrecht: Relax in this beautiful city just one hour far from Amsterdam. Rent a boat and navigate on the canals or just sit down in a terrace and enjoy the calm view of the river.

Berlin is blooming

posted by admin
archived in Uncategorized, cities, fun activities ideas, green travelling, places

Berliner Dom and river Spree

Berliner Dom and river Spree

With the arrival of the spring, Berliners are getting out of their winter clothes and starting to enjoy the terraces, the open bars and soon in enough the River Spree.

Here’s some ideas of things to do in Berlin in the spring:

  • Rent a bike and go around the city: there are a number of bike rental companies, pick one, jump on the bike and get lost!
  • Enjoy the parks: Berlin is a city full of parks, huge parks like the Tiergarten and small parks in the different neighbourhoods. They are all charming in different ways. People watching and being watched is a must in Berlin!
  • Go jogging: Yes, you are one holidays! If you are exchanging a house and you want to feel like a real Berliner, put on your running shoes and take off. Even though Berlin is one of the biggest cities in Europe, the air is so clean that you will feel like you are in the Alps. Plan ahead though; many is the traveller who forgot to bring his running shoes!
  • Have a beer: terraces are blooming and Berliners are out taking as much sun as they can after a hard winter. Join them and enjoy the first cold drink of 2012!
  • Finally, foot around the city: Take in the sights and sounds of Berlin by just walking the city streets and popping into the occasional pub or cafe!

Reasons to Exchange to the French Mediterranean Coast

posted by admin
archived in Tips, cities, places

Home exchange is a system that is mostly used for vacations. The homes offered and the home exchange requests found in our portal are proof of that. But the type of vacation our users are looking for varies a lot, there are those searching for an adventure in an exotic foreign land, those dreaming of the romantic trip they have imagined for a long time, those who want to see the sites travellers often talk about and recommend, and many other different interests and expectations… For each of them there is certainly an option in the French Mediterranean Coast, a place for adventure, romance, site-seeing, or simply to relax.

- Maybe Sète, also known as the Venice of Languedoc, will be ideal for a romantic house swap.
- Maybe Cassis would be the choice of the swapper looking for a relaxing and quiet vacation.
- Marseille, Nice, Toulon… For people that want to see with their own eyes what travellers have been talking about since long ago.
- Cannes should be the choice of those looking for glamour.

Tempted? ;)

Lighthouse at Sète, France

Image: Photo by Erin Silversmith / Wikimedia Commons.

The Mediterranean Coast of France

posted by admin
archived in places

The water may be the same, you may find similarities in the beaches and even in the warmth of the cities (and the people living in them) when you compare them with those found along the Spanish coastline, but there are many unique things awaiting in the French portion of the Mediterranean coast.

The first: the language. Of course! Enchanting for most people, intolerable for a few (who are probably not reading this post). You will also find different accents depending on where you find your house swap :P

Number two : the architecture. Unique, fantastic, stunning. You will discover from simple cottages to great castles.

Nice's lighthouse Third: The French Riviera. You have probably heard of it and if you did not, then you are going to remember it. We are going to invite you to discover some of the different resorts that lie in the Côte d’Azur.

Along the way: food and wine ;) (musts!)

Image: photo by Myrabella taken from Wikimedia Commons.

More Mediterranean House Swaps

posted by admin
archived in Tips, communicating with fellow exchangers, using the website

It is a busy time for home exchangers, the summer is approaching and there is a lot going on within our home swap community. Some of our users have already found partners to exchange houses in the months to come but there are many still looking for offers so please remember to check the forum at least once a week if you are in this last group. Well, you may want to post your own offer, just give it a try! If you need some guidance, here you have an older post that can help you: Community & FAQHome exchange requests

Our blog is going to continue offering ideas for your next house swap. A new country is ready to invite you to visit its Mediterranean jewels. After quite a detailed tour through the different pearls in the Spanish Mediterranean coastline, we are going to cross the borders and get some suggestions from the French cities that are bathed by the same delightful waters. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Must see in Barcelona IV: Buildings and Monuments (Last Part)

posted by admin
archived in cities, fun activities ideas, places

It is time for the last post about Barcelona. There is so much more we could share! But we need to move on to visit other places along the Mediterranean that are interesting destinations for home exchange. So, we have the last part about buildings and monuments…

You should visit Park Güell during your home swap Park Güell (Parc Güell): A unique park that mixes monuments, artwork, buildings and green areas. It was designed by Gaudí, who even lived in the house that is now the Gaudi House Museum. Because Park Güell is located in a hill, it is a great spot to get stunning panoramic views of the city and the bay.

Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Música Catalana): This piece of Modernista architecture serves as a theatre and concert hall but is open to a reduced number of visitors every day.

The Magic Fountain: Created by Carles Buigas, it was destroyed during the Civil War and Buigas himself participated in its reconstruction. In the 1990s it was renovated to offer a light and sound show.

Here is a map to help you find the places mentioned in this post and other interesting areas worth a visit:

Map of Barcelona’s most interesting sights.

Remember:
- Museums: the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Picasso Museum…
- The natural background surrounding Barcelona is perfect for adventure sports or simply enjoying an afternoon in contact with nature.
- If you can take your time to walk from place to place, you are going to be surprised by the small details and corners “hidden” among the masterpieces.
- For tourism alternatives near Barcelona follow this link.

Image: Public domain image (author Dennis N) - taken from Wikimedia Commons.

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