The New York Times
Home Exchange 101
We’ve saved money. Every night we spend in someone else’s home is a night of not paying for a hotel room, and that can add up to thousands of dollars over the course of a vacation. But more important has been the chance to experience a place like a local.
Part of the joy of home exchange is that it takes the edge off that travelers' pressure to go out and do something. A 400-square-foot hotel room with a mini-fridge and a coffee maker starts to close in on me after a few days, and I start feeling desperate to escape. Staying in a house or an apartment - or even on a boat - gives you permission to relax. Rather than dining out every night, you can stay in and eat leftovers and watch "Breaking Bad" on TV with the cat at your feet. If that sounds like home, well, that's the point.