Home Exchange.com – Let the Games Begin
We want to bring some unique travel experiences to our childrens lives, expose them to new languages and countries rich in history, show them there is more to the world than our small enclave, preferably while eating good food and watching people who are much more fashionable than us.
In other words, we want to go to Europe.
Up until now, I have felt they were too young to travel long distances. I thought they would get more out of a camping trip an hour from our house then dragging them to another continent. But now they are eleven, nine and six; the older two in particular eager for new adventures. Our youngest will go along with whatever her sisters want, so she is a moot point.
If we are schlepping them so far, it stands to reason we want to be there for a while, preferably a month. The accommodation price tag alone of housing a family of five would quickly bankrupt us. So yesterday, I joined HomeExchange.com.
Friends of ours have used this successfully to travel to France and Australia, meeting great families in the process. We thought we would throw our ring into the hat, and see if we can pull out a rabbit. Or a castle.
The other day, as sunlight filtered in through our windows – a rare sight in November – I was inspired to photograph our digs. I ran around, stashing piles of crap in drawers, stuffing clothing underneath beds, and turning lights on even though it was daytime, and cursed myself once again for not taking a photography course.
I miraculously found my USB cord and loaded them onto my computer. This must be a sign that good things, and surely castles, are coming my way. Next, I cleverly searched the internet for a coupon for HomeExchange.com; and the first one I found actually worked. A definite sign. Call me Princess. Am I actually becoming internet savvy or have they just dumbed it down?
I filled out the required information about our home, trying hard to not sound like a used car salesman, yet clever enough for our listing to scream “castles only need apply!” in a very discreet way, of course. I finished the writing part, but then had to search their directory to figure out how to load photos. It was the first Frequently Asked Question, so again I patted my internet-savvy self on the back, since I clearly was not the first person to inquire about this.
There were four places to list where you would like to travel, so along with France and Italy for this summer, I also added Maui and Naramata, for March break and August, respectively. You can’t win if you don’t play. How cool would it be if we could get a sweet place in Hawaii or the Okanagan on a lark?
Presto. After two hours of work, and a grand total of $85 (the cost for a yearly membership, after my crafty coupon) chez nous is open for business. Fingers crossed that this experience doesn’t resemble National Lampoon’s European Vacation.