The Holiday is one film that the travel enthusiast in me absolutely adores. If you've watched it, you already know what I'm talking about, but if you haven't, the film is about two young women who swap their houses! Yes, you read it right. It's an absolutely dreamy concept. What could be better than visiting another country, staying in someone's home and completely immersing yourself into local culture? Now, instead of only dreaming about this travel trend, you can actually experience it for yourself.
What Is House-Swapping?
House-swapping is the latest travel trend where you can list your property on house-swapping websites and in turn, have access to homes around the world. You can scan all kinds of accommodation that you would like to experience– bungalows, villas, chalets, in every place that you can imagine– sleepy British towns, islands and clifftops that feel like the edge of the world! If you're a traveller, you must have realised that during a vacation, the highest amount of money is spent on accommodation. However, with house-swaps, this amount reduces to almost zero. House-swapping thus, allows you to explore places that you thought you couldn't afford to visit.
How To Swap Houses:
There are numerous websites that serve as platforms for house-swapping. Listing your property works almost like Airbnb does. You add details about your home– number of rooms, number of guests that can be accommodated, services available, your locality and all that the guests will have access to. You upload attractive but accurate pictures of your home and you're ready to go! All users on these websites are verified to ensure maximum safety. Once on these websites, you can contact homeowners and finalise your stay dates and details. What's even better is that you don't necessarily have to swap at the same time, you and your swapper can mutually decide dates convenient to you both.
Here are a few websites you can check out:
Love Home Swap: This website allows for simple swaps with a basic registration fee that is applicable once your free trial period is over. With thousands of properties in Phuket, New York, Tuscany, Paris, California and many more, Love Home Swap makes going around the world cheaper and hassle-free. With various listings under different options like family getaways, city breaks, luxury and long-vacations, you can scan properties according to your need with ease.
Home Exchange 50 Plus: This website has listings that are exclusively for those aged over 50. These properties have an easy approach and are conveniently located so as to ensure the travellers' maximum comfort. The website offers 6 months of free trial, after which you can take membership for 1-3 years.
Home Base: This platform will take you across countries like Greece, Scotland and Spain to mention a few. Home Base too, comes with a basic registration fee that can help you have access to homes that are located in the remotest of towns and the sleepiest of villages. It's an ideal way to visit places that cannot be found on the map. They even have a special category called 'Last Minute Home Swap' which is ideal for those who like impromptu plans. There are numerous properties listed under this section, so you can choose your destination according to the accommodation you fancy.
Home Exchange: This is one of the most famous websites for house-swapping. Here, properties are listed according to the activities that you're interested in, whether it is surfing, diving or arts and culture. With Home Exchange, you don't even need to know your destination, you can pick whichever activity you want to try out, and the website will give you suggestions of places based on that.
For all the websites mentioned above, there is no limit to the number of swaps you can engage in within a year.
With house-swaps, you can save thousands that you spend on fancy accommodation overseas. This trend not just opens new places around the world that you can travel to, but is also an exciting concept that you must try once in your life. Experience a place like never before by becoming a part of the country you're visiting. This is sure to give you a holistic travel experience, one that hotels will never be able to.