Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friendship Force Offers Bargains

Friendship Force (friendshipforce.org) is a volunteer group that promotes international amity through home exchanges. Because travellers spend most of their nights with local hosts, the cost of a trip is significantly lower than that of commercial tours based in hotels, and there is in addition the chance to make new friends and really live with and like the locals.
Founded in the U.S. in 1977, Friendship Force now is represented in more than 50 countries, and has more than 300 local clubs. You do not need to belong to a local club to participate in an overseas trip, nor do you need to host visitors in order to be hosted.
Some of the trips listed on the group's Website sound very appealing (and inexpensive.) You can travel to exotic destinations like Georgia and Azerbaijan for about two weeks for $1200 U.S. not including air fare. Or if the Antipodes beckon, a 16 day trip to Australia and New Zealand goes for a mere $1400 U.S. for land only, or $2800 U.S. with air fare from Chicago.
Not everyone enjoys staying with strangers, regardless of how friendly those strangers are. But if you are willing to do so, you greatly expand your options for travel savings.


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