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Nadege and her husband Jaz have been Love Home Swap members since August 2013, and have so far been on an incredible 10 swaps with us so far. The couple have always loved travelling, but since the arrival of their twins, they found that going on their usual adventures became a ‘real ordeal’, as ‘hotels and babies do not really go together (especially for sterilizing bottles at 3 in the morning!’. 

After being told about home swapping from a colleague at work, the family decided to join Love Home Swap.

‘I was quite worried to start with as I thought what if they break things in my house, steal things, and how are they going to sleep in my bed and use my stuff. However, after thinking about it and weighing up the for and against I thought I had to try it! It has been 4 years now and I will NEVER go back to the traditional way of travelling’. 

The family soon saw the benefits of home swapping…

‘As a family it opened doors that I would have never have thought of. The kids absolutely adore meeting new people and playing with kids of other families when we meet. They also have a new set of toys in most houses we go to which makes our lives so much easier than staying in cold, sterile hotel rooms. Secondly, the freedom is amazing! We are on holidays but we do not have to worry about anything such as what time we get up for breakfast, or bringing enough clothes (there is always a washing machine!). Thirdly, but most importantly, we meet new people who can give us an inside view of where they live! They give us the best tips for places to visit, restaurants to try, or they even book us places to go or give us free family passes! If you ever have a question, all you need to do is text/WhatsApp them and you will have a perfect, instant answer!’. 

Most recently, the family visited Marrakesh on a Points trip to Sarah’s stunning riad based along the famous palm grove.

‘I was worried first about the fact it was a hotel, and it would not have the family feel I normally look for, but I was SO wrong! Sarah greeted us on the first day and we met her husband Marco and her two children Allia and Giorgio. It was like staying with some friends, we had a drink together and the kids were all playing together running around the house and the grounds of the Riad. One of the best moments was when I was looking for the twins and realised that they were with Sarah’s children running around her garden and playing on Giorgio’s quad like they were at home! I also loved the fact that I could just pop in the kitchen and chat with their cook about Moroccan food and watch her do these special M’semen; or speak with their staff about the best places to go and them sharing with us what it is like to live in Morocco. We really felt part of a big family with everyone being so kind and friendly with the kids’. 

Home swapping has certainly saved the family money on their travels. ‘I think as a family the money saved allowed us to go on more than one holiday a year! Last year we went on 4 swaps which would have cost us a week of holiday for the four of us in a hotel’.

The family have a few more swaps lined up this year, and are going to the South of France this summer and 10 days in Turkey in October/November, having already chatted to the ‘lovely families’ over Skype, WhatsApp and email. Now that their twins are getting older, Nadege and Jaz would love to go somewhere to snorkel and relax. 

‘We learned very quickly in the swapping world that what is important is not to have a fixed place in mind. We went to places we never even thought of before swapping and loved every single destination’.

The swapping community is also a massive benefit for Nadege and Jaz… 

‘I kept in touch with a few families over the last four years. As I was chatting with one of our swap friends, I discovered that she knew Sarah as she was going to go there three months after me! So I was taking pictures for her and emailed them to her to show her! She also knows that one of the staff is a big fan of Barcelona FC, so was asking me his size to buy him a t-shirt as she is from there! This really epitomizes Love Home Swap! I know as a mother (and a teacher) this is one of the best educative tools for my children – meeting new people, going to new place, learning respect for other people’s things and sharing your own!’ 

 

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