Would you like to have free accommodation in Adelaide, Auckland, California or Florida? Imagine the opportunity to spend your holidays in one of these exotic locations free of charge. Welcome to the exciting world of house swap holidays!
House swapping or home exchange has become one of the fastest growing holiday concepts over the past decade. The house swapping concept is a simple one: You stay in my house, I stay in your house for an agreed period of time. You can swap for a weekend or stay for six months. You can swap homes at the same time or use your second house to swap at different times.
House swap comes from all walks of life. They can be retirees, singles, families or couples.
Why is house swapping becoming so popular?
Many and many people are starting to discover the benefits to house swap holidays. According to swap-house.com, some of these benefits include:
No accommodation costs. You enjoy each holiday completely rent-free. You could potentially save thousand of dollars in just one-week accommodation.
Convenient home cooking facilities. This saves you a bundle by not having to pay for every meal.
Privacy, space & comfort.
Get off the tourist track. You can make the most of your house swap partners’ local knowledge, allowing you to get off the tourist track.
Use accessories. You can enjoy a more family-friendly holiday. House swapping allows you to use each other’s appliances, children playgrounds, etc.
Swap cars. Many house swappers are flying to their destinations and choose to swap cars, thus saving expensive car fees.
Your own home is secure. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing home is not left empty and vulnerable while you are on holidays. Your house swap partner is keeping your house occupied and secure.
Eco-friendly travel. House swapping is a more eco-friendly way to travel. You are simply swapping lives for a specific timeframe, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.
How do you go about organising your first house swap?
Find a reliable house swapping agency online and sign-up as a member. It means that only members can get in touch with other members. This protects your privacy on the website as well as the contact details and other sensitive information.
Contact other members. Once registered, including your home details and exchange preferences, you can start contacting other members, as many as you like. It is recommended to be proactive and not just wait for other members to contact you first. Thus, you increase your chances to find a suitable partner to exchange with quickly.
Get to know your exchange partner. Make sure their home is what you are looking for and don’t hesitate to ask for more information. We advise you to call your exchange partner once or twice during the process. This proves to strengthen the trust feeling.
Finalise the home exchange. Sign a home exchange agreement. Most of the websites provide this document for free. This letter of understanding sets down in clear terms what has been agreed upon and may avoid any misunderstandings.
A home exchange agreement covers the following areas:
- Detailed information about the parties involved.
- Arrival and departure dates.
- General conditions.
- Car exchange.
- Various notes.
- Important contacts.
- Accommodation insurance. As an optional part of the home exchange contract, you can purchase accommodation insurance that protects you if your house swap partner is forced to cancel the arrangement due to illness, serious accidents, or other viable or unforeseen reasons covered by the insurance. Insurance pays out an amount per day per traveler, which can be put towards alternative accommodation in or near your original destination.
There are many home exchange agencies and it may be hard for you to decide which one to choose. You must consider the following before considering one or another service provider:
- A good number of listings.
- Easy to navigate website that provides innovative search options.
- Low membership fees.
- Exchange agreement. The site must provide a dynamic exchange agreement that you can feel up quickly.
- No rentals allowed. The website must be thoroughly tailored towards house swapping and must not allow advertising of any rental properties as this is not in the spirit of non-commercial home exchange.