Updated: Feb 24
Let’s face it, traveling is a privilege that many people simply do not have. Many people want to travel but are unable to afford it. As a result, they miss out on the benefits of traveling, such as personal development and cultural exchange.
The most expensive aspect of traveling is generally not airfare or other transportation. It’s not fun activities like zip lining or scuba diving. Nor is it shopping or meals. Rather sadly, it’s the cost of lodging! What’s worse, most people don’t travel simply to stay in a hotel. People travel to create experiences and spend very little time at the hotel or in the hotel room. Why pay an arm and a leg for a place to rest your head for a few hours a night while you’re on vacation when you already own or rent a home or apartment?
Even vacation rentals that used to be an economical alternative to hotels, cost as much if not more than some hotels. The guest pays the full amount upfront for the booking no matter how far out the trip is planned. Reservations are usually non-refundable or partially refundable. This is true no matter how far out the trip is planned or how far in advance the reservation is cancelled. At least when booking a reservation at a hotel you only pay a deposit, and the hotel will refund your money upon check-out. The popularity of vacation rental marketplaces and the demand for vacation rentals has increased the cost of vacation rentals and hotels. It seems like we’re being held hostage–forced to pay 5-star rates for 2- and 3-star accommodations. Sacrificing location, quality, and service to save a few bucks.
But what if there was an alternative? What if you could cut lodging costs by more than 90%, and put the savings to some other use? At 2XCAPE, we believe home exchange is the solution for anyone who owns or rents a home or apartment and wants more meaningful travel experiences. Why pay rent and hotel costs when you can exchange your home with someone who lives where you want to travel? With 2XCAPE you can travel more spontaneously without months of planning and budgeting.
What distinguishes 2XCAPE from other online lodging marketplaces is our emphasis on relationships and cultural exchange. At other home sharing companies, interactions between hosts and guests are purely transactional and limited. The prospective guest finds a suitable location, enters their payment information, messages the host, then waits for the host to accept the request. Once accepted, the host and guest may message each other once or twice about essential things like where to find the key lock box or what is the Wi-Fi password.
At 2XCAPE we believe getting to know with whom you’ll share your home matters. You can view member profiles and photos and communicate live with members on the platform. You’ll actually get to know who you will exchange your home with, giving you peace of mind.
Many have heard the horror stories about vacation rentals in the news. The large gatherings, parties, and events that were unauthorized and resulted in crime, violence and destruction, and the many calls to the police from disgruntled neighbors. In nearly every case, the homeowner probably thought they were renting to a responsible person.
2XCAPE’s focus is not on members making a profit, but whether they crave more travel experiences. At 2XCAPE, you’ll meet new and exciting people, have unique experiences, and travel to locations you may otherwise be unable to afford. There are no financial transactions between escapers. No points swapping or borrowing. Our mission is to advance sustainable lifestyle escapes which promote memorable experiences and meaningful connection through cultural exchange.
We understand that your home is a sanctuary and sharing it with others you don’t know may be difficult to imagine. The first thought that crosses most people’s mind is whether their house will be destroyed, or if their personal belongings will be damaged or stollen. These are valid concerns. Rest assured, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for your escape. Your 2XCAPE profile can help to reinforce your house rules. You can indicate whether pets are allowed, if smoking is prohibited, or if shoes may be worn indoors, for example. To help ease your fears, try viewing both yours and your escape mate’s home as collateral. You can expect your escape mate to treat your home as they would like theirs to be treated.
For added assurance, members must place a deposit to reserve your home. The deposit is 100% refundable assuming there is no cancellation beyond the cancellation period and there is no property loss or damage. If this doesn’t alleviate your concerns, consider the fact that thieves generally target homes where people are away. When you exchange homes you can rest assured your home will be in good hands while you are away. You can focus on enjoying your escape instead of worrying about your home being burglarized. You should also share your concerns with your swap mate, as they may have similar concerns. It’s an opportunity to reinforce your expectations and ensure everyone is of one accord.
Home exchange is great for those who want to travel without sacrificing the comforts of home and without paying costly hotel room rates and fees. Arguably, it is the most cost-effective way to travel. It makes traveling more accessible and you can use the money you’ll save from lodging costs and vacation rentals to spend on unique experiences. Best of all, you’ll gain exposure to the arts, languages, and customs of other groups of people, near and far!