Room4Exchange: An specialized online platform for room exchange

KangApp loves innovative projects and, even more, if they are framed within what is known as Collaborative Consumption. We love the proposals that facilitate sharing goods and services which allow contact between people from different places and on adition alternatives which make possible saving money during our travels, for example, Room4Exchange, the first and biggest room exchange community.

What is exactly Room4Exchange proposal?

Room4Exchange is a community of people interested in sharing your room temporarily to travel around the world, that is, the room bartering for travelers. You can stay in someone else’s home while simultaneously this other person is staying in yours, but non simultaneous exchanges are also possible.

Room4Exchange is present in 119 cities spread over 72 countries on 6 continents.

Its operative is easy and intuitive, it is based on trust. Users who offer their rooms receive exchange proposals from other users with the possibility of rejecting or accepting it. The communication uses to begin with users specifying all the details of the exchange, day and time of arrival and all the necessary issues.

Room sharing is free. Room4Exchange has implanted a “virtual payment” based in a key which is transferred from the account of the person who stay to the person who has offered his room. The only charge is an annual fee which allows you to make unlimited residential exchanges.

The roms to exchange are 100% private for our use, that is, we will not share with anyone else and this (for the team of Kangapp), is a pretty positive point. Furthermore, although its strength is sharing rooms, in Room4Exchange users can also swap entire accommodations. There are minimum standards that the offered room must have. At a minimum, there must be a bed, sheets and clean towers, access to the toilet, keys and free 24-hour access, Wi-Fi access and the possibility of staying in public areas and use of all rooms and equipment accommodation (fridge, swimming pools, etc.).

Kangapp-Room4Exchange

Other aspects that we like about Room4Exchange is its simplicity. Every issues are defined in the way users decide (by phone, Skype, email, etc.). It gives many possibilities so we may decide to offer any other item like a bicycle, share useful information or anything else.

Although we believe that people who may be interested in this kind of alternatives may feel safe when sharing their room because full security is really important for Room4Exchange and it makes possible. All exchanges are insured up to an amount of 300.000 euros in the two housings involved in any transaction.

With this type of alternatives, the typical excuse of people who think that traveling is expensive becomes a myth. We just must have the desire to discover new destinations and the ability to share what we have.

Although this alternative may have certain limitations for family tourism – in which KangApp is fully focused on strengthening the private rental of baby and children equipment for traveling families -, Room4Exchange seems an ideal travel alternative.

Enjoy Christmas in Madrid with kids

Are you aware of the activities Madrid offers for children at Christmas? Do you think you need to spend a fortune in order for children to have fun at Christmas? In this article I suggest 12 Christmas activities for kids to do in Madrid for less than 15 Euros.

Our childhood memories, particularly those from Christmas, last a lifetime. Is there anyone Who doesn’t remember the first he/she saw Santa, Father Christmas or one of the Three Wise Men? My earliest memory is when I was 2. At first I was scared of Melchor’s beard, but I changed my mind when he gave me some candies and offered me a smile. Since then, I have never ever missed the procession that celebrates the journey of the Three Wise Men at Christmas.

  1. For the locals, Cortylandia, a 15 minute show of carols and puppets displayed on the cranes of “El Corte Inglés” of Preciados at the street of Maestro Victoria, that brings us back the first memories. The theme of the event changes every year, and it’s a Must-See show which marks the beginning of the Christmas season. In its origins it was a show aimed at encouraging Christmas shopping. Nowadays, madrileños see it more as a ritual. It’s FOR FREE.
  2. The City Hall of Madrid organise the Christmas’ NAVIBUS, a panoramic bus that take passengers on a tour by the city to admire its Christmas lights until the 6th January. The Navibus departs from the Jardines del Descubrimiento from Plaza de Colón (Calle Serrano in front of number 30) with frequencies of 5-7 minutes from 18h to 22h. Arrival is at the same starting point of the route which runs through the city center for about 50 minutes. IT’S FREE FOR KIDS UNDER 7 AND 2 EUROS FOR ADULTS.
  3. Christmas markets in Plaza de España, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Jacinto Benavente or Santa Cruz. Certainly, the most popular is the one from Plaza Mayor, renowned for its wide range of Christmas decorations and crafts figures for the Nativity scene. Many will remember the market appearing in the Spanish film “La Gran Familia” in the scene where the family looked for the lost kid “Chencho”.
  4. During the cold and wintery days, one can opt for every child’s preferred choice of activity, which is also very typical in Madrid, eating chocolate with churros. Two of the best places to take chocolate con churros are the chocolateria of San Ginés, and chocolatería VALOR (one near Callao and Cortylandia), with highchairs and children’s menus.
  5. The Railway Museum not only offers workshops but also children may travel in a vintage wooden train from 26th December to January 5th and deliver their letters to the pages of the Three Wise Men. On January 5th they even get to give them their letters in person (by less than 10 euros)!!.
  6. At the Madrid Planetarium visitors can enjoy the show “THE SKY OF A CHRISTMAS NIGHT” from December 20th to January 6th, where they are encouraged to try to solve the mystery of the Star of Bethlehem. IT’S BY LESS THAN 4 EUROS.
  7. There ara ice rinks to have a good time with children in:
    • Plaza de la Luna (5-8 Euros per hour), 450 m2 with a slide and next to a Christmas market. Gloves required.
    • Plaza de Oriente (5-8 Euros) opposite the Royal Palace with 600 m2.
    • Indoor Ice Rink in Cibeles or Direct Cibeles on Ice (6 Euros for half hour including skates hire) of 300 m2.
    • In the central courtyard of Conde Duque 300 m2 ice rink (6 Euros an hour with skate rentals).
    • Ice Rink Goya in the Plaza Felipe II next to El Corte Inglés of Goya (5 Euros).
    • Plaza de Callao (FREE).
  8. The Nativity scene trail is another activity to do with kids in Madrid. There is even a route in Madrid to see the Nativity scenes. “The Real Casa de Correos” in Puerta del Sol is the most important Nativity scene, hosted since 2003 by the Nativity Association of Madrid.
  9. Telefónica Foundation and CaixaForum organise Christmas holiday activities when booking in advance, and the City of children of Conde Duque’s offer is very varied.
  10. FREE Christmas decoration workshop for kids in El Retiro Park in Madrid.
  11. Madrid is well known for its wide variety of shows, great musicals, theatre, cinema, but with a Christmas spirit we find “A Christmas Carol” in Guindalera Theatre, or “Gaspar, the Wise Man of Illusion” in Prosperidad Theatre, from mid-December to January 5th , where children will be able to have a photo taken with Gaspar at the end of the show and deliver their letters with their wishes.
  12. The Christmas processions are a holiday tradition, especially, if the Three Wise Men arriving to Madrid are those who every child watches on TV. On the evening of January 5th many Christmas processions take place in the city of Madrid. The one which departs at 18h30 from Plaza San Juan de la Cruz and travels down la Castellana to Plaza de Cibeles is by far the largest and most acclaimed by children.

