Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

House and Home Exchange - Gap Year

"Travellers never think that they are the foreigners." Mason Cooley


We arranged a house exchange for a week with an American family in California near Yosemite. This really paid off as we had a wonderful home for a week in a beautiful area. It cost us nothing (saving around £450 or so) and gave us a real opportunity to see an area of the states that we wouldn’t have chosen to visit in the normal course of events.
It was well worth it.

How I did it:

I signed up with a company called Homeexchange.com about 10 months before we left and started to get in touch with loads of people. I found that, as a rule, very few replied to queries for home exchange. In fact based on 100 queries around 55 received no reply, 35 were polite negatives, 5 were explored further and just one or two evolved into something.

Home exchange on the move:

I found it extremely difficult to pinpoint when I would be in a certain area and was often loath to commit myself to being in one spot for a week or so when I had no idea what the area had to offer.
The idea was great in principle but the thought of arriving in New Zealand and finding out about a wonderful festival/adventure here and being tied to a home exchange there… In the end the American exchange was the only one that I followed up as I knew my exact dates and was comfortable about being tied to that period.

The other problem about the home exchange for the period I wanted to do it was that I was leaving in the middle of my winter heading to their summer. No one in their right minds wanted to spend the worst months of the year in England while I enjoyed the best months there!

One way of dealing with this is second home exchanges where you do a non simultaneous exchange and simply make yourself scarce for the period that they want to use your home.

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