Subject: home exchange
Hi Folks:

We have had two home exchanges and like the curates egg they were good and bad in parts. We went to Edinburgh for 6 weeks to look after a cat and a fax machine. The owners of same stayed in our house for only few days. All a bit strange but we had a nice time in Edinburgh. We stayed for a number of weeks in an apartment in the south of France. Indifferent apartment, gorgeous location. They drove our car for 5,000 kilometers, their car was virtually undriveable.. We hired a car and had a nice time. I think that you have to be quite clear about mutual responsibilities and if you are fussy about your car, limit the miles /kilometers they can drive it. I think that given good will it works, apparently the most contentious areas are different standards of housekeeping! We haven't pursued this method of travel because of the imbalance of people wanting to come to Australia against the numbers of Australians wanting to go to Europe/America - wherever. It is very time consuming working it all up, but with Internet I think it would be easier.

Good luck Margaret, Melbourne, Oz.