Home Exchange

Posted on 14 October 2010   Lodging Choices, Travel

Home Exchange

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What Are Home Exchange Holidays?

By Scott Kintraw

Home exchange holidays are now very popular. They involve an exchange of homes between families for 1-3 weeks, so that both families can have a holiday without paying for accommodation or hotels.

To do this, you simply sign up with a home exchange service, and use it to contact people who are offering their home for exchange in the place you want to go to. Of course you have to agree on the dates the exchange will take place on.

When you sign up with such a service you will also get offers from other families wanting to do an exchange: you can say yes or no as you wish.

You can exchange homes within your own country, or abroad. I have had extremely happy home swaps with families in the Scottish Highlands, central London, the west of Ireland, central Brisbane, tropical Queensland and a wonderful Greek island.

Home exchanges are now particularly popular in all English speaking countries, as well as France, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Holland and Mexico.

The financial recession may have something to do with the growing popularity of home-exchange holidays, but there are many benefits in addition to the low cost of such a holiday – good and usually spacious accommodation with the comforts of home, privacy, getting away from tourist crowds, and the chance to see how other people live – the chance to get a real feel for other cultures. If you have kids, having them in a private home rather than a hotel makes for a more stress-free experience. Don’t forget too that if you are in a simultaneous home exchange then your own home is being looked after while you are away – and your are pets too, if that is what you arranged.

The other great benefit of your home exchange holidays (for you are likely to do it more than once) is that because it is ‘free’ accommodation you have the chance to get to exotic or city center destinations you would never have considered before, because of their outrageous hotel prices. For the most desirable destinations, you will have to give yourself enough time in the home exchange service to achieve an exchange – and it pays to be flexible with dates too, to get the exchange you really want.

In the past it was hard to set up an exchange, but with the new web-based services, which are extremely easy to use, you can be signed on and looking for your ideal exchange in minutes.

To check out home exchange services, and see the one I recommend, see my holiday home exchange page.

What Are Home Exchange Holidays?
By Scott Kintraw

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