By Didier Leclerc, translated from the French original by John Mensinger
Students and younger workers, let’s say between 18 and 30 years of age, are the core of the couch surfing set. Yet they are rarely found in the home exchange world.
It isn’t easy to suggest trading a student flat for an alpine chalet or home in California with a swimming pool. Yet, even amongst free home exchange agencies they are nowhere to be found. They probably don’t feel at home in these traditional organizations.
Solutions exist that are new and specifically designed for students and young adults. There is www.Wallbooking.com, www.Stuvac.net, and www.Casaswap.com. These websites are still finding their way and though they are new we think they have a bright future as they are responding to a real need.
Home exchange is an idea that is becoming well known and which has proven its worth. As markets become larger they become focused on the needs of specific groups of customers, it is natural to serve the younger generation.
The search for economical travel solutions, the search for meaningful experiences, the ease of using the Internet to meet these needs, these motivations of younger folks aren’t different than those of their elders.
- www.Wallbooking.com is a commercial site created in January 2010 by Adeline Poulain and Rachel Delaunay, both 25 years of age, who are recent graduates and master entrepreneurs. This website offers several ways to travel: traditional residence exchange, weekend, non-simultaneous, language exchange, etc. An exchange doesn’t arrange itself; Wallbooking cares for their customers and helps them by providing an exchange guide, recommended contracts, and a code of conduct for exchangers. This is indispensable.
- www.Stuvac.net, created in 2005, is an association.
- www.Casaswap.com is free and has received financial support from the European commission. Their objective is to encourage internships and study courses abroad by helping arrange affordable housing. They offer exchange of student lodgings. You can also plan vacations.
Note: From our point of view few international exchanges happen when the organization has less than 2000 members. There is a critical mass of members necessary for an exchange organization to function well.
You can view Didier’s original post in French by clicking here.