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Things You Should Do On Vacations

posted by admin
archived in fun activities ideas

I read somewhere that last year many people did not go on vacation fearing being absent from work could make them eligible for crisis cuts. But, even if you think that is a fair reason not to enjoy that precious relaxing time, there is also a drawback: more stress can lead to less productivity and this may be a stronger reason to make the cut list. From this point of view, vacations seem to be a good choice to stay on top of things. If you want your next home exchange vacation to be as relaxing as it can possibly be, you need to plan and take care of the details, but once you are in you swap destination you can leave your worries behind with any of these ideas for relaxation:

1. Reserve time to get immersed in your hobbies.

Photo by Jennifer Renee /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by Jennifer Renee /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2. Take it easy and slow down.

3. Read a book.

4. Enjoy a meal out.

5. Sleep in.

6. Go to bed really (really) late.

7. Take a walk.

8. Watch your favourite movie again (more than once if you want!).

9. Enjoy your family and friends.

10. Turn the music up.

11. Forget about your laptop and cell-phone (at least for most of the day).

12. Get a massage.

13. Take a nap whenever you feel like it.

14. Take off your watch.

15. Have a late breakfast.

16. Go dancing.

17. Watch the sunset.

18. Make yourself some hot chocolate if it rains.

19. Talk to strangers.

20. Do nothing for a couple of hours.

Are you up for a swap?

posted by admin
archived in Home Exchange, communicating with fellow exchangers

Image by djcodrin /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by djcodrin /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When one first comes across this whole “home exchange” deal, the first one wonders is “Would this be right for me?” In past posts we have often pointed out good qualities a swapper should have: patience, flexibility, communication skills, thoughtfulness, a sense of adventure, curiosity, honesty, respectfulness, among others. But first things first: if you just can’t help thinking about the terrible things some strangers may do while in your house, then probably home exchange is not right for you. To be confident that you can to create a solid “bond” with someone to trust them with your house is the foundation to hold your swap “career”. If this is not your case, then you will have to pass on this and choose a different mean of accommodation. Hey, we don’t have anything against what hotels, home rentals and resorts offer, we just prefer home swapping to those options.

Now that we established some ground, I think there’s another pillar to succeed at home exchange: patience. You will need it for many steps along the road: to set your HomeForHome account, to add your home to our listings, to surf the site looking for interesting offers, to participate in the forums, to evaluate proposals carefully, to arrange  the swap details once you get lucky, and maybe to wait enough time for your first opportunity in the home swap world to crystallize.

We are not discovering anything recommending patience as a “must” virtue for any traveller, anyone that has been to an airport recently should know what this means, right? But let’s leave patience in the airport for next time.

Money money money

posted by admin
archived in Advantages, communicating with fellow exchangers, money saving

One of the annoying things about changing currency is the short change that you get left with that you can’t convert back. It’s particularly irritating. I personally have the habit of keeping the loose change of the foreign currency floating around in my purse for about a month after taking the vacations. Only to wind up pulling my hair out and having to muffle my screams of frustration with my sleeve everytime that I come to pay for something in a shop. And then end up burying it in the garden in an act of irrational anger.

Home exchange has many advantages, great and small. One of the mini-advantages is that you can leave your small change in the home that you’ve stayed in, and if you’re lucky the other family will leave theirs in yours. This not only saves you the horrendous extended stress period post currency change, where you have this money but you don’t really quite know what to do with it. But it also means you´ll have some small change to work with when you get back. (Let’s face it, the idea of guarding the money in a safe place for the next year without forgetting it by the time the next round of holidays comes along, is a little steep.)

So home swapping could potentially solve the niggling problem of the loose change that comes flooding back after a holiday. Also, things such as having fresh milk in the regrigrator. Cheese. Fresh bread. A nice cup of tea and a cheese toastie is usually just want you need when you get back late at night after a day or two spent travelling. And lo and behold, if you arrive back home and there’s nothing there, it puts a dampener on things. Having the home family having just left means that not only will your house be sparkling clean when you arrive, but also that there’s a good chance there will be fresh good and milk left over.

Just a couple of the mini-advantages that home swap has to offer… ;-)