“Vacation on a budget” means different things to different people.
For us, it means cutting out the non-essentials, but still traveling in style. So, we’ll drop down half a star in accommodations, limit our spa treatments to one per day (suffering through happy-endingless massages, no less) and insist that the management not only puts a lock on the mini bar, but removes it from the room completely (it’s amazing what we’ve learned to do with a nail file and toothpick when we’re jonesing for a $13 Toblerone).
For others, like our parents, traveling cheaply is translated entirely differently. Instead of flying, driving is the preferred method of transportation. (“You meet the nicest people in the Rest Stop bathrooms,” Mom says.) With car travel comes an ice chest filled with sandwiches, snacks and the old-people version of energy drinks, Ensure Xtreme! And, of course, driving after dark is taboo so that means overnight stays at America’s finest roadside motels where ice comes out of a machine by the pool and there’s nobody to help you with your luggage.
Thankfully, there’s a new way to vacation in luxury that can be cheaper per night than a Motel 6 in Appalachia. With a coupon. It’s called Luxe Home Swap and for anyone with a great home, this could be the greatest thing to happen to globetrotters since SkyMall introduced the Skyrest Travel Pillow.
For just $159 per year (yes, per YEAR), you can swap homes with people all over the world an unlimited number of times. Not to mention, you’ll be just like Kate and Cameron a la The Holiday.
If your shelves are lined with commemorative plates of Tom Selleck and bronze, male-torso wall art, then your home may not qualify. Otherwise, there really are no hard and fast rules about what “luxe” is. Eye of the beholder and all that. But a nice, small home in a big city can be just as desirable as a large ocean-front estate.
The yearly fee guarantees you at least one successful swap in your first year or the second year is free. You can upload as many photos as you’d like to show off your property and if you own more than one home, you can list them all under the same membership for no extra fee. Swap details are completely up to you and the member you’re exchanging homes with for endless possibilities.
So clean out your medicine cabinet, hide the porn and lock the door to the basement where you make lady-suits out of real ladies. Then you’re set to swap and experience the vacation of a lifetime, all for less than the cost of Everybody Loves Raymond on DVD.
You may never book another hotel room again.