I love to travel in luxury for as many months each year as I fancy. I do this on a staycation budget. How? You may ask. Well, I am lucky enough to have found a way and am living proof that it works. I have discovered the world of home exchange, and I have never looked back.
I travel the world and stay in rooms larger than the biggest suites in the most lavish of hotels. I drink sumptuous local wines and sample temptingly delicious local food. I chat with locals and discover the hidden secrets of foreign shores typically available only to locals.
As a semi-retired baby boomer I want to travel, travel, travel in style. I can afford the luxury of taking as much time as I like to relax, never wearing myself out trying to cram as much into a few weeks as possible so that none of my vacation time is “wasted”.
My home is in Queensland, Australia and now I spend a considerable amount of my time in other people’s houses all over the world. Sometimes I only have short breaks within Australia, and other times I will take much longer breaks, up to six months where I will travel across continents. I can hardly believe it, but people are keen to swap my simple little beach house for their incredible homes.
For example, last year my trip began in Turkey, staying in houses in Izmir and Bodrum, each with large private swimming pools overlooking the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas; then I moved to the Greek Island of Syros where I stayed in a quaint white house with blue trimmed windows on the edge of a hill overlooking the ocean (it was straight out of Mamma Mia!); then to Italy where I lived in a tiny mountain village within an easy drive to Rome and to the Adriatic, then to Nice in the south of France where I drove daily to spots such as Monte Carlo and Cannes; then I had a romantic champagne dinner on Bastille Day in Paris on the Champs Elysees before flying back to Australia.
All of my accommodations were free of charge as I stayed in home exchange houses which belonged to other people. I also had their vehicles to drive free of charge. My partner and I stayed between two and four weeks in each of the houses and became very comfortable, buying local food and wine and visiting the local sights, many of which we had been unaware of until we stayed in those houses.
I highly recommend this travel lifestyle. In previous years, I have home exchanged my way through Eastern Europe and the UK as well as Australia and many states in USA and Canada. I love this way of travel and have stayed in some beautiful and palatial homes.
Home Exchange Community: MyPlaceForYours.com – A place for home exchanges to connect with others for advice
Facebook: Travel Writer Ainslie Waldron