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Home & Timeshare Exchanges

A.Win

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Just wanted to share a creative idea for you all.

Before I started timeshares, I dabbled with a few home exchanges. I was a member of a site that allowed me to exchange homes. Living in the high demand DC area made it a bit easier.

A couple times, I would exchange their big home for a hotel room using my points. (now I can add timeshares to the mix too). This worked great because their homes fit 4 to 8 people, whereas a hotel room only fits 2 people comfortably. I targeted big homes near beaches in the summer. So I would have to give up lots of hotel points (NYC or London) so it worked out well for both sides.

I now own too many timeshares so I stopped doing this the last couple years. But I wanted to let you know that it worked out really well and others should consider it. I would do it again if I need to travel with a bigger group to places that don't have timeshares.
 

DeniseM

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There are home exchange websites.

I once rented someone's condo in London, and it turned out to be her primary home - not a vacation rental. All her personal stuff was there: toiletries in the bathroom, food in the fridge, all the usual personal items, just like she walked out and I walked in. It was uncomfortable.
 
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WinniWoman

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No way would I ever let a stranger stay in my home.
 

A.Win

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No way would I ever let a stranger stay in my home.

I agree that letting people stay in my house was an inconvenience. You have to trust that they don't mess things up. You have to secure valuables. You have to clean up after them when you return. That's why I switched my approach to letting them stay in hotels (or my timeshares now).

Denise also pointed out the other negative for some people. My wife didn't like living in someone's home. She didn't want to see all their personal items. I personally think this aspect is a positive. For example, by doing this, I watched their DVDs and used their bikes, their beach and sports equipment, etc. I even used their car once. If I was staying in a hotel or timeshare, I would have to pay extra for each of these things.

This exchange is also very easy. I just say, I would like to stay in your home. In return, you can stay in any Marriott hotel (or Wyndham timeshare). Certainly, they can find some location that meets their needs.
 

WinniWoman

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I have to say, I have rented 2 homes via Home Away, which were both very nice. But- I still like being at a resort better. Not as lonely and also- like was mentioned- using the things in the house crossed over the personal line for me.
 

A.Win

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Three years since I wrote this post, I have done a couple more home exchanges. I just wanted to provide an update that the HomeExchange website has completely changed its model. It is more like AirBNB in that each member establishes a price (in points) that is needed for each night. I think this will increase its usage. I currently have a good number of points so I'm excited to see what I can get for them.
 
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