There are safe and reliable ways to travel for only the cost of airfare, bus or train fare. I’m retired living south of the border on less, My retirement destination is a small fishing village nine miles outside of Puerto Vallarta. My small studio apartment overlooks the sea and I’m grateful for the opportunity to live in a lush tropical environment that grows directly down to the sea shore, in other words, the jungle.
Travel is one of my passions. I’m always looking for ways to lower the cost of my travel adventures. Most times I use Airbnb and opt for the “Entire Home” option. This way I don’t have to make nice with strangers while staying in their home.
I sometimes get on Airbnb and travel the world right from my desktop. I see what it cost to stay in different parts of the world in different communities. I feel close to the people I encounter online, their descriptions say a lot about the rentals. (Here’s a Free $20+ Travel Coupon for you.) However, that’s not why I’m writing this article.
For some reason, I found myself on Craigslist.org. (Craigslist is respected and used in different parts of the world) I noticed there was a new category, at least new to me, which is called “House Swap.” Oh baby, my heart started to beat fast. The thought of a two-week swap with people from around the world was exciting. That’s when all the negative thoughts begin cropping up. What if they steal from my little humble apartment? What if they trash it? What if?
Then it hit me. There are already sites which accommodate house swapping, HomeExchange.com or .http://www.lovehomeswap.com/ which is around $16 a month to join. No fees, no commissions. When your think of the money you can save just by exchanging your home with someone else, the idea of travel becomes more than affordable, it became heart-attack exciting.
I managed to slow my heart beat and begin to actively think about how to pull this home exchange thing off..
1. I need to get my land lord’s permission,, or tell her a friend is coming to stay.
2. I needed to lock away my personal belongings
3. I needed to be sure my guest has most of the pleasures of home, new bedding, new coffee maker, good dishes, you know all the little things. (No dishwasher, rustic)
After much thought, it was putting my own personal belongings in a safe place which was the most difficult task, and finding a person who wanted to exchange with me. Since I’m retired my schedule is pretty much open, .
It’s a little scary letting a stranger stay in your home, even a rented home. LovehomeSwap dot com has a great article on how to prepare for the exchange.
Remembering that you’ll be staying in “their” home, and they’ll be staying in “your” home is what calmed my nerves completely. Each person will do whatever is necessary to protect the property of the other. That’s the beauty of swapping homes. It may take a couple months to wrap your mind around the idea and to prepare your home for the exchange, but overall this is a great opportunity for seniors and budget travelers.