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Using a Large Exchange Home for a Group Vacation

by John Mensinger on November 13, 2012

Would it be possible to trade for a large home that could host many visiting friends and family? There are several requirements that need to be met:

  1. Exchange partners willing to have their home used by a crowd.
  2. The right kind of residence. It should have several bedrooms. If couples are visiting you want bedrooms with double beds. If hosting relatives with children you will look for rooms with two or more single beds. Large common areas inside and outside are welcome.
  3. A desirable location with good transport links.

We have traded 17 times; two of the houses could accommodate ten or more guests. Large families tend to have larger houses. We have noticed over the years that children’s bedrooms in France can be large and often have a double bed.

There are homes in the exchange world suitable for groups. Many agencies allow you to search by the number of people hosted or by the number of bedrooms. Be careful; the stated capacity of a house might be skewed high or low. You should look at the photos and read the descriptions to confirm how many a house could comfortably accommodate. Sleeping on a sofa in the living room isn’t as the same as a bedroom. Share your plans with the other family—they need to agree on your ideas and can let you know if they are reasonable.

We have agreed to a three week exchange in Brittany next summer. The house has four bedrooms with double beds and is not far from the TGV station. We are inviting friends and family to join us for up to a week at a time. We will let you know how it worked out!


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