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John and Shelley have been Love Home Swap members since January 2014 and have been on four swaps so far with us to locations such as Thailand, the UK and France. The family live in this gorgeous home in Dubai, and they were first introduced to the concept of house swapping through our favourite movie ‘The Holiday’ starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. 

‘We thought to ourselves…now there’s an idea! At the time of our first home swap we were a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids) and the thought of staying in a home with toys for the kids, a kitchen we could cook in and space to move around in versus being crammed into a hotel room was hugely appealing’.

The first time the family took part in a house swap, they were ‘surprised with how easy it was’. Someone was there to let the family in and show them around, and they were surprised at how much space they had, as well as the incredible location. But the ‘best part’ was the tried and tested list of places to eat, things to do and places to visit left for them by their hosts.

‘We were able to experience a new place through the eyes of a local, and not a tourist, which is what we were after. The biggest benefit for us as family is that we went to a place we’d probably never have gone to’.

When the family were approached for a swap to Paris, they thought ‘why not?’ and it turned out to be one of their best holidays yet. To date the family have done four swaps, but their trips to Thailand and Paris were the most memorable and had the best treasured memories.

‘Some of the best moments have been sitting on the living room floor in a house in Paris, eating fresh bread and pate, sipping beautiful French wine, and watching the world go by through the open windows. Or the time we went exploring the island of Koh Samui and got caught in a torrential down pour, we arrived back at the villa, drenched, and just dived into the pool and swam in the rain! We’ve had plenty of adventures and moments we will treasure forever!’.

Through swapping, the family have been able to save big on their holidays. ‘Each time we’ve swapped, we have saved a lot of money. Not just on accommodation, but also being able to cook meals as opposed to eating out all the time. Not having to pay for these things has allowed us to splurge on other areas of our holidays.’

In the future the family are looking to go on a skiing holiday, so if a trip to Dubai sounds like something you’d love – then get in touch with Shelley and John now… 

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