Nobody has to tell me that you can save money when you home swap; after all, my family and I have enjoyed 14 home exchanges in 12 years. We are well aware of the financial benefits. However, I’ve never put pen to paper, er, finger to calculator to actually do the math. So let’s find out what it would cost to stay in a hotel in three popular tourist destinations.
For the experiment I chose a basic, nothing fancy hotel; Holiday Inn fits the bill, don’t you think? On the Kelly green and white Holiday Inn website I entered July 19 – July 27, 2013 (9 nights) and selected a standard room for two adults. Then I entered three different cities and opted for centrally located properties in each city. I checked the box for prices to be displayed in U.S. Dollar.
FYI, Holiday Inn does not include tax for U.S. per night fees, but it does include tax for international per night fees.
Hotel Fees For Three Vacation Cities
- New York (Midtown) –$304 per night, Total $2,736
- London (Mayfair) - $282 per night, Total $2,538
- Paris (Opera) – $257 per night, Total $2,313
Whoa! Are people really paying these prices? For one room? No kitchen? No living room? Amazing.
The above prices don’t include the copious amounts of tipping required when you stay in a hotel. I mean, before you even get to your hotel room you’re out about 15 bucks! Peggy Post, etiquette expert, offers these tipping guidelines:
- Doorman: $1-$2 per bag, $4 for hailing a taxi
- Bellhop: $1-$2 per bag
- Housekeeper: $2-$5 per day
- Concierge: $5-$10 if they arrange reservations or tickets
According to my calculations, I figure you’d spend about $75 in hotel staff tips during a 9-night stay.
Sleeping in hotels means eating in restaurants. I’ve come up with a formula of what it would cost to eat inexpensively on this hypothetical vacation. I included tax and tip.Breakfast: $12 + Lunch: $17 + Dinner: $23 = $52 per person, per day. This is based on the idea that sometimes you might eat a granola bar and a banana for breakfast, but splurge on dinner other times. For two people that would be $104 per day. The 9-night total for two people eating out would be $936.
When you home exchange, food expenses come from a grocery store, same as when you’re home. You’d probably go out to eat a couple times while on vacation, but you would do also go out to eat occasionally at home. Therefore, there are no additional food expenses when you home swap.
Now let’s total everything up and compare the cost. Drum Roll…
- New York City: hotel $2,736 + hotel tips $75 + eating out $936 = $3,747
- London: hotel $2,538 + hotel tips $75 + eating out $936 = $3,549
- Paris: hotel $2,313 + hotel tips $75 + eating out $936 = $3,324
Home Swap Vacation
- City of Your Dreams: home swap club annual fee $100
Wow! Even I’m amazed at the savings. If you home exchange in New York, you will save almost 4 grand!
As Halloween approaches and children speak of frightening things; I find the thought of spending $4,000 for a vacation very, very scary. Begin your research today and join a home swap company. There are four home exchange agencies I can endorse with confidence. I’ve created a list of these agencies and included essential information about each of them. To receive this list simply enter your name and e-mail address in the red and yellow box in the upper right corner of my blog and the document will magically appear in your inbox!
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