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Home Exchange on Mother's Day

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a Change of Scenery

Mothers Day, Mothering Day, Dia de las Madres, Mama’s Day – however you say it, it’s coming up in May in most parts of the world, and unless you want to live with wrenching guilt for another year, it is a day not to be ignored. 

Property #0647 -- Devon, England
Working mothers and stay-at-home moms both deserve a day of recognition and bit of time off.  Empty-nester moms -- for all they’ve done to prepare you for the world and set you free -- deserve quality time with you and your family.  And grand mums, God bless ‘em  for all their cuddly love, deserve more than a greeting card. 

A Mother’s Day vacation at a home exchange would be a nice accompaniment to a bouquet of roses.   It doesn’t have to be in an exotic location. A get-away place close to home would thrill mom all the same. But someplace she’s always wanted to go, or someplace that holds a special memory from days past, would be an outstanding tribute to a woman who holds a special place in your heart.  So what would be a good vacation for your mom?

If she is sedentary but still in pretty good shape physically, take her to a place where there are activities that will get her up and going.  Bungee jumping and parasailing, probably not. Swimming, fishing, beachcombing, golf, sailing, and biking are possibilities. Maybe even zip-lining. It’s really quite safe, and thrilling for almost any age.
If she enjoys good food, she might like a tour of vineyards and wineries or cooking classes. If she is a multi-tasking maniac, she needs, and will oh-so-appreciate, a yoga retreat or a pampering spa. If she enjoys the theater,
Property # 0757 -- Malaga, Spain
classical music, opera and ballet, most large metropolitan cities offer these in spades.

You know your mom best.  Pick a destination from the International Vacation Home Exchange property search, then sort by number of bedrooms or number of guests. You can also view collections of property types. Many of our Boutique Hotels, Resorts, and Bed and Breakfast accommodations are particularly suited for carefree stays with mom and family.

Then check out the description of the property, its amenities, and activities available in the area and see what might be appropriate for your mom. If she uses a walker or wheelchair, disabled-friendly accommodations are noted.  For special help in this area, contact IVHE for assistance.

 Membership in the International Vacation Home Exchange is ideal for vacation home owners looking for ways to utilize their property in addition renting. Check us out at  and click WHO WE ARE and HOW IT WORKS.

For information and additional pictures of the properties featured above, click on the property #.  And wish your mom a happy day.

Blogsmith: Mike DiPrima

Home Exchange For Disabled People

Open your doors to the disabled and let the good times roll

  Image source: free digital

 A change of scenery, new experiences, new people – vacations relieve the stress of everyday living and energize the spirit. We all need them occasionally, but none more so than the disabled.

If you are a vacation home exchanger who welcomes disabled people – including the elderly -- with accommodations and amenities suited to their special needs, you own a special place in their hearts. And you know what it does for yours.

By all means highlight your accessibility features in your property listing. Update your listing if necessary by revisiting the tick options and checking “Disabled friendly.”  If you have a lift in your home, there is a new tick option for that. 

There is a growing demand, stoked by aging baby-boomers, for homes that are wheelchair or walker accessible. If you’ve thought about modifying your home, perhaps for your own Golden Years, be assured it’s a worthwhile investment that will enhance your property’s value in addition to serving you well. And, of course, it will open new possibilities as a home exchanger.

Assess your accessibility. If your house is single story with no stairs, has enough room for a wheelchair to get through the doors, roll down the halls and negotiate turns in the bathroom, you may only need relatively minor modifications or renovations. 

On the other hand, if your house is two stories tall, has stairs inside and out, and no bedroom or full bath on the main floor, you’d better call a good contractor. Or at least install an entrance ramp and an inside lift.

Easy access, convenience and safety are the bathroom considerations and may require the greatest remodeling.   The shower should be walk-in with a seat and no doors. Tubs should be walk-in as well, also with a seat. Both need safety bars, grips and non-slip floors.  Wheelchair-high toilets make for easy transfer on and off, along with handles and grab bars within easy reach. And a low sink that a wheelchair can roll under is also a helpful feature.

Adapting kitchens to allow someone in a wheelchair to operate the stove, prepare food at the counter, or reach dishes in the cabinet can also be an expensive proposition. But unless you plan to include all the wheelchair aids necessary for independent living, you could minimize changes here; realistically expecting that anyone who is wheelchair bound will be traveling with relatives, friends or caregivers who can at least handle the kitchen duties.

