Home Exchange Experiences

With each holiday lasting 4 weeks, Cotswold-based Nina estimates that they’ve saved £3000 each time they’ve Exchanged Homes (with 23 exchanges – I’ll do the maths for you – that’s a whopping saving in the region of £69,000 / US$86,000 which is truly remarkable!).

It’s always good to hear about others’ experiences when you’re about to try something new. After all, it’s completely normal to be hesitant about opening up your home to ‘strangers’.

But, that’s where you might be surprised. After initial enquiry messages, emails, and finally, phone/Skype calls, the person who will be staying in your home will no longer be a Complete Stranger! Getting to know your Exchange Partner in advance is one of the things we (really, really) recommend.

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Retired Primary School Teacher, Nina spoke to me recently about her and her husband’s TWENTY FIVE YEARS of Home Exchange. You read that correctly. Twenty three exchanges and counting! And although Nina sends around 150 query emails per exchange (and only receives around 30 replies) the savings make it definitely worth the effort.

As a ‘seasoned’ Home Exchange-er, Nina’s top 3 things to prepare her home before she leaves include:

  1. Ensuring that everything is in good working order and serviced e.g. boiler, alarm system etc. It’s a good idea to have service contracts that would step in if there was a plumbing or electrical emergency.
  2. Preparing a booklet for the Exchange Partner with useful names and addresses, tips on how to use appliances, TV, etc. Also included is maps and information on location of restaurants, tourist attractions, supermarket, doctor.
  3. Giving the home a thorough clean, which is especially important if you have pets. We think that you could pay a professional cleaner with all that money you’re saving on accommodation!

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Click here for more ideas about preparing your home.

Nina loves that each year is different. Her favourite personal Home Exchange story is being able to go and use a previous Exchange Partner’s log cabin in the High Sierras. He lent it to them 2 years running even though they weren’t exchanging with him.

There have been times where it hasn’t gone quite to plan, including arriving to find the home was not exactly as described in the listing and certainly wasn’t clean! Also, they once had a hitch with the exchanging of cars – the Exchange Partner was *ahem* too old to insure economically. Both parties instead agreed to hire/rent a car during the Exchange.

Nina has been flexible with destinations over the years – and as a result, has visited places she wouldn’t have thought of visiting. As a regular traveller, Nina brings her favourite teabags and always takes good mosquito protection (including plug-ins) if visiting Florida etc.

And from thesebootstravel:

“The first question everyone always asks is, “Weren’t you worried about having a stranger in your house?” Yes, I was: for about five seconds. But think about it: is someone going to spend $130 bucks plus the cost of international airline tickets so they can rip you off? Not bloody likely. The people who go through the minor hassle of signing up with an exchange agency want what you want: an affordable vacation in an interesting part of the world. They’re not after your jewellery. Mutual trust is the bedrock of successful home exchange, so if you’re someone who doubts the essential goodness of humanity, you might want to book into a hotel instead.”

Have a think about it – it might suit you – it might not, but if you’re interested, you can read more or Register by going to our website: www.teacherhomeexchange.com

Our goal at Teacher Home Exchange is to enable LOADS of lovely holidays, and your first year is FREE! Happy Holidays!

~Sharon

What Is Home Exchange?  –  Top FAQs for Home Exchange

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Holidays are SO Important Because…

Teaching is consistently among the top three most stressful professions, according to respected academic, Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the University of Manchester.*

Not a week goes by it seems, without a headline or article about Teacher stress levels, wellbeing or workload. We all know that holidays are important to our overall wellbeing – having a holiday can:

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  • Reduce stress and improve perspective
  • Reduce burnout and job fatigue
  • Improve concentration and effectiveness throughout the rest of the year

 

Nearly all of us need to relax more, but it’s so important to widen our horizons and See & Experience Different Things too. Plus, if you’re away travelling the globe, there’s less chance that you will be marking books… (although my husband DID once bring a stack of marking on a flight to NZ just so that he could relax afterwards, knowing that it was done!!).

It’s a lucky person (i.e. savvy saver) who is able to travel every time they’ve a week to spare.  Which is where Teacher Home Exchange comes in. After marrying a Teacher, I found out just how difficult it can be to find low-cost holiday accommodation during peak school holidays. Prices can skyrocket by over 60% (read more about that Monkey Business here) and Teachers and School Support staff will always be restricted to fixed holiday dates. The result is Teacher Home Exchange – an exclusive website for Teachers and School Support Staff enabling unlimited holiday Home Exchange.

Our goal at Teacher Home Exchange is to enable LOADS of lovely holidays!

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If you would like to know more about it, please have a look at What Is Home Exchange? or our Top FAQs for Home Exchange. Home Exchangers are able to travel more, stay longer and spend more locally – and they can save up to 58% on typical holiday costs!

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We also love to inspire holidays – you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter and here are some of our places to visit:

Whatever kind of holiday you enjoy, we would love to have you as a Member of Teacher Home Exchange. Plus, your first year is FREE!

Happy Holidays!

~Sharon

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* https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/teaching-among-top-three-most-stressed-occupations – and in case you’re wondering, other high-stress professions identified as healthcare and the uniformed services such as the police, ambulance and the fire services. Perhaps I should diversify…?

