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Astrid has been a Love Home Swap member since February 2016, and lives in Vancouver with her husband and two young sons. Since joining us, the family has been on four swaps from Sri Lanka to the USA. We caught up with them to hear about their latest trip to Bali... 

Having their first child around twelve years ago, Astrid and her husband found that staying in hotels ‘wasn’t always convenient’.

‘We explored swapping homes and never looked back. When exchanging homes with other families, we often found homes that were well equipped for children, hosts always had great tips for kid-friendly activities, and we were able to cook rather than go out for every meal.’

The family were attracted to the idea of home swapping as ‘unlike staying in hotels, you get a better sense of what it is like as a local’. The family loved the idea of hosts providing recommendations for activities and restaurants that otherwise might go undiscovered. Some hosts even connected them to their own friends, offering a unique view into local culture.

The family recently visited Bali, where they took part in three home exchanges. ‘Each swap offered us the chance to stay outside of the typically touristy areas and gave us a glimpse of local food, culture and traditions.’

One of their swaps using us was to Albert and Ayu’s stunning beach front villa in northern Bali. Here they were treated to a luxurious stay with full-time staff which they ‘were not accustomed to at home’.

‘Staying at Villa Dunia Impian was like staying at a private luxury resort. We had an amazing week playing in the pool, listening to the waves crash on shore in front of the house, watching the fishermen bring in their daily catch, eating delicious food prepared by Agus the cook and getting tips on how to make Indonesian food when we get back home.’

The money the family saved through Love Home Swap allows Astrid and her family to ‘travel longer, travel more often, or justify an extra expense during the trip’.

‘In this year of travel around the world, we are averaging about one swap per month. This allows us to have some luxury stops between our backpacking and volunteering experiences’.

Currently, Astrid and her family are on a points swap in Sri Lanka, where they ‘have had the pleasure to get to know our hosts, share meals and get travel advice’. They also have a swap waiting for them in Croatia and are working towards finding one in New York in August.

The family will also be hosting points swappers in April, as well as returning direct swaps they took in Peru and Costa Rica earlier during their year long trip.

To view Astrid’s property – click here

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