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Sarah and Paul live with their two children, Ben 11 and Freya 7 in a gorgeous rustic farmhouse five minutes away from Lectoure, France. The family have been Love Home Swap members since May 2016, and have so far been on two swaps with us. Sarah and Paul have lived in France for the past ten years, but still have a lot of family and friends over in the UK. 

‘Before we started using Love Home Swap, we had to book flights, then hire a car, book a hotel and pay for kennel costs. In addition, we would use a lot of taxi’s and public transport to get around and would always have to eat out. So since finding Love Home Swap, we have managed to dramatically cut the cost of our trips’.

One of the family’s most successful swaps was with Lynette, who lives in a beautiful rural barn in the Cheshire countryside. The family stayed at Lynette’s home for a week, whilst Lynette stayed in their home over in France.

‘Not only did we swap homes, we swapped cars and also pets! We own a dog and two cats and Lynette had the same so we decided to ‘swap’ them too.’

Home swapping meant that Sarah and her family only had to pay for flights to get them to the UK, and a taxi from Liverpool airport to Lynette’s home.

‘As we are living in someone else’s home with all the facilities one would like, it meant that we could do a normal family supermarket shop and arrange it to be delivered for the night we arrived. This is a much more convenient way of travelling with a young family who can then have their favourite foods when away from home’.

What the family really love about home swapping, is that they ‘spend dramatically less on accommodation or car hire’ and have more money to do activities with the children, plus eat out more.

‘Whilst we were in Kelsall, we went to GoApe in Delamere Forest and the whole family loved the zip wire experience. My husband and son took the train into Liverpool to visit the football ground and watch a match. We drove to the cinema to watch ‘Beauty and the Beast’ which had just been released and wouldn’t reach our local cinema in rural France for some time!’

Lynette also provided some great local recommendations for the family too, and they were able to enjoy a good pub dinner which ‘is something we miss in France’.

‘We loved looking after Lynette’s family dog Aldo, we took him for lots of walks. The Crocky Trail being a real highlight for us as the children enjoyed all the activities and the dog enjoyed the walk’.

Staying in a home also meant that Paul’s parents could come a join the family for 3 days of their break, which ‘we wouldn’t have been able to do if we had been staying in a hotel’. During their stay, they could also meet up with other family members by using Lynette’s home as a base to travel from.

‘The whole trip from our first communication to our last when we returned was superb and we have all said we would love to do another swap again.’

Looking to the future, the family are looking at a trip to Sardinia, which is where Sarah is original from but never been, and they also want to do a Points trip to  Copenhagen with a friend.

If you’re interested in Sarah’s home, take a look here. 

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