bottle of wine  on the background of old maps

HomeExchangers come from all walks of life with all sorts of interests. Finding an exchange partner with interests similar to yours can not only lead to great home exchanges but also lead to long-lasting friendships that reach far beyond just an exchange of homes.

wine-lovers-home-exchangeMy family has a wide range of interests, but one that truly brings people together is our love of wine. Notice I did not say “fine wine,” as you can find lovers of all manner of wine. (My own mother prefers a bottle of Riunite herself.) Great conversations and gatherings are often had over a bottle of your favorite.

Fittingly, since we happen to live in the wine-rich area of Northern California, we would like to share some of our ideas for other wine-loving HomeExchangers. Read More


Halloween is becoming more and more popular all around the world. No doubt this is, in part, because there’s something fascinating about death and dying. How else can you explain the enduring love of horror movies? Many of us want to know what really happens after we pass through this life!

Not surprisingly, many cultures around the world have created unique ways to honor deceased family and friends, along with traditions designed to keep evil spirits at bay. Some are joyful and colorful festivals, while others are more about… zombies!

Here is our list of where you should celebrate Halloween at least once in your life. Read More


Some time ago we published the recipe for the world’s best Home Exchange. Now, thanks to Babara (food blogger and HomeExchanger) we are discovering the best recipe for perfect travel!

I have two big passions: food & travel.

The great thing about them is that you can combine the two, so I will use them together today to offer you my best recipe for perfect travel.

Complementary and Deeply Personal

I never meant for my two passions to “walk” side by side. They were just things I really liked in my life. Only lately have I discovered that they are complementary. At least that’s the way I look at them.

Food has always been part of who I am. Being Italian, I find it easy. We love food. It’s like a cult for us. In my family, we have recipes my grandmother got from her mother, recipes that I still cook and look forward to passing on to my children and grandchildren. It is not unusual for me to call my mother (or my father, as he is also an excellent cook!) to ask how grandma used to prepare particular dish. Read More


Andrés, Ingrid and their three kids, aka El Vuelo de Apis, have embarked on a trip of a lifetime: a year-long family tour around South America. And they’re taking part in 60 home exchanges along the way.

Andrés and Ingrid are teachers from Seville, Spain, parents of three cheerful daughters, and entrepreneurs ready to make the world a better place. They have developed an educational, independent and collaborative project in South America that is also a flexible family trip via HomeExchange. Read More


Did you know Cape Town is the Gourmet Centre of Africa? Meet Carrie -foodie, travel writer and HomeExchanger- who went to Cape Town on holiday from London 21 years ago and never left! Here are some of her best culinary discoveries made in Cape Town.

Twenty-one years ago, I first came to Cape Town on holiday from London and never left! Cape Town has that effect on people. Some say the force of energy emanating from Table Mountain mesmerises you, and you just can’t escape. It definitely worked on me! I’ve been so captivated by Cape Town and southern Africa safari that I’ve barely written about anywhere else since I got here.

The one thing I’ve noticed the most over the years is how food has changed in South Africa. When I arrived, the only choice of cheese sold in the shops was rubbery and yellow, and there were no deli products, specialist offerings or little bakeries. Food was downright boring.

Fast Track to Gourmet Status

Twenty years later, Cape Town and nearby Winelands can rightly claim to be the Gourmet Centre of Africa. I believe that South Africa has leapfrogged to international levels of exceptional cuisine in a mere 20 years, while more developed countries can take generations to change. The blinders have been lifted after the long dark period of Apartheid and South Africans are like kids with new food toys.

It’s not just the food scene that’s benefited. New and expressive talents are being forged in the arts, hotels and guest house quality is top notch, and design and décor are creative and innovative. As the food and creativity have improved, so too have the palates and appreciation of Capetonians. We now have very high expectations.

Everything on your plate, from humble fish ‘n’ chips to Michelin best has to be far above average or we just won’t accept it. And when buying food to cook at home, we can buy cheap if we must, but we don’t find it expensive to opt for top-quality grass-fed meats, organic vegetables and sweet ripe fruits. You may be accustomed to buying whatever fresh produce you desire all year round, but in South Africa, if it isn’t in season, you can’t buy it. That means our fruit and vegetables taste wonderful because they’re ripe!

I Hope You Like Seafood!

Cape Town looks out at the ocean, so you can expect the freshest seafood to pass from fishing boats straight to your plate. Go to Kalk Bay harbour (on the way to Cape Town point) at lunchtime to witness the fishing boats come in and offload their catches. This involves manually throwing each fish from boat to jetty. Take care while walking around because you don’t want to get clobbered by a flying fish. Choose the fish you want for supper, have it scaled and gutted right there, and take it home wrapped in newspaper.

I can’t resist letting someone else fry up fish and chips for me right there, but there are also several seafood restaurants in Kalk Bay harbour, from fine dining in The Harbour House to classic wooden benches and fish ‘n’ chips at Lucky Fish.


Winelands Has the Best Restaurants in South Africa

Eat Out is an online restaurant review website in South Africa with annual awards for the Top Ten Restaurants in South Africa. Without fail, at least six out of the top 10 are located in the Cape Winelands towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Somerset West and Constantia. These restaurants get booked up, especially in the summer season (November to February), so reserve in advance to experience some of the finest cuisine in the country in the most scenic mountain and vineyard surroundings. The cherry on the cake is that just about all foreign visitors will find our very best restaurants ridiculously cheap!

If you come to Cape Town you are going to have a gourmet good time.


Two years ago, we ranked the top 10 ski destinations according to the ski magazines. But over the months, you have written in with your favorites! Here then is a new top 10… of your favorites!

Jackson Hole Ski Resort – Wyoming, USA

For epic skiing and an authentic mountain town experience, it’s hard to beat Jackson Hole. Ready to test your skills on the steep and deep? Try Corbet’s Couloir, called America’s scariest ski slope, with a 20-foot free fall to enter the chute. If that’s not your cup of tea, though, fear not. There are 1,250 acres of beginner and intermediate slopes, more terrain than many smaller mountains’ total offerings.

The resort is just 12 miles from the town of Jackson, where the Wild West and the 21st century meet. Rub elbows with local cowboys and celebrities alike at the aptly named ‘The Local.’ Read More


A lot has changed in the fast-paced world of ski resorts since we published our list of Top 10 Ski Destinations a couple of years back. Since then, we have enjoyed reviewing your comments and suggestions, and with the snow clouds of the new winter season looming large on the horizon, there’s no better time to revisit our Top 10… based on your picks!

Val d’Isere, France

There’s a reason why Val d’Isere, at 1,850 meters, continues to be the top choice of British skiers each winter. It offers the perfect blend of challenging ski terrain for advanced skiers and learner-friendly beginners zones for those new to the snow. The resort center is lined with high-end shops, lively après-ski bars and fantastic restaurants, all housed within beautiful, stone-clad buildings.
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October is a time for beer festing! In days long past, the harvests would be complete or nearing completion and worn out boots would jump at the chance to kick up some dance dust. There’d be plenty of joyful imbibing too, including artisanal yeast-fermented grain drinks (aka beer!).

Most of us no longer worry about stocking our cupboards for long hard winters, but there’s no escaping how much we love any autumn excuse to bask in a good brew.

Here are 11 of our favorite brewtopias (in alphabetical order), especially when it comes to craft beer. Of course, we never wait for October to quaff, but there’s something especially right about enjoying them as crisp autumn weather arrives.

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