'We had a wonderful exchange and really can't imagine visiting a metropolitan area in the future without doing a home exchange, especially traveling with young children. In addition to the wonderful benefits of seeing life in another neighborhood, we had enough space and privacy that the kids didn't feel cramped or constrained, as I'm sure they would have in a hotel room.' - Tara Rufo, Santa Cruz, CA
The Rufo family (that's the family by Tower Bridge with a rather ominous looking black cloud above them) exchanged homes with the Edwards family from London this summer. John Edward's California Dreaming travelblog of his family's two exchanges in California was featured in a post on 1 September. It's great to have Tara's feedback from the other side of a successful home exchange.
Kids Trading Places:
The photo on the left is of the Rufos' sons, Nolan (5) and Miles (3) in front of John and Barbara's Victoria terrace house in North London. The photo below is of the Edwards' daughters, Miriam and Catherine, enjoying the hot-tub in Tara and Jason's backyard at their family home a block from sandy beaches in Santa Cruz.
In a message to John after the exchange, Tara highlights the main reasons for the success of their (and any) home swap:
'I think the keys to our great exchange were the extensive communication we were able to have in advance, the fact that we were both able/willing to somewhat extend ourselves to help the other family out, that we were both pretty organized, and a bit of luck that both families seem to be similarly-minded in our approaches to things. I tell everyone who asks that I would do it again tomorrow!!'