, January 26, 2012

The Only Expenses Are Travel Costs


Fionnuala King and her husband Jim have been swapping homes with families overseas and in Ireland for well over 20 years.

The now-retired couple, who live in Raphoe, Co Donegal, have holidayed in homes in Ireland, England, Germany, France and Belgium, but also as far away as Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. They've been using the Homelink house-exchange website since 1997. "At the beginning, it was a case of perusing the book and then writing countless letters," says Fionnuala. "Now it is all online."

Even with their two children grown up, they rarely find themselves holidaying on their own. "One or other, or both, often accompany us or join us at some stage of our exchange," she says, while other members of their close family will often join them too. "I generally look for an exchange house or apartment that sleeps at least four, so as to have the flexibility of having family or friends join us."

Fionnuala says it is difficult to say just how much they save, but there is no doubting that they save considerably compared to someone renting a holiday home for two weeks.

"A home exchange allows you to stay in a place for a longer time as you don't have to pay for accommodation," she says. "The only expense is the cost of travel and whatever you choose to spend."

In addition, you can cook your own food, "so eating out becomes a choice rather than a necessity". They also generally exchange cars, so that cuts out the huge cost of hiring a car or travel by ferry.


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Seeking USA

Washington DC, 50m, SW

USA - Virginia
Washington DC, 50m, SW

We have two home available for exchange: our home in a lovely suburb of Washington DC offers privacy, space, and convenience to the city, as well as the beautiful VA countryside filled with vineyards, horse farms, Civil War history and the Blue Ridge mountains. Our vacation home is a luxurious home by the Chesapeake Bay; It is extremely private, nearly surrounded by water and offers boating, fishing, swimming and utter serenity. This home is less than an hour to historic Williamsburg, the settlement of Jamestown, Yorktown battlefield, and Busch Gardens Amusement Park. It is available for your use any time of year.