I would like to take this opportunity to give you my opinion on home exchanges.

Last year my partner and I exchanged our home in Perth, Western Australia for a home in Dundee, Scotland.  You never really do know how it is going to turn out, and there is always some doubt about whether or not you have made a silly mistake. 

In arranging the exchange, we had numerous emails, to determine the exact dates and what we expect to find, and how to find the house, and are there shops nearby.  All the things that make the intended holiday a success.

As it happened the dates didn't exactly match, so they came to Perth to our home first and we scheduled our exchange at a later date.  It suited us all as they were planning to head off to Majorca with their children for the school holiday week break while we occupied their home. 

The house key was delivered to us by one of their friends and we were welcomed like long lost cousins.   Along with the key came incredible hospitality and friendship.  They made us feel so welcome and even invited us to have dinner with them, a real Scottish meal which included haggis, beautiful berries and shortbread. 

The exchange house was great, lots of interesting walks in the vicinity, shops that were open 24 hours, a home security system that meant we were completely safe and two great cats.

We had space to do our washing, cooking facilities so that we could eat healthy food and not have to spend lots on restaurant meals.  We watched the golf open with Tiger Woods on cable TV and planned lots of day trips.  We used the house as our home base and headed off to bed and breakfast stops on a highland adventure.

We really enjoyed the fact that it was cost neutral - apart from our awful exchange rate, the Australian dollar was not very healthy in comparison to the English pound. 

Exchanging homes is proving to be a very popular and interesting way to see other countries and I can recommend it to anyone. 

Glenys Essex...Perth Australia