What do you think about home swapping holidays – do they appeal to you? I think that home exchange sounds like a great travel option for families – but my husband’s not convinced. I’m hoping to convert him.
How do home swapping holidays work?
Home swapping is simple – you exchange homes with somebody for an agreed length of time, thereby saving the cost of a hotel or holiday rental. Home swapping websites list properties in destinations all over the world. So, if you fancy three weeks in California, Norway, New Zealand or elsewhere during the school holidays, home swapping makes that much more affordable than it would be if you had to pay for your accommodation.
What’s the best thing about home swapping holidays?
The attractions of home swapping include living like a local, saving money, and having things such as your host’s baby equipment, toys and bikes to use. Kelly Innes, who blogs at Domestic Goddesque, says that the best thing about home swapping is the increased space which is available when staying in someone’s home rather than in a hotel. This sounds great to me – my two teenage kids certainly don’t enjoy sharing a room when we’re travelling, so the more space we have, the better. Kelly has been home swapping with her family for years, and I interviewed her about her experiences. Here’s the full interview – it’s 11 minutes long, but it’s worth watching if you’re thinking about a home-swapping holiday, as Kelly shares some great advice:
What about strangers being in your house?
This seems to be the number one concern which people (including my husband) have about home swapping. When I asked Kelly about this she said that it isn’t a concern for her as she feels that the people staying in her house are known to her. She said: ‘It’s a like-for-like exchange, so we’re going to be in someone else’s house and they’re going to be in our house.’ Kelly also explained that, just in case anything does go wrong, they have insurance.
What are the costs?
The cost of a home swapping holiday is simply the cost of signing up to a home exchange website, which is typically between £100 and £150 per year. Then all that you have to pay for on your holiday is your transport and daily expenses while you’re away.
What about your pets?
It depends on individual agreements, but home swappers are often happy to look after each other’s pets as part of the exchange.
What are the drawbacks of home swapping?
The only drawback which I can think of (which Kelly mentions in our interview) is the work involved in preparing your own house for people to stay in. But I actually like having house guests for this very reason – it galvanises me into sorting our house out, a chore which is generally very low on my list of priorities (don’t tell my Sicilian relatives).
Over to you
What do you think about home exchange holidays? If you’ve tried one, how was it? If not, does it appeal to you?
Love Home Swap
If you’d like to find out more about home swapping, you can sign up to Love Home Swap for a free two-week trial to see whether it works for you or not. There are more than 100,000 homes in 195 countries listed on the Love Home Swap website, and there’s a Member Concierge Team to support members. If you’d like to continue membership after your two-week trial, plans start from £12 per month.
Disclosure: I’m sharing this offer because I think that it’s a good one. I’ve signed up with Love Home Swap as an affiliate. This means that if you click through to their website from here and become a paying member, I will receive a small commission.
Cathy (Mummytravels) says
It’s an interesting one – it’s never been practical for us to swap our own home as my husband’s office is there (and we rent!) but I do like AirBNB so this sounds like the advantages but better if you can.
Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…MummyTravels guide to Burma with kids
It’s definitely been on my mind. We couchsurf (host and surf other people’s “couches”) as a family, so I’m not overly concerned about “strangers”.
I would be worried about breaking something in the other family’s place, though today, with Skype and Whatsapp that’s probably not a problem. You can always ring them up and ask how the washer works if you’re not sure.
Like you, I’d go cuckoo with cleaning up and sorting things out in our place first… Not a bad thing necessarily and like you said, nothing more dramatic than what we do when guests are coming.
We currently rent, so I’m not sure how the owners of the apartment might feel. They’ll have to agree, of course. They’re a young couple, so who knows, maybe they’ll think this is cool.
Anne recently posted…Visiting Berlin With Kids – Our Cheat Sheet
Gretta Schifano says
I hadn’t thought about the situation if you’re renting – good point! Couch surfing as a family must be interesting!