Monday, July 30, 2012

Consider a Home Exchange for a Money Saving Vacation

Poniente Beach's sight in Benidorm, Alicante (...
Poniente Beach's sight in Benidorm, Alicante (Spain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It's time again for summer vacations with the family. But with people having a smaller budget for vacations a way to save money is needed. One of the major costs of a vacation is your accommodations. If there was a way to save money on that expense, you could make the trip fit into your budget. A way to save some money is to use your home and exchange it for a home in a destination you would like to travel to.

A home exchange often called “house-swapping” is a great vacation idea that’s been around for a long time. With everyone feeling the economic squeeze, some exchanges are more popular than ever before. With home swapping you can afford to take great trips to Aspen's mountains, Mexico's beach's, London's countryside, and Spain's Benidorm holidays

How it works. 

The idea of a home exchange is that 2 families agree to live in each other’s home (usually at the same time) at no cost. People find one another from home exchange website that give detailed lists of homes available. Exchanges take place within the United States or internationally, and the length of stay is whatever the parties agree upon. Exchangers typically do not meet in person but get acquainted via phone calls and emails before the exchange happens. Details, including pets, the use of a car, and cleaning are all agreed upon ahead of time, usually in a written contract provided by the website.

Is my home a good exchange?

Home exchangers are looking for location, location, location. They want to explore attractions in your area, attend an event, or visit family. A beachfront house in California is highly desirable, as is a condo in an exciting city—and even a home in the suburbs will appeal to the right travelers. Because swappers are primarily looking for a convenient jumping-off point for their adventures, your home’s age, floor plan, and furnishings don’t matter too much, as long as it’s clean, comfortable, and accommodating.

What"s a perfect swap home?

If it’s a rustic cottage on a secluded fishing lake or a condo at a popular ski area, a second home is ideal for exchanges. Logistically, you don’t have to vacate your primary residence, and you have more flexibility as to when the swap can happen.  For this reason, many retirees—who often own second homes and enjoy freer schedules—find home exchanges especially appealing.

How do I list my Home?

Start by exploring a few websites where you can view a lot of information for free. Home exchange websites typically charge an annual membership fee of $50 to $100 to list your home. If you decide to join a service, you’ll provide several photos and a detailed description of your home. You’ll also post your desired destinations and travel dates, and you’ll be able to peruse the homes that meet your criteria. It’s common to trade information with several homeowners before finding just the right match, and the process may take several months.

Is my home attractive or good enough for a home swap?

A clean, clutter-free home is universally appealing, and comfortable mattresses and attractive bedding are a must. Your kitchen should be well organized, and Internet access is a big plus. Your guests know they’re staying in someone’s home, so don’t worry about scuffed baseboards and well-worn furniture.  Likewise, don’t expect five-star accommodations when you step into your host’s home.

The tipping point for a home swapper is can you take the thought of strangers sleeping in your bed and using your home while you are far away. Do you fear coming back to seeing your home trashed? This sort of thing rarely happens. But if you are worried, you are not a good candidate for home swapping. But if you want to save some money and you have a sense of adventure why not give it a try.


  1. A home exchange occurs when one family trades the use of their home for the use of the home of the other family. Usually this is for a vacation but it might also be for a sabbatical, temporary work assignment, or special event. Our family has successfully completed twelve home exchanges.

    Apartments South Yarra

  2. It's a great way to have an extended vacation for very little money.

  3. Useful information shared...I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post


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