This IVHE property on the Caribbean island of Tobago is a good example of a house that people with disabilities, and their traveling companions, will love. It may not have all the aids for complete independent living, but it can add immensely to the vacation pleasure  of everyone in the party --  

If you are a physically-challenged person, or have hosted people with special needs, share some of your vacation experiences with us, particularly regarding housing accommodations, in the comments section of this blog.

If you are not a member of the International Vacation Home Exchange, find out more about us at especially if you have a vacation home equipped for the disabled traveler.

Blogsmith:  Mike DiPrima

Home Exchange Paris

Ooh La La,  a Vacation Home Exchange in Wonderful,  walkable Paris

Photo Source: flickr, Mark Mitchell
 What is it about Paris that makes it the most popular tourist destination in the world?
History? Culture? They are deep and rich in Paris.  But the city also has a big measure of that compelling something extra, the quintessentially French joie de vivre (joy of living).

You hear it in the music that drifts across the left bank on summer evenings and in the playful laughter of young people. You smell it in the aromas from bistros,  creperes  and sidewalk cafes, or in unhurried dinners with haute cuisine and fine French wines on the menu.  You see it in the drawings and brush strokes of would-be Renoirs and Chagalls creating in public places, and in the flowers and landscape of sweeping gardens and parks.

For all its romantic images and urban sociability, Paris is still an enormous city with typical big-city problems, not the least of which is horrendous rush hour traffic. But Paris works hard to keep Paris a people place and the air of romance alive.

Home Exchange Property #0702 – Paris
2-bedroom flat in popular St. Germain area

Paris has always had walkable areas -- certain neighborhood streets devoted to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only. The Latin Quarter, for example, features a few pedestrian-only streets lined with bars, restaurants and shops. On Rue Montorgueil, one of the oldest market streets in Paris, fish mongers, green grocers and other food shops come together sans cars in a small village atmosphere. And the many parks of Paris warmly invite strollers.

In recent years, Paris has made an effort to increase and improve its walkability by reclaiming some areas and streets that motor vehicle traffic laid claim to. An historic traffic roundabout with a monument centerpiece, Place de la République, was transformed from a circle of traffic snarls and fumes to one of the biggest all-pedestrian squares in the city. Some of the surrounding roads were incorporated into the new 3.4 hectare plaza creating a peaceful space with trees, water features, lighting columns,  and a new café pavilion. 

 A 1.4 mile stretch along the Left Bank that was previously car territory has been transformed into a pedestrian-only promenade with gardens, restaurants and music.

Home Exchange Property #0717 

Exploring Paris by foot is always fun -- if you know where you’re going. You can walk from the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees to Notre Dame Cathedral along a route that takes you by some of the chicest stores and restaurants in Paris, the Place de la Concorde, the Petit Palaise and the Grand Palaise, major monuments, the Eiffel Tower, Musee d Orsay, Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, and the Latin Quarter. But one wrong turn and you’ll wind up where countless tourists have wound up – lost. Fortunately, for the walking explorer, there are aids to keep that from happening.

Guide books and maps are readily available. Don’t leave home without one.  And now, if you have a smart phone, iPhone, iPad or other tablet-type computer, you can tap into a ”Paris Walking Tour” application that uses GPS technology to show your current location, nearby attractions, and how to get to them. It’s free and doesn’t need to be downloaded or installed, but it does require Internet access.  This is a great app to bookmark in your browser. Learn more about it at

Home Exchange Property #0062 -- Paris 

If you prefer a more personal experience, book a walking-tour guide to show you the way and share anecdotes, stories and insider information on restaurants and nightlife. One of the more popular tour companies, Discover Walks, offers free 90-minute walking tours comparable to a jolly Parisian friend showing you around (donations and tips are appreciated).  Discover Walks also offers specialized tours, including a French cooking class, at reasonable rates.  Learn more at

Maybe walking is not your thing and you just want to go from Point A to Point B without all the sightseeing in between.  Then make friends with the Paris Metro, one of the most extensive subway systems in the world.  It’s convenient, efficient and economical. An astonishing 6.75 million Parisians and visitors use it every day.

IVHE Home Exchange Property #0061
For a comprehensive and critical guide to Parisian attractions, dining establishments, nightlife, and things to do, visit

The International Home Exchange properties in Paris are cozy apartments or studios  within walking distance of some of the city’s major attractions. Find out more about each one by clicking the property # links.  If you are not a member of IVHE and would like to learn more about it, visit us at

Here’s to Paris --  city extraordinaire, city of joie de vivre.

Blogsmith: Mike DiPrima

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