In all honesty, we hardly knew about HomeExchange until 6 months ago. Whilst working on a market research project we approached the company and interviewed them about trends in the house exchange industry which apparently is growing globally at a rapid pace. We were really impressed by the professionalism, enthusiasm and high energy of Ms. Joanna Papaiconomou who patiently explained to us all the insights behind the home exchange market. This is exactly how our collaboration started!
We saw the fruits of our co-operation from Day 1. HomeExchange offers all KidsLoveGreece.com readers a 50% discount on membership. Click here if you wish to take advantage of this offer.
What is HomeExchange?
HomeExchange.com is the world’s leading international home exchange and house-swap service. More than 60,000 members have done over 130.000 home swaps in 2014 across more than 150 countries. Based on the idea that everyone can exchange his place with someone else’s, simultaneously or not, HomeExchange gives the opportunity for quality holidays in an environment of trust in almost any country. The company was founded in 1992 by Ed Kushins, an early adopter of the ‘collaborative consumption’ movement.
When did it start its operations in Greece? Which locations do you cover?
In times of economic crisis, HomeExchange can become a ‘passport’ for a free holiday anywhere in the world.
Home Exchange.com started operation in Greece in 2011. Greece has its own appendix and a community that grows slowly but steadily. We cover various locations all over Greece but most of our listings are on the islands, though we also have places in the north of Greece, and of course in Athens and the surroundings areas.
Do families find the concept of HomeExchange interesting? What do they like in particular?
Families just love HomeExchange as the concept is also extremely family friendly. Browsing the site you will come across our amazing Family Friendly Collection. That means a family is just one click away from instantly finding family friendly homes that can be exchanged with other families.
Most HomeExchange.com families enjoy wonderful holidays not only because the accommodation costs nothing and they can stay longer, but also because the home exchange comes with access to the facilities of the exchange family, such as their car or bicycles!
What advice would you give to someone who has never used the HomeExchange website?
To be honest they don’t need much advice as once they log on and marvel at what is available they would dive straight in by themselves. For someone who is (understandably) a bit more cautious we are confident that their mind will soon be put at ease when they see the excellent and reliable reviewing system. However, one definite piece of advice to everyone is to compare just how much you would have to pay if you went on a conventional holiday – you will ask yourself why you haven’t been using HomeExchange all this time.
Why do you think someone should consider HomeExchange over a traditional hotel?
Apart from the huge financial savings, what I greatly appreciate about HomeExchange is the return to more authentic ways of spending our time holiday. Our members mostly don’t conform to the typical tourist experience. By saying that, let’s say you go to a house in Paris. Your experience will not only be the house itself as you also gain access to true ‘local’ habits when you visit the cafes, restaurants and attractions as a local would. Actually, you take a very interesting peek into the other person’s way of living. I really believe that this is a holiday which is free of forced consumerism, an authentic experience that you would have never discovered staying at a hotel. Not least, let’s not forget that an added bonus is that along the way you are bound to make new friends and acquaintances with people you’d otherwise never meet!
Something personal: Which is your favourite Greek island(s) for family holidays … and why?
My favorite island of all is Kimolos because it’s one of the smaller ones that don’t necessarily require a car – everything is close by, plus the beaches are superb. Moreover, kids can roam freely without much need for supervision – quite unusual for them as well as for parents who can enjoy a bit of freedom themselves. Best of both worlds really!