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Thinking France

by John Mensinger on February 24, 2010

We recently found two useful home exchange websites from France.  The first is www.camago.com, they provide home exchange advice and information on home exchange agencies.  If you speak French this is an interesting, comprehensive, and valuable website.

On the Other Hand..

If you don’t speak French you can use the English version of their website.  You’ll be amused or annoyed that the translations are quirky and odd.  This does add a certain charm and verisimilitude to the French inspired content.  Unfortunately only a small portion of the website has been translated into English.

And the Other Site..

Thanks to www.camago.com we learned about a home exchange website called www.switchome.org.  This is a free site, based in France, and run by volunteers.  It’s written in both English and French. We found the process of signing up slightly confusing but since we didn’t have to reach in our wallet for my credit card this was fine.  Your photos have to be 100kb or less (roughly the resolution of a caveman drawing) and your listing won’t be available until it is reviewed by one of their volunteers.  Ours was up within 24 hours.

It happens that they have 1,870 listings in France and 6 in the United States.  This doesn’t provide you much choice or hope if you are in France looking for an exchange in the US.   On the other hand if you are not French this is a great home exchange website.  1,970 French listings and no more than 103 in any other specific country.  The odds are in your favor.  It’s like being male in a rest home.

The Results Speak…

We already received three home exchange inquiries from www.switchome.org.  One was from Provence, one Burgundy, and one from the Southeast.  Two were on the ocean and one is home to tasty liquid assets.  Pity I am not retired, I could live in France in 20 or 30 different homes a year with this useful website.

Have you found any great new home exchange sites lately?  If so, share below!

John Mensinger is co-founder of HomeExchangeuniversity.com and an experienced home exchanger. His passion is helping others experience the enjoyment (and cost savings!) of home exchange. John can be reached at jm_at_homeexchangeuniversity_dot_com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bob C. February 25, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Hi John,

We’re registered on several home exchange websites. (Some work better than others. ) If you’re interested in finding a swap in France take a look at http://www.1stHomeExchange.com.

They have the most listings in France. Last time I checked it was at about 8000.

We’ve already done several exchanges with them to France (we’re retired) including a recent one where we spent a week in Paris (4th visit) followed by two weks in the south in Provence.

They have two memberships, a free membership to list (you need to wait to be contacted) or a paid membership where you can start contacting right away. Because not everyone can initiate contact, the odds of finding an exchange in France are really good for paying members.

This membership costs $80 for two years. (This is the least expensive of all the sites we’re registered on. )

We spend several hundred dollars on membership fees every year – Joining several sites gives us the most flexibility in terms of selecting dates, location and home. We tend to be quite selective and don’t say yes to the first offer that comes along. So having choice is really important to us.

Since we exchange several times a year our home exchange membership fees are by far our best return on investment.

Bob

2 John February 25, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Hi Bob C,
Thanks for the comment. I agree with Bob on all his points. http://www.1stHomeExchange.com is an excellent home exchange website for France. Joining more than one home exchange agency provides the most choice. By belonging to more than one agency you will also get a sense of which agencies work the best for you in terms of style, preferences, and exchange opportunties.

John

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