Traveling Alone: Finding Safe Accommodations
Security is a hot topic today, even when it's not making the 6 o'clock news. Many of us feel most vulnerable when we are traveling alone. An unfamiliar spot, unfamiliar faces, and unusual customs can make us feel out of place. A perfect way to fit in anywhere and to really enjoy a trip is to swap homes.
When travelers think safe travel, they may imagine extra security at hotels or extra locks on doors, but vacation home exchange, or home swapping as it is offer referred to, offers a much more personal and comfortable option that will have you feeling at home anywhere in the world.
When you exchange homes with someone, you enjoy the comfort of living in a residential area, not a tourist area where criminals may target newcomers. Plus, many hosts leave phone numbers of friends and neighbors who will very often go out of their way to welcome you to the neighborhood. Basically, you are an invited guest wherever you choose to travel.
All this means that you seem less like a tourist - and you always have a friendly face looking out for your interests. This will be a great comfort if your need directions or assistance while your visiting.
If you are worried about traveling alone, there are several ways to add some safety measures to your next home exchange:
* Get to know your hosts. Exchanging emails, phone calls, and photos with your hosts will make your new home seem more familiar long before you arrive. In fact, Laura Jennings, an enthusiastic fan of home swapping admits that although "We have never met the couple we exchanged with, we remain friendly with them and still email with them all the time with our latest family news." It is a sentiment shared by many home exchange fans: once you start to swap homes, you will quickly get to know people who act as your hosts. Feeling this comfortable helps ensure that you feel safe when you arrive at your destination.
* Ask for contact numbers. Your hosts may provide local numbers you can call in case you need help. Many home exchange fans also find that neighbors and friends prove very helpful and friendly, helping to ensure complete safety. Laura certainly found that neighbors could add to safety as well as comfort: "The neighbors made a lovely brunch for us with traditional Dutch food one afternoon. The stepfather of the homeowner came to meet us and brought us a huge box full of chocolates, cheeses, wines which were delicious and so thoughtful."
* Use a reputable company. Using a company such as http://www.homeforswap.com ensures that you make use of a friendly home exchange community. Through blogs, home listings, member reviews, and tips, Homeforswap.com strives to make every home exchange fan feel prepared and comfortable in planning their vacation exchanges.
* Keep the right attitude. When it comes to home exchange, openness and flexibility are key. By giving your guests a comfortable stay in your own home and allowing yourself to trust that the home you have researched carefully will be safe also, you are allowing yourself to enjoy a great travel experience.
Home exchange is really a very safe way to travel and to see the world - provided that you do a bit of research ahead of time.
With no impersonal rooms and no stringent security staff, you can enjoy your host home and truly relax on your trip, settling into a home that feels like your own for a few days or a few months.13 jan 2008, 05:11 Anna