We would like to thank Julian (age 18) for sharing with us some of his experiences on home exchange, as a teenager.....
Over the last few years my family and I have stayed in many different houses through IVHE all across the world from South Africa, Tobago, Jamaica to Mexico and every time has been a blast. Staying at a home through IVHE has added an extra layer of awesome to all of these amazing trips.
Recently we visited South Africa and our home had a barbecue shack out in our front yard with a fire pit in the middle and benches all around. While cooking dinner we could see various animals running around just outside the fence like antelope, meerkat and we even had some very friendly warthogs pose with us for some selfies.
Another great thing about staying at homes through IVHE is being able to socialize with the local people easier. In South Africa our neighbours invited us over on a couple occasions to feed the bush babies (small monkey like animals) in their back yard which was great! A couple years ago we went to Mexico and got to try some of the most amazing banana pie from some local near the house.
While in Mexico we stayed in two different IVHE homes, one was a huge house with a beautiful waterfall and super cool infinity pool, the other was a really comfortable home decorated fully in amazing Mexican fashion, both great for different reasons but great nonetheless. The first home had long-boards and surfboards decorating the walls and plenty of room for everyone to explore. The second place had a super relaxed vibe that always made you feel welcome, not to mention the crazy cool turtle mural in the pool. Both of the houses were in excellent locations as well with one being just down the street from the local party scene and the other being perfectly serene and calming.
One year we went to Florida and stayed in a home just down the street from the beach and a bunch of really great restaurants. Every morning was filled with surf lessons followed by an evening of fantastic seafood and chilling out.
Staying in a home with IVHE always provides great opportunities to try out the local food that hotels don’t always offer. Also in Mexico we tried avocado ‘everything’ including an amazing avocado soup. In Jamaica I got to experience true Jamaican jerk chicken and in South Africa I had my very first taste of ostrich jerky. Overall when it comes to accommodations for travel, nothing beats staying in a home exchange through IVHE.