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WELCOME TO OUR HOME!Paris
Without exception, I recommend apartment swapping to all travellers , for a fun city trip. A one-of-a-kind way to discover a new city, far from the bland, sterile hotels and (almost) without risk. Here’s how it works.
Practical and easy
"I would like to go to Brussels on 15th July and stay a week, if possible." A simple ad on the Web and abracadabra! someone offers to swap his apartment in Brussels for my Parisian pad. Isn't the Internet great? "Future friends" are to be found all over the place, ready to house us for the weekend. Of course, the key word here is "reciprocity", but what could be more natural between friends? Also, the swap need not be simultaneous.
Living in Paris, which remains the favourite destination of my "future friends" in Europe, it's no great task to find a potential swapper. I admit that the choice of destinations is indeed wide. But I'm not going to complain, seeing how for once living in Paris pays off!
A 4-star welcome
The only snag, of course, is taking your chances. Although, with Google Street View, I can take a look at the front of my future pied-à-terre. Flowers on the balcony, for instance, are a good sign! What's more, it's easy enough to discover the on-line reputation of my "future friends", thereby avoiding unpleasant experiences. In any case, my worst experiences have been at hotels recommended by guidebooks and travel agencies!
Adventure and discovery
So, I've definitely fallen in love with home sharing, which makes discovering Europe's major cities a whole lot easier, in particular those served by Thalys. And the icing on the cake: I'm no longer worried about being burgled while away!
Comfortable in working-class neighbourhoods and the tonier areas of Paris, I never get tired of rediscovering this timeless city. The Sex Pistols set the pace when I was younger. New technologies fill my working days now. My little extra: discovering fine eating spots around the capital for romantic dinners!