Saturday, August 6, 2022

Home exchange: How to get a cheap vacation by offering your home to other families

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A home exchange is when you offer your home to another person or family in exchange for staying in their place. This can save travelers hundreds, if not thousands, on vacation expenses

Here you’ll swap your home with another family to spend time somewhere else at a fraction of the cost.

With rising inflation taking a toll on household finances, home swapping could be a way to save on vacation costs.

Under, I explains what you need to know.

A home exchange is when you offer your home to another person or family in exchange for staying in their place. It could save you hundreds or thousands of pounds in holiday accommodation or could be an opportunity to discover something new when working away from an office.

To do a home swap, you could arrange an informal swap on social media or ask around to see if anyone knows someone who might want to swap.

However, a more reliable option might be to use one of the many home exchange websites.

Examples include:

There are no accommodation fees to pay, but you will likely pay a subscription fee if you use any of the home exchange sites.

Prices tend to be over £100 per year, with some offering the option to pay monthly.

It is still considered a relatively niche way of travelling. After all, you have to be content with the idea that other people live in your house.

However, home exchange websites say there has been a high level of interest over the past year as rising inflation means people are looking for ways to cut costs.

Love Home Swap said they saw an 82 per cent increase in new members in 2021 and that more members are choosing to stay in the UK rather than go abroad.

You can travel anywhere that offers suitable accommodation.

Current offers include:

When using a home exchange website, the first step is to sign up for a free trial or pay for full membership. There’s nothing stopping you from trying out a range of websites to see which one works best for you.

The next step is to list your home, add photos and a detailed description about the space, number of bathrooms and bedrooms.

As part of your profile, add some dates and maybe some goals of the ideal home exchange you are looking for.

Finally, browse the site for other homes, network with other members, and agree to an exchange. Wait until you feel comfortable with your hosts before signing an agreement that obliges you to swap homes.

Then all you have to do is book flights or organize a car to take you there!

David and Alicia Reilly have been swapping homes since 2015 and have been on seven trips in the past seven years – swapping their Hampshire home for accommodation, including a high-rise with a rooftop pool in San Diego, California.

The couple, who have three children aged four, eight and 11, use the Love Home Swap website.

David said: “We traveled the world before we had kids, but once we had kids we wanted more than just a hotel room, so we started looking at alternatives for our family.

“Of course we looked at hotels, but they are so expensive. A home exchange is basically free, so why should we spend thousands on a hotel? It seemed child’s play to us.

“Unlike a hotel, we can just relax in another area of ​​the house in the evenings and have some alone time.”

Chisara, a Love Home Swap member since 2019, has also agreed to 10 swaps so far.

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