House Swapping and Family Holiday ideas

Started by Greg, September 16, 2023, 04:50:17 AM

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Greg

I have finally convinced my wife to do a house swap next year.

There are some significant advantages and cost savings for a family holiday.

1.  You swap houses with another family for 2-4 weeks and so pay no accommodation or bills.
2.  You can arrange well in advance and get cheap flights.
3.  We are looking at a large house that sleeps 10 in the middle of Switzerland in the summer holidays, normally speaking that would be unafforable.
4.  It is extremely rare that any house-swapper leaves your house damaged or filthy dirty.
5.  If they are anything like me they can give you a whole bunch of money saving tips.
6.  Sometimes people also insure each other on family cars.


My top choices at the moment are a 4000 sqft loft apartment in Chelsea Manhattan and a large Swiss house in near Interlaken (both during the summer).  Flights from London to New York are 500 dollars per person booked in advance and we would have no need to hire a car.  We'd just see New York and take trains or buses to nearby beaches.

For Switzerland we would drive in our family bus.  It takes about 10 hours

Where I live is surrounded by castles, manor houses and stately homes and beaches at 30 to 60 mins drive away so likely to appeal to educated Americans with an interest in Charles Dickens and history.  My local pub is over 900 years old and looks like hobbits would drink there.

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/pub-set-to-reopen-after-nine-years-210487/

Speaking of incredible pubs what about this one?

Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

Greg

On another money saving thought.

The guest family using my house gets free National Trust and English Heritage tickets (since they don't check the names against IDs) to use to visit castles, gardens and stately homes.  Typical entry per person is $20-$30.  That is $160 to $240 saved for every outing and they are going to want to see at least 3 sites unless they are ignorant pikeys.

Free gym visits, as we will collect guest passes for them or arrange free temporary membership (gym is always trying to sell new memberships by offering free deals).

Free use of our family bikes.  Hard and expensive to hire bikes for a 2 week holiday.

Free use of backpacks, umbrellas, picnic baskets, picnic blankets, picnic chairs, the stuff you don't usually get on holiday even when self-catering.

Free use of internet and cheap local sim cards.

A list from a local expert of the things you are most likely going to be entertained by.  Local beer festivals, craft fairs, historical re-enactments, war-plane flyovers, major sporting events suited to your family interests and age of children.

Tips for cheap and free activities.  For example, in London ALL of the major museums are free of charge.  Not a lot of tourists realise that.  The British Museum, the Science Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum, The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery are all complete free.

They contain all of the best things to see.  The Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles, Tutankhamen's death mask, the first steam trains, jet engines, computers, stuffed dodo birds, blue whale and dinosaur skeletons, the best works of art, etc.

Compare this to New York or Washington DC.  Metropolitan Museum of art is $30 for adults; $22 for seniors; $17 for students.  Smithsonian in Washington is free, but you have to get timed tickets.
New York's Museum of Natural History is $28 for an Adult and $16 for a child.  A child is 12 and under meaning my family would cost $200 dollars to go to a museum for 2 hours.

The Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York is good, but I just checked out the ticket prices for 2 adults and 6 children (only 2 of them under 12).

Total
$268.00

By contrast the Imperial War Museum is free.  The Hendon RAF Aircraft museum is free now as well (I think they used to charge) and Chatham Dockyard I have free passes to.

As good as New York's Intrepid Air and Space Museum is, any 2 of these 3 knock it into a cocked-hat.

Chatham is brilliant.  Not only can you go on-board a cold war submarine, but you can wonder around a World War II destroyer and put the children into the sailor's hammocks as well as wondering around a wooden 19th Century sailing ship.

Another great free attraction in London is the SkyGardens where you can go up to a building with 360' views of London for nothing provided you book on-line in advance.

Take any cost and multiple it by 8 and it is a significant amount of money.

I'd reckon I could save $1000, very easily, on London versus New York on like for like entertainment for a family of 5 or more just by pointing out all the good things that were free.
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

Instaurare omnia

Go to Switzerland. 

