“I needed a way to travel that was inexpensive, comfortable and safe: home exchange was the ideal solution for my family.”
I have always loved to travel. When the family came, and with it, the increase in expenses and responsibilities, I began to look for an alternative way to continue traveling like before, without giving up on comfort and security, knowing that my home would be in good hands and preserving our family budget. I needed a way to travel that was cheap, comfortable and safe: home exchange was the ideal solution for me.
Before, when we got back from vacation, I was always terrified to open my credit card bill on the following month. Hotel costs amounted to more than 50% of my travel expenses, not to mention extra fees, such as the minibar, internet, etc. This limitation in our budget forced us to reduce our number of trips a year. We had barely paid the installments of the first trip and were already starting to pay the next one. The excitement of traveling was always accompanied by a certain guilt with the expenses. Home exchange changed that radically. Our travel time came to depend only on how much free time we had at work and not on our financial availability anymore. We were back to traveling more, and what’s even better: with no fear of opening the credit card statement.
And it’s not just saving money with hotels, we also enjoy the comfort of making a few quick meals and snacks at home, shopping at local supermarkets and preparing everything in a real kitchen. Anyone who has small children or any food restriction knows the value of this. And anyone who has a large family knows that eating every meal in a restaurant for several days in a row is impractical.
We like to exchange homes so much while traveling that even in those years when we had extra budget money, we continued opting for the exchanges. We used this saved money to go to nice restaurants, go to more expensive trips, and do some shopping.
Of course, at first, we were a little insecure, but the good experiences were repeated and we gained confidence in this way of traveling which allowed us to get to know so many different places without going over our family budget and living so many special moments with our children.
*Andrea Aguiar is the founder of BeLocal