RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

RVing with Alice and Jaimie

Roadtripping the World with Holiday Trades
RV Trips Around the Globe
by Jaimie Hall

 

Update 3/22/2012: Holitrade, mentoned in this article, is no longer in business.


Fishing holiday
Holitrade.com
RV fishing holiday arranged through Holitrade.com

RVing at the beach
Holitrade.com
RVs: Great for surfing safaris

RVing New Zealand!
Jaimie Hall
Author Jaimie Hall with her granddaughter in New Zealand

New Zealand RV park
Jaimie Hall
RV park in Christchurch, New Zealand


RVers have so much to see in United States and Canada. Adventuresome RVers travel into Mexico, and some venture all the way to Panama. But even with all these places to see in North America, some RVers' wanderlust takes them to overseas destinations. Rather than pay for a hotel or a rental, an RV exchange is one way to reduce expenses. Plus, you can more easily tap into local knowledge.

MOTORHOME EXCHANGES

Through RV and caravan clubs, you might find someone willing to exchange RVs -- or caravans as they are called in many other countries. The International Caravanning Association is a worldwide organization that organizes tours in many parts of the world. Their Web site has a "Rig Swop" page that lists members wanting to exchange rigs. Search for the caravan association for the country you are interested in to find other swaps. You may also find ads for swaps at these Web sites:

  • New Zealand Motor Caravan Association
  • UK Motorhomes (Free listings for exchanges -- not limited to the UK)
  • HOUSE EXCHANGES

    House exchanges are quite popular. Do an Internet search and you'll find many Web sites that provide a venue for making an exchange. Most are limited to trading "stick" (brick-and-mortar) housing. Holitrade, however, has expanded this idea to include exchanging not only houses, but campervans or RVs, cars, boats, yachts and timeshares -- all on the same site. You might be able to trade the use of your motorhome for a stay in a house or even a houseboat! (Holitrade charges no fees.)

    Another house exchange Web site is Seniors Home Exchange. For the over-50 age group, this site also lists RVs and campervans along with houses. (Seniors Home Exchange charges a fee.)

    HOUSE SITTING

    With house sitting, you care for someone's home -- and often their pets -- while they are on vacation. Duties are usually minimal, so you have time to explore the area.
    Caretaker Gazette lists house sitting and caretaker assignments all over the world. Some are for extended periods of time and may involve pay. Caretaker Gazette (which charges a subscription fee) has both a print and online edition as well as email notification of new opportunities. Also, an Internet search for "house sitting" will turn up a number of other Web sites.

    CAUTIONS

    These Web sites act as brokers. They do not investigate people who place an ad. Working out the exchange and its details is up to the two parties. At the Holitrade site, see the FAQs for a list of items to discuss. The UK Motorhomes site suggests these thoughts for first-time exchangers:

    A couple of years ago, my granddaughter and I traveled to New Zealand and rented a campervan. Three weeks was not time enough to see all of even the South Island, plus renting a campervan was expensive. I'd love to go back for another, longer visit. I'll definitely be checking out exchanges!

    Jaimie Hall
    7/2/06

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