I love to travel in luxury for as many months each year as I fancy. I do this on a staycation budget. How? You may ask. Well, I am lucky enough to have found a way and am living proof that it works. I have discovered the world of home exchange, and I have never looked back.
I travel the world and stay in rooms larger than the biggest suites in the most lavish of hotels. I drink sumptuous local wines and sample temptingly delicious local food. I chat with locals and discover the hidden secrets of foreign shores typically available only to locals.
As a semi-retired baby boomer I want to travel, travel, travel in style. I can afford the luxury of taking as much time as I like to relax, never wearing myself out trying to cram as much into a few weeks as possible so that none of my vacation time is “wasted”.
My home is in Queensland, Australia and now I spend a considerable amount of my time in other people’s houses all over the world. Sometimes I only have short breaks within Australia, and other times I will take much longer breaks, up to six months where I will travel across continents. I can hardly believe it, but people are keen to swap my simple little beach house for their incredible homes.
Exchange house in Bodrum, Turkey
For example, last year my trip began in Turkey, staying in houses in Izmir and Bodrum, each with large private swimming pools overlooking the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas; then I moved to the Greek Island of Syros where I stayed in a quaint white house with blue trimmed windows on the edge of a hill overlooking the ocean (it was straight out of Mamma Mia!); then to Italy where I lived in a tiny mountain village within an easy drive to Rome and to the Adriatic, then to Nice in the south of France where I drove daily to spots such as Monte Carlo and Cannes; then I had a romantic champagne dinner on Bastille Day in Paris on the Champs Elysees before flying back to Australia.
A few of the run-a-rounds in Nice harbor, south of France
All of my accommodations were free of charge as I stayed in home exchange houses which belonged to other people. I also had their vehicles to drive free of charge. My partner and I stayed between two and four weeks in each of the houses and became very comfortable, buying local food and wine and visiting the local sights, many of which we had been unaware of until we stayed in those houses.
Women in cherry festival parade in Italy
I highly recommend this travel lifestyle. In previous years, I have home exchanged my way through Eastern Europe and the UK as well as Australia and many states in USA and Canada. I love this way of travel and have stayed in some beautiful and palatial homes.
An insider’s guide to the home exchange experience where home swappers skip hotel bills and enjoy the comforts of living like a local. Full of very practical tips.
Home Exchange Community: MyPlaceForYours.com – A place for home exchanges to connect with others for advice
Website/blog: www.myplaceforyours.com / Growing Bolder
Facebook: Travel Writer Ainslie Waldron
In her latest book, the breakthrough Luxury Globetrotting on a Staycation Budget, Ainslie Waldron has developed the art of luxury travel for virtually the same cost as staying home! Ainslie shares these strategies with a fun, easy-to-follow guide to the Home Exchange lifestyle opening the world up to anyone with wanderlust in their heart who would like to experience world travel without sacrificing their financial futures. Ainslie may be in Peoria, Paris or Perth today but you can be sure she’s living an enviable lifestyle using the precise strategies she shares with us in Luxury Globetrotting on a Staycation Budget. Just as the Internet made us all mobile, Ainslie is making mobility fun and affordable.