If you stay in Chelsea NYC, you'll regret it. Manhattan has devolved into one of the levels of Hell. There is nothing there anymore worth seeing or doing that would outshine the rudeness, noise, pollution, general decay, and hordes of "recent arrivals" sleeping rough on the sidewalk. And you do know that the denizens of Chelsea are overwhelmingly preening sodomites?

As for beaches, none of the many within city limits are tolerable during beach season except perhaps as an anthropological field trip, especially if you take the subways and buses to get there. The ones that are very well worth it are far down the Jersey Shore or out on the south shore of Long Island but are at least a two-hour drive from midtown during typical traffic, more if waiting on public transportation schedules. On weekends in season, these better beaches are packed tight from morning till dusk, except for the few private communities where public amenities are difficult to access. There are indeed not-cheap overnight accommodations in those latter towns, but then you could be at a perfectly nice beach anywhere else on earth.

NY does not deserve Greg's patronage. Just trying to be of assistance.
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).

Greg

Switzerland is the top choice for now.

I'd like to go to Yosemite but the flights are too expensive.

In a few years I might also take everyone to Iceland.  Currently my youngest two are still too young to fully enjoy it.  Also really interested in seeing Iran before I die.
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

The Curt Jester

You should sight-see the corn mazes in Illinois.  It's probably a lot cheaper... especially if you bring an ATV and make your own maze (farmers might not like it though).
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

drummerboy

Russia is auctioning off the properties of Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs in Crimea-including Z's mansion he bought in 2013 but never lived in.  Maybe you could scoop up a deal....lol
"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Trinity, glory to You." 
"All my hope I place in you, O Mother of God; guard me under your protection."

LausTibiChriste

Quote from: Greg on September 16, 2023, 05:53:15 PMSwitzerland is the top choice for now.

I'd like to go to Yosemite but the flights are too expensive.

In a few years I might also take everyone to Iceland.  Currently my youngest two are still too young to fully enjoy it.  Also really interested in seeing Iran before I die.

If I were you, Switzerland would be my first choice. My wife and I were seriously looking at moving there, but if you're not a multi-millionaire it's harder to get into than Fort Knox.

Iran would be amazing - I've always had an affinity for that country and their people and language.

If I may, I'd recommend Oman - AMAZING country. Something to think about for the future perhaps.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy On Me A Sinner

"Nobody is under any moral obligation of duty or loyalty to a state run by sexual perverts who are trying to destroy public morals."
- MaximGun

"Not trusting your government doesn't make you a conspiracy theorist, it means you're a history buff"

Communism is as American as Apple Pie

Greg

Quote from: Instaurare omnia on September 16, 2023, 08:34:01 AMGo to Switzerland.

If you stay in Chelsea NYC, you'll regret it. Manhattan has devolved into one of the levels of Hell. There is nothing there anymore worth seeing or doing that would outshine the rudeness, noise, pollution, general decay, and hordes of "recent arrivals" sleeping rough on the sidewalk. And you do know that the denizens of Chelsea are overwhelmingly preening sodomites?

However do Traditional Catholics living in Manhattan cope?
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

Instaurare omnia

Against Manhattan's total residential population of around 1.7 million, there are precious few Traditional Catholics remaining, if there ever were.

At the daily TLM at Holy Innocents, the few hundred or so office workers and hospital staff are long used to trudging past sidewalk bivouacs of cardboard and tarp, and they either don't know or don't mind that the reserved Hosts were likely confected during an earlier NOM.

At the SSPX mission in a banquet room of a semi-posh hotel, those few dozen worshippers likely have adequate material means to permit them to take a taxi (driven by some heathen not subject to Sunday servile labor prohibitions) and to otherwise daily also avoid any unwanted social interactions closer to home. That is, until Mayor Adams garrisons the next busload of south-of-the-border invaders in those formerly exclusive quartiers.
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).

drummerboy

On a serious note: how's real estate in Sweden?  I read their currency is plummeting and they might switch to the Euro.  Cheap real estate?
"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Trinity, glory to You." 
"All my hope I place in you, O Mother of God; guard me under your protection."