If you are looking for more activity ideas to do with children in Madrid during Christmas, please visit the website Tourism of Madrid for its Christmas season calendar of events. And do not hesitate to stop around the gardens between Opera and the Royal Palace to sing carols to the rhythm of the Christmas lights!!

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.

Dale Evans

Photos: Virginia Fernández

15 fairy-tale places to sleep

This review is by Ana Pinedo, Environmental Engineer | BeNeLux, UK, France & Africa in NH Hotel Group.

All of us has a dreamed hotel. A hotel that seemed to be from a fairy tale. For me, a fairy-tale accommodation would be any responsible, that meet not only legal standards, but also go for responsible standards.  Yes, that not only seeks to reuse towels, and keep focus on water and energy savingspay a fair wage to their employees, more than that. As some of the proposals in this post, which also seek to promote cultural heritagelocal employment, projects to protect biodiversity and also extending life of iconic buildings and constructions, too. Thus, tourism, in this way, becomes a tool to improve the socioeconomic conditions of where they are.

As responsible tourists from responsible families we are, it is a good exercise to think of the power we have in our daily choices to make a difference. How? When choosing destination, transportation, hotel, or while shopping during our holidays. For example, during the shopping, we can support local crafts and meals prepared with seasonal products grown in the area. And, certainly, I have heard and I do believe that:

Many small people in small places, doing small things can change the world“.

Eduardo Galeano, journalist, writer and novelist

And this difference can grow much more when traveling since you are a kid, and become older to know how to appreciate it. In this post, I leave 15 fairy-tale places for traveling with kids in 2015.

  1. Do your children like the stories of treasures, deserted islands and pirate ships? Why not go on holiday and book and hotel on a boat?
  2. Or dive into the sea bed and to sleep with the sharks around?
  3. Or even sleep in a lighthouse in Galicia can be a single stage to spice up those favorite characters from their tales of pirates.Pirates
  4. Maybe the experience of a Journey to the Center of the Earth” like sleeping in a cave? It can be all and adventure.
  5. Or are they more on the stories of castles, princes and princesses? At least, 10 choices of hotels and a youth hostel in Toledo.
  6. This option is a really unique: sleep in a chocolate factory! In Viana do Castelo in Portugal, you can.
  7. Because a plane is not only for flying, in this case also to sleep in! This one’s in Sweden.
  8. And this is a train which was out from the rails to carry you to sleep soundly. Hotel in wagons, in Murcia.
  9. And, speaking of trains, what if we recover an old train station? Many amazing choices in Spain, here the link.
  10. But what if we give it back plus a magical aspect? For example, we turn it into a school of magic.
  11. Magic is immersed in the ecolodge at Cabañeros National Park. An experience to become fully nature explorers.
  12. Something less wild’, is to carry out farm work during our stay: feed the animals, ride a horse, make homemade jams. This is one of the many examples.
  13. How has not dreamed of living in a tree house? There are several options in Spain, for example in the Basque Country and Catalonia.
  14. Do you want to feel a Quixote adventure? Then, the windmills in Castilla La Mancha is your place to be!
  15. If what you like at home is the space adventures in far galaxies, do not miss sleeping capsules. I bet it’s like to be astronauts! You can try it in Madrid and Barcelona.

Do you have any experience in hotels of this type? Do you have any other recommendations? Share with us below!

Clip: Pirate ship – lmiguelcb