[i] Independent University of Bergamo

Are Peak Price Hikes Fair?

Most people will have seen the difference between Peak and Off-Peak prices when they’ve booked holiday accommodation. Lots of folk beat the increase by sneaking in a term-time holiday – but with a Teacher in the family, alas, that isn’t an option. The economic argument to the price increase is ‘simple’ Supply and Demand. And the industry argues that without the higher prices to counter the low prices, they would simply go out of business.

Accommodation Cost – Peak Increases 2017

I’ve just finished my annual research into Peak Accommodation costs – it’s an irritation for me that will never go away – the fact that other people can go and stay in amazing places during term-time for way cheaper than it is for those of us restricted to the school holidays.

This year, I looked at w/c 05/08/17 (Peak) compared to w/c 02/09/17 (Off-Peak). The average increase was £487 for ONE WEEK!

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Have you Thought About Home Exchange?

Exchanging homes for a week instead of renting a cottage would save in the region of £600-£1000 (or more!). Pretty spectacular savings really, and other benefits include the space and convenience of staying in a real home as well as the security of having your own home occupied.

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Teachers get around 12 weeks a year of holidays (or about 6 weeks of holidays after all the marking and administration and re-doing classroom displays is done!). But Teacher Home Exchange is just £24 for a WHOLE YEAR Membership and you can Exchange Homes as many times as you want!

Read our FAQs here.

Warning: exchanging homes is addictive – after the initial apprehension and ‘The First Swap’ – 81% of one website’s 50,000 Members have swapped homes more than once.

Have a think about it – it might suit you – it might not, but if you’re interested, you can read more or Register by going to our website: www.teacherhomeexchange.com

Our goal is to enable LOADS of lovely holidays, and your first year is FREE! Happy Holidays!

~Sharon (Teacher Home Exchange)

 

Fresh Air and Exercise

Our two little darlings were climbing the walls this morning – the weekend weather hasn’t been exactly stunning after all.

With my patience running out, and husband planning a session for trainee teachers, we decided to go for a walk in local woods.

We walked about 5km in all, and made a den for badgers or perhaps even giraffes!

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Now, the dinner is almost ready – happy weekend to you!

AT Teacher Home Exchange, our goal is to enable LOADS of lovely holidays, and your first year is FREE! Happy Holidays!

~Sharon (Teacher Home Exchange)

F: http://www.facebook.com/TeacherHomeExchange/
T: @yayforholidays
I: yayforholidays

 

 

Finally, it’s over!

Christmas has ended in our house – we just ate the last Christmas food! A delicious chocolate panettone. Oh, and although I missed the Twelfth Night deadline, the tree is finally down and all the decorations are away! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

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Are Peak Price Hikes Fair?

Most people will have seen the difference between Peak and Off-Peak prices when they’ve booked holiday accommodation. Lots of folk beat the increase by sneaking in a term-time holiday – but with a Teacher in the family, alas, that isn’t an option. The economic argument to the price increase is ‘simple’ Supply and Demand. And the industry argues that without the higher prices to counter the low prices, they would simply go out of business.

Accommodation Cost – Peak Increases 2017

I’ve just finished my annual research into Peak Accommodation costs – it’s an irritation for me that will never go away – the fact that other people can go and stay in amazing places during term-time for way cheaper than it is for those of us restricted to the school holidays.

This year, I looked at w/c 05/08/17 (Peak) compared to w/c 02/09/17 (Off-Peak). The average increase was £487 for ONE WEEK!

2017-accommodation-research-01

Have you Thought About Home Exchange?

Exchanging homes for a week instead of renting a cottage would save in the region of £600-£1000 (or more!). Pretty spectacular savings really, and other benefits include the space and convenience of staying in a real home as well as the security of having your own home occupied.

2017-accommodation-research-02

Teachers get around 12 weeks a year of holidays (or about 6 weeks of holidays after all the marking and administration and re-doing classroom displays is done!). But Teacher Home Exchange is just £24 for a WHOLE YEAR Membership and you can Exchange Homes as many times as you want!

Read our FAQs here.

Warning: exchanging homes is addictive – after the initial apprehension and ‘The First Swap’ – 81% of one website’s 50,000 Members have swapped homes more than once.

Have a think about it – it might suit you – it might not, but if you’re interested, you can read more or Register by going to our website: www.teacherhomeexchange.com

Our goal is to enable LOADS of lovely holidays, and your first year is FREE! Happy Holidays!

~Sharon (Teacher Home Exchange)

 

Little and Often

One of my favourite bloggers posts really regularly – sometimes daily, sometimes every other day. I think a big part of what I like is that she keeps it short and sweet.

Sometimes it’s one picture that she likes. Or something she noticed in a meeting. What it isn’t, is ramblings. Sometimes it resonates, sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m going to follow her example, and try and write less, more often.

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My goal is to spread the word about Teacher Home Exchange and the benefits to Members, but the road is a long and winding one… See you along the way!

Whatever kind of holiday you enjoy, we would love to have you as a Member of Teacher Home Exchange. Plus, your first year is FREE!

Happy Holidays!

~Sharon

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