HOW TO STAY ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD FOR FREE
One of the best things that I’ve discovered in the traveling world is that you don’t need to spend so much to travel in luxury, as long as you’re smart about it.
For years I’ve been staying at luxury villas and lovely local homes all for less than $150 a year! Just by exchanging or swapping out my place for theirs.
My mother is lucky enough to have a second property with an amazing view on the East coast of Puerto Rico which she rents out for holiday vacations and I’ve listed it on a website called Home Exchange, which is exactly what it sounds like.
You exchange your place with someone else. I discovered the notion after I saw the romantic comedy ‘THE HOLIDAY’ where Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap places and have new adventures.
It is exactly what I was looking for and every time I stay all by my lonesome or with a partner at a place with two or three rooms and everything I could ask for and more, I think of how lucky I am to have discovered this system!
So I feel obliged to share this incredible travel tip, as the more people get in on it, the more places we can all visit… for free! –well, almost.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
You put your place up for listing, take nice pictures and videos of it, write a nice description, and publish it. Your search for a place you’d like to visit and contact the listings that interest you and hope for them to be interested in your listing.
If they are not interested in your listing but are still willing to accommodate you, you can offer them a balloon which they can then use for any other location around the world. When you publish your listing you can apply to get a free balloon by applying for the ‘Passport Program’.
CREATING YOUR LISTING ACCOUNT
Creating your first listing is as easy as creating any other online account. You enter your basic info, but we’re going to add photos and videos and information about your house, or the place you want to offer up for exchange.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
This includes photos and/or videos of:
- House from outside
- Family room
- Any other room that is worth noting and that they will have access to.
- Whatever photos you show you are offering it to them, so if you don’t want them to use your Jacuzzi or car, don’t photograph it.
Describe what makes your place so enticing.
- Where is it located?
- What’s the best time of the year to visit?
- Why should we visit?
- What activities are there to do around?
- Are you willing to exchange vehicles?
PREPARING FOR YOUR FIRST EXCHANGE
AS A HOST:
- CREATE A HOUSE BOOKLET – After your listing is created you can work on making a house booklet where you write down all the important things about the place like how to turn on the hot water, Wi-Fi password, security code, etc. Be sure to add food delivery and important phone numbers and maybe even your favorite spots and restaurants. A map would be nice. Write anything important at the beginning of the booklet.
- CLEANING AND PREPPING – Wash the towels and linens before each guest. If you can find travel soap and shampoo, that would be ideal. Prepare a second set of keys, and if you’re going to have one made, then make two or three just in case.
- IMPRESS ON ARRIVAL – If you really want to impress your guests, get some fresh flowers, fruits and maybe some local snacks or desserts so they can start tasting the culture!
AS A GUEST:
- Research the place beforehand. Research the address on google maps and ask the host what is the best way to get to their place.
- Be sure to get your host’s contact info, exact address, and some other contact, like their partner.
- When leaving, try to leave everything as clean as possible. No need to scrub, just throw out the trash and maybe load the dishwasher.
- It is considered a nice gesture to bring a small token from your native country or a simple and universal gift -like wine.
If you’re looking for an exchange in Puerto Rico visit then visit my fam’s listing here.
If you’d like to just rent it out then visit HomeAway.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid advertisement. I just really love the brand.