Maryann Remsberg has a house on the river in Washington State, USA. She currently lives in Saudi Arabia. She has four children aged between 6 and 13. Maryann works as a School Counsellor, and her husband is about to start a new role as a Middle School Principal.
When and why did you join Love Home Swap?
I signed up in December 2013 whilst looking for hotels in Dubai.
It sounded like the perfect way to reduce the high costs of
travelling with four children. We abandoned the Dubai idea and 10
days later flew to France for a house swap in a French ski chalet,
using our USA house to gain swap points.
We want to go to Hong Kong, Cambodia and Vietnam, and have already looked up potential swaps. Hong Kong is expensive, so swapping is an ideal solution. Some of the houses look fabulous.
What is the biggest benefit of this type of holiday?
Saving money is the biggest for us. We probably saved $300 - $400 per night when we went to France. It gives you the freedom to do so much more if you are not paying for the accommodation. The kids loved it. They learnt to snowboard and played with the swap family's children. The skiing was fantastic and in the evenings we soaked our aching muscles in the hot tub. It was an unforgettable skiing holiday that wouldn't have been possible if we'd had to pay for accommodation.
How did you prepare your USA home for the swap, given that you were
in Saudi Arabia?
Lots of friends have stayed in the house, so it is prepared for
visitors. We have instruction sheets for guests and an entry code
system which works well. Oh, and great neighbours!
What tips would you give someone thinking about embarking on their first home swap? Leave clear instructions. And work out what to do about the cleaning - leave it as you found it or pay for the cleaning.
What do you value most about Love Home Swap?
It's very easy to use - you can search in so many different ways. The team is also very supportive. It has changed the way we holiday. I'm a big fan!