Enduring memories that keep you coming back for more...
Home Base Holidays member shares her home swap experiences
"A beautiful Spring day and we're lunching al fresco at the cafe on Tooting Common and remembering this time last year when, in similarly glorious weather, we were enjoying our (then) third home exchange.
Our exchangees like Tooting Common. Less than five minutes from our house it has woody bits, cultivated bits, a playground, tennis courts, a lido. Of course, London has many famous groomed parks and gardens but the great thing about home exchange is appreciating the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
We find that, like us, home swappers love their homes and are proud of their communities, so as well as visiting the tourist things, the museums, theatres, the beaches and so on, we really enjoy the everyday pleasures that surround our "holiday home". Things like going in the pub on the corner, and, obvious strangers, being greeted with, "oh, you must be the people staying in so and so's house" and the second night you're old friends. Townies like us always enjoy getting on a local bus and, after a day or two, having the driver asks how we are.
For a keen cook like me shopping in different shops and markets is a real bonus of home exchange (especially when I've been told where to get the best of this and that!), as is eating in our exchange partners' favorite restaurants, taking their preferred walks, even deadheading their roses and watering their plants is a great pleasure knowing that someone is taking equally great care of our home and garden.
We've had lovely chats with our 'temporary neighbors' and, here in Tooting, our local cab driver still asks after one couple he ferried around. How pleased he'll be to see them again this August. In turn, we're looking forward to getting reacquainted with their cats and the view across the hills from their back garden. We love London, and would never live anywhere else, but a complete change of lifestyle is fantastic.
On a home swap holiday you experience such a range of special things, the everyday and the exceptional, guided by expert insider knowledge, you build such a bank of enduring memories that you keep coming back for more!"
Click here to see Sandra's home exchange offer...