Writers Need Vacations Too


I’m going on vacation! A few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled: Summer Vacation_ Take it or lose it. I guess the words rang true with me because I’m taking my own advice and will not be posting blog articles for several weeks.

During my time off I plan to: Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: Blog Hiatus

CasaVersa Home Exchange Company – Exclusive Interview with Founder Yariv Gilad

A few months ago I noticed a new home exchange company named CasaVersa. They were on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. They were everywhere! Who are these people I wondered. So, as I’m wont to do, I contacted CasaVersa and asked to interview the founder; I was introduced to Yariv Gilad. Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: Home Exchange, Home Exchange Interviews

New Car Rental Concept – Rent Out Your Own Car Via Flight Car (Video)

Car Rental1

Car rental is costly and since I’m a big believer in saving money while traveling I was fascinated to hear about a new company, Flight Car. Flight Car allows travelers to park in their lots near San Francisco International Airport, or Boston Logan International Airport, and then Flight Car rents your car out to others. Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: Car Rentals

Home Exchange Gone Wrong and 5 Tips How It Could Have Been Avoided


Key exchange2

After reading the Wall Street Journal article by Emma Straub, “A Successful House Swap— For Us, Not Them” I have an awful lot of opinions. Straub writes about a home swap she and her husband did with a woman from Los Angeles who I will call Angel. The article was a fun read but I was uncomfortable from the start. Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: Problem Home Exchange

Is Home Exchange Right For Your Family Vacation?

Is home exchange right for your family vacation?

The thought of family vacation conjures up images of laughing children and relaxed smiling parents. Now, think about a home; it’s a place of comfort and safety. When you combine the two Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: Home Exchange

iPhone and Travel: 10 Apps That Will Improve Your Vacation

IPhone & MapWeb2My friend Erin Gifford is a world traveler. She knows a thing or two about family travel, as you’ll see in her blog Kidventurous. But today I asked her to share her smarts about smart phones. Get your iPhone ready; Erin has some fantastic travel app suggestions!

Guest Post
By Erin Gifford

It’s hard to walk down the street and not see someone clutching their smart phone, many times it’s an iPhone. They might be talking, texting, or just holding onto the device to make them feel more secure (I can’t lie, that’s been me a time or two). There are so many great things an iPhone can do, but I’ve found it beyond valuable when traveling. Take a look at 10 ways my iPhone has helped me when we travel.

1. Organizes My Trips – It’s easy to keep flight details, car rental and hotel reservations, even restaurant reservations, all in one place with the TripIt app. The app is free and it even syncs with the calendar on your iPhone.

2. Finds Great Places to Eat – Thanks to the TripAdvisor app, you can find restaurant reviews. We relied upon TripAdvisor extensively last year when we went to Puerto Rico and were really happy with the dining recommendations.

Travel app to help find restaurants.

Travel app to help find restaurants.

3. Locate Restrooms – No one likes to hear, “I have to go to the bathroom” coming from the back of the minivan. Fortunately, the SitOrSquat app comes to the rescue, easily locating the closest and best public restrooms near you.

4. No More Digging for Change to Feed the Parking Meter – Thanks to the Parkmobile app you don’t need to keep change on hand to feed the meter. Just a few taps on the app and the meter is fed. It even sends you text alerts when the meter is running low.

Travel app to help pay parking meters.

Travel app to help pay parking meters.

5. Find Last-Minute Hotel Rooms – If you didn’t book ahead or your hotel room wasn’t up to par, look to the Hotel Tonight app after 12 pm each day for deep discounts on local hotel rooms.

6. Helps Plan Daily Tour Activities – When you don’t have time to book tours and attraction tickets, the Viator Tours & Activities app will come to your aid. It’s easy to find and book tours and activities, it even provides directions to the activity location.

7. Translates Foreign Languages – Thanks to the Word Lens app, you need only hold the video camera on your iPhone up to a street sign or a menu for an instant translation. Each language pack is $4.99, but it’s totally worth it.

8. Converts Currency – In some countries it’s easy to convert currency in your head but in others not so much. Fortunately, the XE Currency app can do it quickly and at real-time conversion rates. This app is a travel-must.

Travel app to help with currency conversion.

Travel app to help with currency conversion.

9. Sends Postcards of Places I’ve Visited – No need to stop in gift shops for postcards. Thanks to several postcard apps, like Postagram and Postcards on the Run, I can create postcards from snapshots that my kids or I have taken along the way.

10. Finds Itself When It’s Lost – And when I’ve misplaced my iPhone and am no longer able to do any of the above, the Find My iPhone app comes to my rescue, helping me to re-locate my iPhone by using another iOS device.

Your Turn

How does your iPhone come to your rescue? Let us know in the comments section below.

Erin GiffordErin Gifford is a mother of four who shares family travel advice on her blog, Kidventurous, which was chosen as the Best Family Travel Blog by Parents Magazine.

Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


Leave a Comment

Categories: Guest Post, Travel apps

Home Exchange Vacation Tips Revealed In TV Interview Video

Home exchange vacation was the topic when Alexis DelChiaro, anchorwoman at KUSI-TV, interviewed me on Good Morning San Diego. I’ve posted the video just for you! Alexis asks great questions like:

  • What does home exchange mean?
  • What about strangers staying in your home?
  • What do you do with your precious items when you home exchange?
  • If someone is ready to home exchange where do they begin?
  • How do you get your house listed on a home exchange website?

Additionally, Alexis and I discussed some examples of Do’s and Don’ts of home photography. You can read more about these photo tips here: How to Snag a Top Home Swap with Great Photographs.


The video is about 5 minutes. I hope you enjoy it!

Your Turn

Watch the video; if you were interviewing me what would you ask?



Leave a Comment

Categories: TV Interview Video

HomeLink Launches “USA-Only” Home Exchange Membership

USA Map & Key1HomeLink.com, one of the oldest home exchange clubs in the world, recently introduced a “USA-only” membership alternative at the rate of $39 per year. As the name implies, this membership is for people who are seeking a home exchange only within the United States.

“We’ve had a great response to Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: HomeLink

Summer Vacation – Take it or lose it

Summer Vacation Pin

June is here. You have 13 weekends remaining until September. What will you do with these precious days? Will you take a vacation? If you’re like many Americans, you might not. A survey conducted by Adecco Staffing says that 75% of American workers did not take all the vacation days allotted to them by their employer in 2012.

Survey results like this make me crazy because Read more »


Leave a Comment

Categories: Vacation

Graduation Gift Idea – 6 Reasons Why Home Swap Travel With Your Son or Daughter Is the Best Graduation Gift Ever

Graduation Gift Idea - 6 Reasons Why Home Swap Travel With Your Son or Daughter Is the Best Graduation Gift Ever

Graduation Gift Idea – 6 Reasons Why Home Swap Travel With Your Son or Daughter Is the Best Graduation Gift Ever

High school and college graduation season is upon us and it’s often a challenge to think of the right graduation gift for your children. When my daughter, Michele, graduated from high school a few years ago we did what we do best: home exchange! If your son or daughter will graduate next year, start planning now for the best graduation gift they could ask for: travel. Read more »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Leave a Comment

Categories: Graduation Gift, Home Exchange