Thursday, July 7, 2011

House Swap

I am frugal by nature. This can sometimes be misconstrued as cheap, but then there are times when it is considered genius.

We have had the opportunity to live in some really fun places and this summer my kids wanted to visit all of them. I was on board, but financially I was going to have to be creative. The only way I could hit all three places we have lived and not blow my budget would be to get free lodging. This would not be a problem for two of the locations because we could stay with our parents, but the third would be a challenge.

I had read about people house swapping and I began letting the idea roll around in my head. I knew that my current location would be a desirable vacation spot but who would I swap with? It would need to be someone I trusted and liked. It would also need to be someone who was clean but not too clean because I did not want to have to clean my baseboards, closets or blinds for the event.

I narrowed it down to a few families and sent the mom of my first choice an email and anxiously waited for her to respond. My husband thought it was a good idea, but he was skeptical that anyone would actually agree to do a swap. I assured him that I had done my research and that in The Holiday staring Cameron Diaz and Jude Law it had worked fabulously.

A few days later the email came and their family thought it was a great idea and wanted to start looking at dates! Yippee! My husband was shocked but happy and my kids were thrilled. I was so thankful that I had not shrugged off this idea with a simple "but who would want to stay at my house" type attitude.

The truth is that my house is not anything like a fancy hotel but neither is her house! We did, however, have something the other person wanted. I needed a place to stay in a specific location and she wanted to take her family somewhere new. She and I have had some funny conversations about what the other should expect, and I am pretty sure we are both hoping that the other person does not feel like they got the bad end of the deal.

Well sweet friend, if you are reading this, I can already tell you that I feel like I won. We will be staying in a beautiful suburban area that is close to friends and attractions. We will have a kitchen, a laundry room, and a playroom stocked with toys. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that we will all have our own bedrooms! No more reading in the hotel hallway for fear of waking the sleeping kids.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being open to this idea and I hope our story encourages others to think outside of the box when their vacation dreams exceed their vacation budget!


  1. It was an awesome idea! We are so thankful you asked! We hope you find our home as comfortable as we are finding yours. :)

  2. So that's why I've seen a car in your driveway! I almost ran over to ring the doorbell, until I realized that wasn't your car! What a cool idea! Hope you both enjoy your getaway!