Tag Archives: home exchange

Our House swap to the Pyrénées

Regular readers may remember when I told you about the benefits of house swap holidays. Well I am delighted to tell you that we had an excellent house swap to France this summer and have now scheduled another to Germany, both arranged via HomeExchange.com. Let me tell you a bit more about our experiences with this website and our French holiday.

The website is simple to use. You set up your profile with a description and photos of your home, making sure to include all the basics like how many bedrooms and whether pets are welcome or not. You may optionally list specific dates that you are interested in a house swap and whether your car is available for use or not.

Then you can either browse around the 65,000 listings or sit back and wait for others to contact you. We didn’t have a specific destination in mind initially, so we opted for the latter method. The first couple of replies were nice houses in Spain and Italy, but both families wanted to travel 2 weeks prior to us. And of course, my dates aren’t very flexible, as I need to fit it around my shift pattern. But we hit the jackpot with the third reply and it was still less than a month since we registered with the website. A lovely house in France on the edge of the Pyrénées. Whilst we were finalising the details with the other family, I had a bunch of other enquiries that I had to turn down. All we had to organise were our flights and car hire.

Pyrenees holiday

Roll on a few months to the summer and it was holiday time. I made sure our home was clean and tidy. We flew to Lourdes, where we may have unknowingly passed our host family in transit. When we arrived, a tasty welcome meal was waiting for us. Most appreciated. We looked after our host family’s cat, who I’m sure was totally confused by the change of people.

Pyrenees holiday

We packed plenty of sightseeing and fun activities into our holiday. We visited the nearby towns of Pau, Lourdes, Nay, Tarbes and Bagnères-de-Bigorre. We did karting, crazy golf (2 courses), swimming (3 places) and caving. And son2 celebrated a birthday there.

Here are a few of our holiday photos.

Pyrenees holiday - karting

Pyrenees holiday - crazy golf

Pyrenees holiday - crazy golf

Pyrenees holiday - caving

Pyrenees holiday

Pyrenees holiday - water park

Pyrenees holiday

Pyrenees holiday

Pyrenees holiday - Chateau de Pau

A fab time and now we’re looking forward to doing it all again in Germany. I’d love to hear about your favourite holidays.

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Disclosure.  I have not received anything for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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Home Exchange including giveaway worth £100

So what do you usually do for holidays? Hands up who has ever tried a house swap. Here’s son1 outside one of the lovely homes we swapped to.

House swap

We had a couple of fantastic holidays via this method four years ago before son1 was diagnosed with leukaemia. He has now just finished chemotherapy last month, and hopefully by next year, will have completed other associated medical interventions. So I have my fingers crossed that we may be able to arrange a similar type holiday again next summer. We didn’t feel we could do one whilst he was on chemo, as if he ended up in hospital, it wouldn’t have just been our holiday at risk of cancellation, but potentially another family’s too which just wouldn’t be fair.

Therefore it felt a very good omen when HomeExchange.com contacted me offering a year’s free membership. And an even better bonus when they kindly suggested deferring the membership to next year.

HomeExchange.com is a global community of 65,000 like-minded people around the world across 150 countries. Members’ homes come in all shapes and sizes, from cosy apartments to sprawling estates and everything in between.

It means that other than the cost of getting there, a holiday anywhere in the world doesn’t have to cost anymore than staying at home, and the benefits of exchanging with a family are numerous.

It’s incredibly fun and cheap and means you can go anywhere, live like a local, and stay for free. Over half of the homes on HomeExchange.com are also family friendly, so there’s plenty to choose from and nearly 90% say they will accept children. Plus plenty of the listings have baby items available too.

Let me share 10 of the top benefits for families we discovered when we did house swaps.

PACKING IS EASIER as there will be linen, lots of toys and equipment waiting for you, so you don’t have to take it all with you.

AVOID LAST MINUTE WORRIES as everything is in one place and ready for you; the same as when you visit the grandparents.

ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY and stay for free knowing you can keep to your family’s usual routine, just the same as if you were at home.

SLEEP WELL AND RELAX without the concerns of staying in a hotel where your loud and boisterous children may annoy other guests.

GET MORE SPACE as children and parents have their own rooms; no more stays in a cramped hotel room.

AVOID TIME PRESSURES as there’s no need to rush downstairs to catch the hotel breakfast.

HAVE A WELL-DESERVED BREAK and enjoy meeting new friends by venturing beyond your neighbourhood, your exchange partner may even introduce you to their own friends with kids.

SHOP AHEAD by organising an online grocery shop to be delivered on arrival.

GET INSIDER TIPS from your exchange partner on the best child friendly activities and venues.

PEACE OF MIND knowing your own home should be more secure since it is occupied whilst you are away.

home exchange.com

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a year’s membership to HomeExchange.com worth £100 for free holidays to 1 lucky winner. Open worldwide.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your ideal holiday.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Disclosure. This post mentions a membership I will receive for free next year. All opinions are my own.