'House swapping is the latest line in our barter economy - and could be the answer to cheap holidays at home or abroad' is the tag line in an excellent article on home exchange, 'I'll swap my house for a villa in the sun', published in the Telegraph (although home swapping is hardly a new concept!).
Thanks so much to Home Base Holidays members who not only answered questions about their exchange experiences but, in the case of Roger and Jo Piercey and son Luca (pictured above) agreed to be photographed in front of their home at very short notice indeed (Jo: 'I came home from London Tuesday night to a
photographer waiting on the steps!'). By coincidence the Pierceys had guests visiting this weekend who were the exchangers described and pictured in the article (a slight exaggeration on the part of the journalist - the lakeside house in New Hampshire has four bedrooms, not eight!).
Jo: 'We have become fast friends and they visit frequently. They were returning to our house after a few days in Paris. Thursday morning, they were on the Chunnel reading the Telegraph and he said, he spontaneously yelled out when he saw our photo!! He said everyone in the carriage looked around!! Wouldn't it have been great if they had actually been at our house when she did the interview!? So funny!'
Jo's comments highlight an aspect of home swapping rarely mentioned in articles, i.e. not only is it a unique and inepxensive way to have a holiday but it can often lead to lasting friendships and even repeat swaps. The Piercey children have little experience of holidays other than home swaps and the family is now looking for a Christmas exchange to Florida. Fancy a traditional English Christmas in the beautiful Berkshire town of Cookham Dean? Do check out their exchange offer, HE1704, which also includes use of a seaside cottage in the World Heritage Site, Dorset.
Further brief quotes from the article with links to members' home exchange offers:
'Swapping has many devotees like John and Doreen Kennet, a retired couple who have clocked up 36 exchanges. "We recently tried a cruise," he says. "It was relaxing and the food was great, but we both agreed it did not compare with exchange holidays."' See the Kennets' exchange offer in Saffron Walden, Essex (HE17196).
In answer to the journalist, Cassandra Jardine's comment that her own 'cluttered, dog-hair coated house would never pass muster by the white glove brigade', Sinclair Macleod, a seasoned Glaswegian swapper, says: "See it as an excuse to get rid of rubbish." See the Macleod's exchange offer in Glasgow (HE14803).