Traveling on a budget – Where to stay?

Thoroughbred training morning w jockeys, Lamorlaye, FR, Bob Grytten Image
Thoroughbred training morning w jockeys, Lamorlaye, FR, Bob Grytten Image

Like to travel? Looking for a way to cut the costs; but, still enjoy those exotic locations we’ve always dreamed about?

We’ve traveled to Italy, Greece, Norway, France, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and even Florida for a couple of weeks over Christmas. France, Ireland, and Florida came because we hosted travelers from those countries in our own home – and we stayed in theirs.

The exchange we now use is HomeforExchange, which is owned and operated by Ans Lammers. It provides listings of thousands of people who have discovered this unique way to cut housing, car and even food costs for the traveler.

Our exchange in France was not listed in the exchange we are with now but worked the same way. It came about as a result of an inquiry we made to a French couple with two small children. Their home was listed in an exchange site and we wanted to get back to that area.

House in Lamorlaye FR - Carol & Bob's home for three weeks - their first home exchange
House in Lamorlaye FR – Carol & Bob’s home for three weeks – their first home exchange

We had first contacted an English couple and another French couple in Provence, who also agreed to exchange with us. But, we liked the idea of being 30 miles north of Paris and that seemed like a better fit. And their house, when we first saw where we would be staying, was like something one only dreams about.

We felt like we were hosting them to our home in the US. We set a welcome note on our kitchen table for them, and set a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator for them. When we first arrived at their home, they too had placed for us …  a bottle of champagne and hors doerves.

Long term friendships are not uncommon as a result of these special exchanges.

Using their home as a base we made side trips to Normandy, Paris, Chantilly, and Senlis before flying to Ireland, which was on our own, but much less expensive than traveling from the US. We used our exchange couple’s car, as they did ours.

While there, we were invited to an early morning training session for 200 thoroughbred racing horses by a trainer we had met at a local photo shop. Incidentally, I also received a haircut which I traded for a photo of the stylists little doggie. That was fun. So, a nice side benefit is that one becomes part of the community. And in our case the french family became part of our home, went to our beaches, shopped at our stores.

On another exchange to Florida, over the Holidays, the couple had other plans and could not stay at our home during our visit to theirs. They stayed at our home during a vacation we took the following July. Those are called “non-simultaneous” exchanges and are arranged between the parties.

Actually, there have been more offers to visit us then we have been able to accept. They include  Mexico, Spain, England, Tybee Island-USA, France, and Denmark just to name a few.

For more information go to www.HomeforExchange.com. I believe you will have an opportunity to see the kind of places that are for exchange without joining – and if you decide it might be for you a free trial membership is available.

If wondering about photography or the best things to take while traveling see photo tips at our web site Lens Lugger World.  or the blog lensluggers.com.

If that doesn’t work drop an e-mail at bobgry@aol.com  Bob with tam

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s