For many travellers, a house swap may never have occurred to them but for home owners swapping your home with another can be a viable option. Understanding how to house swap is an important lesson to understand before handing over the keys. House swapping can be really easy and safe given the right tools and has a lot of additional pros over pursuing conventional accommodation.
House swapping is literally what the name suggests – communicating with a home owner overseas, establishing mutually beneficially dates, and then proceeding to live in each others homes for the agreed upon time.
Why house swap?
The strengths of house swapping shine through in 2 key areas, affordability and comfort/convenience.
The potential savings of house swapping can be pretty massive depending on what kind of accommodation you’re accustomed to in your travels. Staying in the inner city of some-place like Sydney can cost you well over $250 a night, so you can imagine a 7 night stay can become quite expensive. House swapping can reduce this fee to $0. Although house swapping sites will charge a fee to subscribe to the site, saving money on accommodation means either you can go on more holidays or spend the money that would have been spent on accommodation by taking part in local events or exploring the local community.
How to house swap
Home swapping is a simple as signing up for a home swapping site. ‘Love Home Swap’ is a good place to start. Following sign up you simply list your home by describing the home, yourselves and including photos. Then you simply send messages to home owners with accommodation that interests you. From there, a time is established and finally homes are swapped. It really couldn’t be simpler.
There is no need to feel apprehensive about leaving your home to strangers. Bruce and Christine from the United States enjoy both ends of house swapping.
‘There is also the benefit of having your home occupied while you’re travelling. In the past we’ve engaged house sitters for our six week absences. With home exchange, your home is not vacant, and our exchangers have all been willing to water our plants, take in the mail, and feed our cats.’
-Bruce & Christine, Homeexchange.com
In order to protect your house, don’t forget about insurance. Depending on who you are with, it is best to enquire at your insurance office about getting extra cover. Some home swapping websites also offer insurance, so make sure you read up before you go on holiday.