Top 10 Reasons Why Home Swapping is Ideal For Family Vacations

10. You don't have to ask for a room away from the noisy elevator.

Concern about where your room will be located - close to or far from the elevator, 2nd floor or 8th floor, smoking section or non-smoking section - is par for the course when you vacation in a hotel. When you stay in a vacation home, however, the whole house is yours. No need to worry about noisy guests, rooms that smell of smoke, a view of the parking lot, or being too far away from the ice machine. Every room in a vacation house is conveniently located and as quiet as you'd like it to be!

9. In a vacation home, there is no extra charge for room service.

Although I'll agree that room service has a few benefits, I'd prefer not to have to pay $5 for that cup of orange juice my daughter is asking for. Home swappers enjoy a kitchen that is open 24/7, which is especially convenient for families with children who wake up hours too early for breakfast at a restaurant and for anyone who occasionally enjoys a midnight snack. Home swapping enables families to eat some meals at home, saving money on your vacation and adding oodles of convenience.

8. When you stay in a vacation home, your kids can have their own beds.

Remember the last time you stayed in a hotel room with your kids? If your kids are anything like mine, the decision about who is going to share a bed with the "sheet stealer" takes a great deal of negotiating. In a vacation home, my kids typically have their choice of rooms, and they each get their own bed. "Can I have the sailboat room?" asks my youngest. "I get the top bunk," states my oldest. More often than not, they all end up staying in the same room. Because it's part of the fun of vacation. And there's never any arguing about sheet stealing.

7. No need to sit in the hallway or on the floor of the bathroom waiting for your kids to fall asleep.

A friend of mine recently confessed to me that she and her husband typically sit on the floor of their hotel room's bathroom or in the hallway outside their hotel room - on the floor - while they wait for their kids to go to sleep. They have to whisper, of course, and sometimes it can take 30 minutes or longer before their kids are sleeping deeply enough that they can return to the room. Even then, they must keep the lights and noise to a minimum so as not to wake up the kids and be forced to start the whole process again. Ever try watching Saturday Night Live's Weekend Report without laughing aloud? It's not easy. When you house swap, there's no need to be relegated to the floor of a barely-lit bathroom. The sofa in the living room, the chaise lounge on the deck, or the bed in the master bedroom is certainly more comfortable than a tile floor. Your body will thank you for vacationing the home exchange way!

6. Home exchange gives you a home away from home.

After a long day of seeing the sights, playing on the beach, or experiencing your latest adventure, there's no match to returning to a comfortable and spacious home that you can call your own (at least for the week you are staying there). We all know that kids need a place to call their own. A space to relax or a space to play. Having a home to return to at the end of a day of vacation fun cannot possibly be matched by any hotel room.

5. A unique place for your next staycation.

In this economy, many families are opting for a staycation rather than a vacation. Typically, a staycation involves spending vacation time visiting attractions and events that are close to one's home in order to vacation within a budget. With home exchange, you can have the best of both worlds. Rather than using your own home as a home base, you can use a home swap house as your home base. Visit some of the attractions and experience some of the events that are close to your home swap house, and spend time in the vacation home playing games, watching movies, and making pizza and popcorn. Your family gets some together time, and you all get to enjoy being somewhere other than your own home.

4. Avoid the four-suitcases-full-of-dirty-laundry problem upon your return home from vacation.

If you've recently returned from a hotel-stay vacation, you probably still have the massive line-up of laundry loads fresh in your mind. Or, maybe there are multiple loads still sitting in front of your washing machine.... At the end of a week-long vacation, most families are stuck with several suitcases full of dirty laundry. As if we're not busy enough when we return from vacation - responding to all of the emails, voicemails, and Facebook messages received while away, reading through mail and paying bills, unpacking the baby and child gear, toys, and toiletries, and trying to revive our water-starved plants - the laundry simply won't do itself. When you vacation with home exchange, you can arrive home with suitcases full of clean laundry. When I'm home swapping, I do a load of laundry every night or every other night (depending to a great degree on how many times the boys put their knees down in mud and whether the kids decided to use napkins or their shirts that day). Yet another benefit of home exchange - clean laundry and more time to catch up with your life when you return from vacation.

3. Your teenager - and you - can have some privacy.

Staying in confined spaces with teenagers can often be difficult - for teenagers and their parents alike. Teenagers value their privacy, and parents know the value of a little personal space as well. When you swap homes for vacation, teenagers can have their own bedrooms, and usually their own bathrooms as well. This makes the time you do spend together on your vacation much more harmonious for everyone.

2. Home swapping enables you and your family to experience your vacation destination as a local.

When you stay in someone's home, you can live like a local rather than a tourist. To the extent you want, you can shop in the shops, eat at the restaurants, and stroll the streets away from the tourist spots. Home swap hosts often leave lists of local dining, markets, and happenings for their home swap partners. You'll be able to offer your family a unique opportunity to view a culture from within its boundaries. You might even meet some neighbors! They're sure to give you a friendlier welcome when you are staying in the home of their friend. More than a few times, my children have befriended some of our home swap neighbors' children. Their stories of playing with these children have become some of their longest-standing memories of our trips.

And the number one reason why home exchange is ideal for family vacations....

1. Home exchange makes travel affordable!

There's no getting around what many see as the most important benefit of home exchange - avoiding the high cost of lodging. Hotels and vacation rentals can cost thousands of dollars per week. This certainly limits vacation opportunities for most of us, especially "ITE" (in this economy). If you didn't have to worry about the cost of lodging, would you be more likely to travel wherever your vacation dreams take you? Would you be more likely to take your children to all of those places you've always wanted to take them? You can travel in the U.S. or around the world without having to check hotel prices. And you can spend more of your vacation budget on exploring the sites and experiencing all your vacation destination has to offer.

The Vacation Exchange Network is the premier vacation home exchange program, with vacation homes and second homes all over the United States and around the world. We are the only program offering full-service coordination and the flexibility of exchanging where and when you want without having to find someone to use your home. We exclusively list vacation homes and second homes in fabulous vacation destinations so that every home exchange feels like a real vacation.

Come visit our blog for fascinating home swap stories, spotlights on vacation homes available for exchange, and interesting tidbits about travel in general and with families.

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