With budgets being squeezed and people increasingly looking for an ‘authentic cultural experience’ during their holidays, it is little wonder that home swapping is becoming an ever more popular phenomenon. Websites are available to organise these exchanges with thousands of properties available to stay in all over the world.
For a yearly fee, house swappers can list their property and browse others in any part of the world they would like to visit. When they find somewhere they would like to go, they simply contact the owner of the house/flat and see if they would be amenable to a swap. The big advantage of this type of accommodation is that it is free. It also allows travellers to experience real life in their chosen destination rather than sticking to tourist areas and hotels.
A range of holiday types are available including ski holidays, city breaks, beach and even golf holidays. Accommodation ranges from one bedroom city centre flats to large country properties with swimming pools and huge gardens. People listing their homes are invited to describe them in detail, post pictures, list the facilities and local amenities along with what there is to do in the local area. A further advantage of this type of holiday is that you are not leaving your house empty and some swappers may even be happy to water plants and look after pets.
This all sounds like a great idea but there are some downsides too. Allowing strangers to stay in your house may not appeal to everyone and, differently from hotels and even self-catering apartments, there is no cleaning service. Undertaking household chores may not be everyone’s idea of a holiday but some swappers do offer to hire in cleaners for a fee.
Whether you fancy a weekend in the city or a fortnight in the country, house swapping is a low cost and interesting alternative to staying in a hotel.