I’m a writer and editor who ran a small training company for years. My husband is a writer and retired university professor. Together, we’ve traveled every year for nearly two decades.We’ve visited Eastern Canada, Hungary, Turkey, Mexico, France, Spain, and China, as well as New York, Chicago, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. We’ve spent enough time in Rome to develop a community of dear friends, who sometimes visit us at home in California or meet us in Paris or New York.
How can we afford all these trips? We travel literally on the house. We exchange and rent out our unpretentious suburban house – and for the past few years, our small San Francisco pied-à-terre – with people who want to visit our area and locals who need a temporary place to stay. If you have a home and a desire to travel, you can do it, too.
“But,” you say, “Isn’t it a lot of work? Isn’t there risk involved?” I know that internal debate. The answer to both questions is “Yes.” But all the work pays off in spades, making even costly trips affordable to most people. Think about what you’d pay for a hotel, and factor in all those restaurant meals; lodging and meals alone swallow a huge chunk of any traveler’s budget. While you can’t ever eliminate the risk entirely, going about the process thoughtfully and paying attention can help you reduce risk to an acceptable level.
My goal in writing this blog is to walk you through the basics, explain the complications, share what we and others have learned, and offer resources and tips that will answer some of your important questions so you can do what we’ve done successfully for nearly 20 years – make travel a key part of your life.
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