Greg

New York is safer today than when Clau Clau and I visited it in 1987.

It had loads of druggies and criminal scum on the streets then, and I am talking Times Square not 8th Ave.

It's pretty scummy, but then so is London, and Paris.
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

LausTibiChriste

Quote from: drummerboy on September 19, 2023, 05:18:40 PMOn a serious note: how's real estate in Sweden?  I read their currency is plummeting and they might switch to the Euro.  Cheap real estate?

Nothing in Sweden is cheap lol. There used to be an entire small village for sale for $7mil. 70 buildings and considering a single-family dwelling in places like Toronto are easily over a mil, it seems like a bit of a bargain. I believe it sold though.

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/satra-brunn-sala-sweden-village-for-sale
Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy On Me A Sinner

"Nobody is under any moral obligation of duty or loyalty to a state run by sexual perverts who are trying to destroy public morals."
- MaximGun

"Not trusting your government doesn't make you a conspiracy theorist, it means you're a history buff"

Communism is as American as Apple Pie

Greg

#12
Just went to Rye in E.Sussex this weekend.

The Latin Mass Society had a mass at St. Augustine's Church which is a 13th Century Church on Romney Marsh in a tiny hamlet called Snave, which was Anglican, (originally Catholic of course), I imagine and fell into disuse.  It is now owned and maintained by an historical buildings society and they let the LMS have a mass there once per year.  In fact the historical buildings man attended the mass and made a very nice speech afterwards.  I was wondering why Fr. Diaz gave a notice before communion about only Catholics in a state of grace receiving communion.  I could not imagine anyone else driving more than an hour to rural Kent to attend mass on a Saturday.

Afterwards I took my oldest and youngest boys to Rye and we had one of the best fish and chips I have eaten in ages.  Rye is a pretty amazing town.  It is chocolate box pretty, relatively easy to park and very much like the best of the Cornish fishing villages, without the bother and expense of going to Cornwall.

I always think of Rye as Kent, but it is just over the border in East. Sussex.

If you are ever visiting from America then consider taking a train from London.  It is like going back in a time machine.  You can visit the site of the Battle of Hastings at the same time.





Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

Heinrich

Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.

LausTibiChriste

Quote from: Greg on September 25, 2023, 03:43:42 AMJust went to Rye in E.Sussex this weekend.

The Latin Mass Society had a mass at St. Augustine's Church which is a 13th Century Church on Romney Marsh in a tiny hamlet called Snave, which was Anglican, (originally Catholic of course), I imagine and fell into disuse.  It is now owned and maintained by an historical buildings society and they let the LMS have a mass there once per year.  In fact the historical buildings man attended the mass and made a very nice speech afterwards.  I was wondering why Fr. Diaz gave a notice before communion about only Catholics in a state of grace receiving communion.  I could not imagine anyone else driving more than an hour to rural Kent to attend mass on a Saturday.

Afterwards I took my oldest and youngest boys to Rye and we had one of the best fish and chips I have eaten in ages.  Rye is a pretty amazing town.  It is chocolate box pretty, relatively easy to park and very much like the best of the Cornish fishing villages, without the bother and expense of going to Cornwall.

I always think of Rye as Kent, but it is just over the border in East. Sussex.

If you are ever visiting from America then consider taking a train from London.  It is like going back in a time machine.  You can visit the site of the Battle of Hastings at the same time.







I love what Britain used to be.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy On Me A Sinner

"Nobody is under any moral obligation of duty or loyalty to a state run by sexual perverts who are trying to destroy public morals."
- MaximGun

"Not trusting your government doesn't make you a conspiracy theorist, it means you're a history buff"

Communism is as American as Apple Pie