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For the first time ever on Love Home Swap, we spoke to Ziba from Chicago about her amazing Love Home Swap experience, which gave a mother and daughter from Lithuania the trip of a lifetime for her charity Confidance. 

Ziba became a member with Love Home Swap in 2018 as a way to save money when travelling as she scales up her new business Confidance Chicago, which aims to help people become more confident in themselves and their bodies through dance. 

“As an entrepreneur facing all sorts of new financial challenges, I really appreciate the opportunity to save wherever possible.” 

“We recently awarded a prize to a young girl from Vilnius, Lithuania with an all-expenses paid trip to London with her mom. The trip was fully funded by Confidance Chicago (and my personal funds) and so it was such a blessing to be able to use Love Home Swap for a couple nights to cut costs."

“The three of us stayed at Mike and Liz's place in Ealing and it could not have gone any better. The two ladies from Lithuania were in awe of the size and beauty of the house and they took advantage of the garden at every opportunity.”

 

Mike and Liz’s home in Ealing that Ziba and her two guests stayed in during their trip to London earlier this year.
 

Given the unique nature of her home swap, we wanted to know what Ziba's favourite parts of her swap to London were. “This was a trip of a lifetime, for me to show two lovely ladies around my favourite city, and for a mother and daughter who have been through so much hardship…It was so great to witness Ana and Estela’s first big trip and to be part of their excitement over things like fast metros, wide streets, cute squirrels and amusing accents. Besides those small, but significant moments, the highlights of our trip include going to see Aladdin at the West End, crossing Tower Bridge on foot and going up an elevator to the 39th floor at a restaurant called Sushi Samba.”

 

Prize winners Ana and Estela sightseeing in London, UK on their home swap

 

"We definitely saved a lot on accommodations, thanks to Love Home Swap. Because of this cut cost, Confidance was able to include Estela's mother on the trip. It was originally suppose to be Estela's solo trip with me (the founder of Confidance Chicago). Bringing her mother along was one of the best decisions, as it allowed for so many memories to be had with a mother and daughter that will surely be cherished forever.”

 

Estela, Ziba and mother Anna outside Buckingham Palace on their London home swap

 

We were interested in knowing where next is on the list of places to visit for Ziba both for herself but also as part of Confidance Chicago, “I will be back in Lithuania at the end of this month to continue dancing there and to help kids build confidence through dance. Just before that work trip, I'll be stopping in Paris for a relative's birthday. I already have plans to meet with a Parisian woman who stayed at my condo in Chicago through LHS but that I never met in person! Should be lovely!”

 

“One of the best things about LHS is that it gives you such a great opportunity to network with some of the world's finest home owners - and I truly mean that. They're adventurous risk-takers who are generous and hospitable. I'm very grateful for the people I've met through the website."

 

"One couple from Barcelona that stayed at my condo left me a note saying that their time in Chicago was one of their best times as a family - largely because of the small touches I left in the apartment and the interactions that we shared (so they say!). I was very touched to hear that. It just goes to show how a little bit of thoughtfulness can go a long way and help you build life-long friendships.”

 

We were curious too to know if she faced any challenges sorting a home swap on tight time restrains and particular needs in place.

"I think LHS (Love Home Swap) is best suited for people who have flexibility with their work (either freelancers or retirees). It's the most affordable option in terms of traveling to incredible places in very nice apartments or houses. It's a dream! But I don't want to sugar-coat it - it definitely requires a lot of messaging and effort to set trips up. Lots of factors are involved - timing, location, points, schedules, and the like. If you're willing to do all of that, it is well worth it.”

“Thank you so much to the hosts and employees at Love Home Swap for making travel more affordable, personable and enjoyable!”

 


 

If you'd like to share your swap story with us either in writing, video or just by sharing some of your swap snaps, email press@lovehomeswap.com, use the hashtag #WhyWeSwap on Twitter or Instagram, or even post on our Facebook page for your chance to feature on the Love Home Swap blog.

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