By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Are there alternatives to the usual hotels and B&Bs? We don’t do camping and I would never consider hostels. My husband and I are what they’re now calling zoomers. Thanks for your suggestions. We always look forward to reading your column.

A: A friend of mine who lives in France swapped houses recently with another couple. Both were flexible with travel dates and length of stay. What could have been an expensive trip had they booked with a hotel turned into an affordable one and in the end an enjoyable visit.

Home exchanges are picking up in popularity and for “zoomers” it could just be the ticket for alternative accommodations. Here are two companies specializing in home exchanges designed for the vacationer in mind: Around since 1985, Home Base Holidays offers home listings for over 60 countries and is a membership-based company based in London, England.

Information is available through their electronic newsletters and print directories. The person who runs it is an expat Canadian. For more details visit Intervac International ( is an international home exchange company which has a Canadian component, Intervac Canada, available online at

Intervac Canada provides a tips sheet on how to handle home exchanges seamlessly available at their web site. Some examples are: prepare an information package on your family and region; send information to families who have expressed an interest; answer all inquiries; and confirm your mutual commitment to an exchange in writing.


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