What is “Home Exchange”?
Home Exchange is a vacation alternative where you stay in my house and I stay in yours. Home exchangers trade their homes at predetermined times when it is convenient for both parties. Let’s say that you have a home in Walnut Creek, CA and in July you want to visit another state or another country even. You can swap your home to a 50-foot yacht in Spain or trade your RV for a villa in Italy. Sounds very appealing, doesn’t it? Most often home exchangers even include their vehicles as part of the vacation package. You may not have heard about it but home exchangers are everywhere and more and more people around the world are deciding to take advantage of the perks they bring.
How does it work?
Sign up to one of the many websites where you can easily find people who want to exchange their homes with you. Take some nice photos of your home, upload them onto your account, write a description about yourself and the places that you want to visit this summer. Once your profile is complete you can browse through the listings and send messages to other home exchangers. Many website offer free membership, however in order to receive the full benefits of these sites it is worth to pay their annual fee which can run between $50-$100.
Who are Home Exchangers?
Home Exchangers come from all walks of life. Every year there are over 250,000 successful home exchanges around the globe including retired teachers, adventurous newlyweds, singles, couples, families are all getting into the fun of home swap. Although home swapping have been around for years, lately due to the economic squeeze more people find this convenient alternative the smart way to vacation.
What are the benefits?
- Save money. Hotel prices are normally the biggest chunk of your vacation costs.
- It is a free place to stay
- You’ve got more privacy
- Home exchangers can create friendships for a lifetime
Is Home Exchange for you?
You do have to think about this carefully and ask yourself some of the following; is this for me? Am I comfortable sleeping in someone else’s bedroom? Am I comfortable knowing other people will be sleeping in your bedroom? Am I ok with strangers living in my private space, touching and using everything in my home? If you didn’t shiver, you are probably ready.
Is it safe to swap my home?
You would have to do a bit of research about this topic and maybe find and talk to people who have exchanged their home before. People who find each other online start building a relationship before they commit to their exchange. They talk over Skype, send pictures of themselves and their families, they get to know each other and build trust. Obviously you have to make a judgment call about the people you are about to swap your home with but they too are looking for the same experiences, dealing with similar concerns as you do. Always make sure that you are comfortable with your decision.
Your swap stories
If you have exchanged your home before and whether you have good or bad experiences, we would like to hear about it. Leave a comment and help those thinking about this vacation alternative make better choices for themselves and for their families. Thank you.