I wrote a post recently about how I am such a spoiled girl and living on the beach all year long has deterred me of going on beach holidays anymore, even though I live by a lake and those would be by the sea. Belize and Honduras, in spite of having the world’s second largest reef barrier, and Cancún’s Riviera Maya with its shiny white sand have little to offer for the kind of holiday I am looking for.
So at the end of my post, I referred jokingly to house swapping with someone in the US, as my dream vacation is now a city break somewhere interesting. When I posted I didn’t think much of it, but then the idea matured and I think it would be quite cool. Plus I am not picky about the destination and the dates, so maybe someone would like to come spend a week or two in Northern Guatemala?
Last year, I had a guest from Airbnb rent the house for a full month, which paid for our flights and efficiency rental in Miami, but swapping sounds awesome too, I love to barter, so let’s give it a try!
I am going to test the waters on that very blog first, see what my property can get me.
You can have a look at it on my Guatemala page, or on my Bed and Breakfast page, it is a nice little house with three bedrooms.
In a nutshell:
Sleeps 6 in two double rooms and one twin room. A fourth double room will stay locked on a separate unit, unless you really need to sleep 8 people, but I’d rather not.
- One bedroom has a private bath, the other two share a bath.
- There is a full kitchen and a smaller summer kitchen on a panoramic terrace.
- Open air living room and a second terrace is a panoramic bar.
- Private beach, private deck.
- You can get a cleaner for $8 for half a day.
- If you don’t want to feed our animals (hens and ducks) that’s cool, but a handyman will have to come daily to do so. We pay him.
- If you include your car, we’ll include ours, otherwise we can talk car rental or you can rent one from Hertz 20 miles away.
- Northern Guatemala, close to Tikal ruins, Yaxhá ruins, Flores island, jungle parks, zoo and much more.
What I want:
- City center, close suburb accessible via public transportation, or convenient place between several interesting cities (say 2 hours from NY, 2 hours from Boston).
- Preferably East Coast, from Miami to Montreal, but could also be West coast, Chicago, New Orleans, or close to nice National Parks, like Colorado or Las Vegas.
- Preferably a car if your house is not in a walkable neighborhood
- At least one bedroom or efficiency if in city center, no houseshares or roommates.
- Happy to feed your pets and water your plants.
- One week minimum to make it worth it on both sides. Can be up to 2 months if you live in a really cool place.
I am super flexible on dates but would like to enjoy your city when the weather is fair, so unless you are in Miami or San Diego, that probably means April to October? The swap doesn’t have to be on the same dates i.e. I can get July and you get December while I’ll be somewhere else.
Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says
Northern Guatemala and a house by a lake? House swap seems to be a great idea! I’d like to do it maybe next year, once our house is finished. I’ll let you know then Pauline.
Great idea Pauline. It is a pity I don’t live somewhere to swap with you. Maybe I will try that sometime for someone who wants to visit a sunny beach location.
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
In all honesty, I would love to take you up on this offer, but I do have a roommate :/ separate bedroom but still a shared apt. It’s the only way I can afford to live in NYC. Maybe someday I can coordinate a trip when he’s on vacation somewhere.
Where will Napoleon be??
Sigh. I wish I didn’t live in the middle of almost nowhere in the midwest. This weekend I read all your Guate archives and enjoyed the stories very much! I’ve only been in Antigua and Atitlan, and I’d love to see more of the country.
Christine @ The Wallet Diet says
Gorgeous home! If you ever want to house swap for an apartment in downtown Toronto, let me know 🙂
Tonya@Budget and the Beach says
I’ll totally take you up on that if you want to spend some time in LA. If you’re at all interested let’s chat!
Victoria @thefrugaltrial says
I wish I lived on the East Coast. Are you sure you don’t want to come to London instead??!
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
Great idea, Pauline! We live in Cambridge (Boston) right in the middle of the city and you’re welcome to come stay with us anytime. Not sure when we’d be able to get down to Guatemala, though we’d love to. You’re truly welcome at our home if you’re interested!
Joe @ Budget Breakaway says
Great idea! Your open air living room looks amazing!
I LOVE this idea. Though we can’t really jive it right now if you have any interest in coming to Halifax NS I’d totally do this, great idea.
Anne @ Money Propeller says
Ahhh, it looks so awesome. Alas, we’d need to sort out several weeks of vacation time at once to make the trip down to Guatemala worth it for us. Next summer’s trip is the East Coast of Canada, and who knows, after that. If you want a ski vacation in Canada, you’re welcome to come stay with us, though.