Travels

Testing the home exchange experience in Madrid

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Friendship is one of the best assets that human beings have. Something to take care of as much zeal as possible. That is why, once or twice a year, the friends we spend several years together living in Dublin We look for ways to clear our agendas and see each other in some part of Europe.

Some are still in Dublin, while others have led us to Alicante, Asturias, Madrid, Frankfurt, Colombia, United States or Luxembourg.

Normally, those who live in northern and central Europe vote to stay somewhere in Spain, where the food, the weather and the party are usually suitable for a good gathering of friends in search of laughter and good times.

On this occasion, the city chosen, for the convenience of flights and trains and leisure offer, was Madrid.

When we had all booked the transport, we had to find the accommodation. The ideal formula for us is the apartment or house, before hotel, because that way we can all be together for a couple of days, thus multiplying the good times.

This is how I found out the existence of GuesttoGuest.

What is GuesttoGuest?

GuesttoGuest is a French home exchange portal that It was founded in 2011. The headquarters are in Paris, although the houses of its users are scattered throughout 187 countries. In the last 3 years, the number of houses available has increased from 38,000 to 28, making GuesttoGuest one of the most important agents in the panorama of holiday homes worldwide.

Through the portal You can request accommodation in different houses without the obligation to offer one in return.

How GuesttoGuest works

The operating mechanism of the page is very simple.

Does not occur No kind of monetary exchange between tenant and landlord. Only points are exchanged (GuestPoints). Using them, you can stay in any house, free of charge and without having to offer accommodation in a reciprocal way.

We did that. We looked for an apartment that would suit us in Madrid (and had availability on the dates we wanted) and we asked to be able to stay in it.

Through the page, I sent a message to the owner, Amalia, a very nice and traveling woman with which I had a good feeling from the beginning.

Amalia told me that we were welcome to her home and that we only had to formalize the petition on the web.

What are GuestPoints?

When you sign up for GuesttoGuest you receive an initial amount of GuestPoints (500-750) so you can test the system.

With them you can enjoy your first stay. So we did, when requesting a stay of 3 nights in a nice and spacious apartment - with room for 5 people - in the Madrid area of ​​Sales. Each night in the house cost 150 GuestPoints.

The cost in GuestPoints of the nights in different houses depends on several factors: size, location, floor condition, etc. The points are delivered to the owner, who in turn can use them to use some accommodation on his vacation.

You can also get GuestPoints by inviting friends to register on the web.

If you do not contribute any accommodation to the web, you can buy GuestPoints at a cost of 1 euro per point.

Should we pay anything?

As I have already mentioned, the exchanges are free, with no economic transaction between the members. However, many of them choose some of the optional payment services offered by GuesttoGuest - such as bail and insurance - to cover themselves against possible damages and / or cancellations. From them the page gets the economic benefit.

I was charged on the debit card 3.5% of the deposit stipulated by the owner (€ 400). Only 14 euros for having an apartment for five people, 3 nights in the center of Madrid, it doesn't seem bad at all.

Our experience in the apartment

Amalia's house was even better than seen in the photos. We feel at home and the hostess had even left a bottle of Malaga Virgin fresh in the fridge.

Although we spent most of our time away from home, the times we spent in it were better than in a hotel.

How to search for accommodation or guests

We were lucky enough to find Amalia easily, but if you want to secure a house in a city for certain dates, It is advisable that you send several messages to different users, especially to those who have a good response rate. To do this you can choose certain filters in your search.

If you are offering your home and would like to get some GuestPoints, you can also set the status of “guests are wanted”.

In both cases - whether you are looking for a house or if you are looking for guests - It is a good idea to verify your profile to give more confidence to other users.

After stay

We left Amalia's house trying to leave her as well as possible and on Monday I left a good comment about our stay at her house. In this type of websites, based on trust, it is essential to fill in the opinion form.

It was a great weekend of partying, dinner and laughter in Madrid, and the truth is that GuesttoGuest has been a great discovery that I plan to use, from now on, quite frequently.

5.002

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