Front page > Speak Out > Reviews > Trading Places makes for Cheap Travel
October 6, 1999
Teachers Gavin & Suzannah Bellamy can show you how...

You'd like to travel abroad but haven't got the cash? There is an Internet business run by teachers to help you. Planning to stay in, say, Copenhagen, for two weeks? There may be a home, not a hotel, already waiting for you, complete with everything but the owners. They, you see, might be in Chicago for two weeks, sharing someone else's home. The Internet Home Exchange Club is making it all happen.

The concept of Home Exchange is a fast growing and exciting way of having a vacation. Husband and wife team, Gavin and Suzannah Bellamy, are both full-time teachers, and started the Internet Home Exchange Club to put home exchange candidates together. As the couple explains, "We formed the club because we felt that directory based services charge a lot of money for very basic service, in our case over £130 ($200). The internet offers the opportunity for a much more efficient and descriptive approach to the concept and at very reasonable costs."

"The concept is really very simple. IHXC helps put you in touch with other people interested in swapping homes with you. When you find someone in the area you want to visit with the living arrangements you are searching for, you then make arrangements to trade homes, cars, even pets for whatever the length of your stay". Gavin explains; "It has numerous advantages, but primarily saves a lot of money, particularly abroad, and allows you freedom and comfort within a family home and local community with the benefits that brings."

Home Exchange is particularly popular among working and retired members of the education, financial and business sectors and large family churches. IHXC is intended to run as a club for the benefit of its members, and is primarily but not exclusively intended for those groups listed above. The club nature of IHXC is clearly reflected in its structure and costs, which are kept to a minimum.

The Bellamys have recently launched a new web site and they are expecting to build a large club base. For more information on the services they offer and what just might be your ticket to a discounted vacation, visit their website at

An important point to note is that as they seek to build up their database they are currently offering FREE membership, so act fast! "We are very surprised by the response we have received so far. As well as the expected US, Canadian and UK responses we have also had people from the United Arab emirates, Ireland, Belgium, Bahrain, New Zealand and Australia. One prospective customer asked if his two-bedroom chalet buried deep Quebec's forest would de suitable. My reply was... Wow, I bet someone would go for that!" That is the nature of Home Exchange."

May 24, 2000
Update on IHXC: The Home Exchange for Teachers
Last year we reported on how a couple from England have combined their professional experience as teachers with their interest in foreign travel and the internet to form a club based on members exchanging their homes. For many it is the best way to take a family on a vacation and experience the excitement of exploring another culture or country. Advantages include huge financial savings, the comfort and freedom of having a home base, staying in a family orientated environment and the opportunity to explore as part of a community.

Gavin Bellamy has checked in with us again, and reports the project is doing well. "We have been delighted about the response we have received as well as the encouragement from experienced home exchanges who have joined us. We have a world wide membership. We do not simply enable people to find each other, but offer detailed advice on how to arrange an exchange and what to look out for. There are often many questions, most of which we attempt to answer on our web site. However, we were anxious to offer more than just a home exchange service, and as teachers felt it important to try and put teachers in contact with each other around the world. To that end we have developed some associations with teacher agencies whose aims we support".

Gavin's enthusiasm for the prospects of home exchange is obvious - "we found that home exchange is particularly popular amongst working and retired members of the teaching profession. The internet offers the ideal medium for storing information securely but also in being flexible and able to operate in real time. The intended membership is primarily the teaching profession or friends and families of teachers. This has the added advantage of giving some quality control. We wanted to foster a club feel to the whole project encouraging members to feed back and be involved in the clubs development if they wish."

Gavin adds "we are very keen to develop the links between teachers around the world at a more social level. There are already a lot of good organisations which support teachers professionally including Teachnet. Recent developments include the addition of travel related links,the ability to buy travel related books at discount through Amazion, and more excitingly; gaining the interest of organisations such as the NEA. We have come to an exciting and challenging point where to develop the club further we will shortly need to arrange full time commitment from one of us. This is a big step but will facilitate some of the developments we have in mind."

Their site, The Internet Home Exchange Club (or IHXC for short) can be found on the web at

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