Slow Europe | Home Exchange, Home Swap, House Trade, Timeshares, alternative travel accommodations
Home exchanges and house swaps are a global craze: adios to Some top locales for swappers: the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Australia, and New Zealand. Your insurance is the relationship you've built in the planning. Her articles have appeared in more than 80 publications in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Until very recently, if you Googled "house swapping," you'd generally non-academics too) often arrange exchanges in the UK and the rest of If you don't have a good relationship with the other party, it may be. Love Home Swap helps you find the ideal home exchange in Canada. Join the Urban Luxury Living at its Best in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 2 2 6 3. ➚.
One home swap agency has a network of Christian members and yet another has gathered together Jewish members. There's a home exchange company for seniors and one for teachers. The options are endless. Soooo, I've put together a list of Location, Location, Location - When you search for a house exchange you need to achieve two things: Let's say you want to vacation in Paris.
If a house exchange club has 20K members, but they have only homes in Paris, you have less of a chance with them than you would with a home swap company with 10K members and 1, homes in Paris. Sometimes it's all about numbers and increasing your odds of booking an exchange. When you join a home swap company you'll want to remain a member with them for several years, so although this year you may want to enjoy a home exchange in Paris, next year it might be Madrid.
Consider all eight ways to select a home swap club and choose the company that feels right and meets most of your priorities. Many allow you to look around their website for free; I encourage you to invest 30 minutes on three different house swap websites and determine which one has the most homes that match your style. Maximum Number of Photos Allowed - High quality photos of your home are the single most important way to attract a top home swap.
Some home exchange agencies only allow 4 photos; other agencies allow an unlimited number. When you home exchange you'll want to know exactly what you're getting, and you'll want to see photos of the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and yes the bathrooms too. When getting your home ready for prime time follow these 7 Photo Tips.
This feature is way cool! It allows you to easily find home exchange partners who want to visit your city or state, as opposed to you looking at the entire list of members and just hoping to find someone who wants to visit your region. For example, let's say you live in New York and want to visit Canada. By using the reverse search tool I was able to determine that 75 people with homes in Canada want to travel to New York. Website friendliness is really subjective, but there's no question that some sites are easier to use than others.
The only way for you to know for sure is Slow Europe shows you how to find vacation rentals in Europe - villas, houses, cottages or apartments that you rent by the week. Home Exchange - Stay in Europe for Free! So for some of us, the idea of inviting people we've never met to live in our home while we're on vacation seems a bit unnatural, to say the least.
But for a growing number of savvy travelers, that very concept - known as "home exchanging" or "house swapping" - is not only natural, but an excellent way to enrich their holidays without breaking the bank. In the most informal circumstances, friends or acquaintances just work out a swap between each other.
But many swappers make their arrangements through a more formal home exchange organization. The concept traces its roots back to the s, when several organizations sprang up to help teachers and professors arrange economical summer vacations. Once other people learned of the concept, it spread beyond the education industry. Now, as then, members pay an annual fee to advertise their wish to swap, promote their house to other members, and list the dates they'd like to travel and the places they'd like to go.
In the early days, organizations published yearly paper catalogues of available houses, which they mailed to each member.Rich House Poor House S02E04 HD
Due to the expense of long-distance calls, potential swappers usually contacted each other by postal mail to arrange an exchange, a long process that took patience and organizational skills. As a result, home swapping remained on the fringes of the travel industry for decades. Then came the Internet. There was a major leap in popularity that coincided with the growth of the Internet," says Lois Sealey, who founded a UK-based exchange site called Home Base Holidays in And while it still doesn't have the reach of the hotel industry, house swapping is moving into the mainstream.
So how does it work? Home Base Holidays website Let's say you're looking to swap your house in suburban Chicago for an apartment in Paris next July.
Most swapping websites have a search engine that allows you to input a range of criteria - size of house, dates, location, amenities and so on. Click "search" and you'll get a list of properties that match your wish list.
Sometimes the negotiation falters on logistics: Or you have a dog and the other person has allergies. But sometimes, it falls apart just because the two swappers aren't simpatico.
Unlike a hotel, where the staff are paid to be nice to you whether they like you or not, in a home swap much depends on the two people getting along. If, during a conversation with your potential swapper, you get the sense that they have a different attitude toward cleanliness or punctuality than you do, it might be best to back out before things get ugly.
You also lay out the additional terms of the swap. For example, is your car included in the deal? Some car insurance plans will cover this situation but others won't; check with your insurance company before agreeing to anything. Will you expect your guests to walk your dog? Do they want you to water their plants? Clarify everything you can think of - in writing, if that makes you feel more comfortable. The mechanics of the actual exchange vary.
In some cases, one swapper stays in town for an extra day to greet the exchanger, hand over the keys and make sure everything is organized. In others, they mail the keys overseas in advance or leave the keys with a neighbor. Why do a home exchange? Exchange for a house in the Cotswolds, England Given that home swapping is somewhat more complicated than just calling up a big hotel chain and booking a room, why do people do it?
For many, the first attraction is the price: Aside from the fee they pay the home swapping organization, no money changes hands. Others - particularly families - are attracted by the idea of having a whole house to relax in, instead of just a hotel room or two. For many, the chance to "live like a local" is a huge part of the appeal.
In most cases, they spend their holidays based in ordinary neighborhoods far off the tourist trail.
House swapping - Stepping into somebody's else's life | Irish Examiner
They shop in local grocery stores, meet the neighbors, get a sense for what life is really like outside the tourist bubble. The most commonly cited reason for taking part is the desire to get away from resorts and other tourists and get to know a real neighborhood and local people," says Sealey of Home Base Holidays. With all these advantages, though, house swapping isn't for everyone.
For one thing, if you absolutely must be in a very specific place at a certain time - say, near the hotel where your daughter's wedding reception is taking place - you might find it hard to find exactly what you want.
Even just being tied to a specific neighborhood can limit your chances of success, says Ruth Wilson, an editor from North Vancouver, British Columbia, who has done several swaps. Even the most straightforward swap takes a while to pull together. Probably the biggest factor deterring potential swappers, though, is any discomfort with the idea of strangers in their house. If you're terrified of people putting their feet on your coffee table or putting the dishes back in the "wrong" places in the cupboard, house swapping probably won't be your cup of tea.
That being said, Ovenell-Carter and most other swappers strongly advise hiding or locking up any fragile or very valuable items, for everyone's peace of mind.
Home Exchange - Stay in Europe for Free!
House swapping also takes a bit more work than renting a vacation home, since you need to make sure your house is ready for visitors. At the bare minimum, all your appliances should be in working order, you should clear out some closet space for your guests, and the house should be sparkling clean.
It's also a nice idea to leave a guide to the neighborhood for your visitors. And try to minimize surprises for your guests. You don't always need a mansion Exchange for a house in the Aquitaine, France Home swapping got a big publicity boost a few years ago from a movie called The Holiday, in which a character played by Kate Winslet swaps her cute English cottage for Cameron Diaz's modern LA mansion.
The movie plays on a common perception: And while it's true that someone living in a New York penthouse probably gets more swap requests than, say, the owner of a bungalow in Des Moines, it's easier than you might think to swap properties in less touristy locations. For a family with small children, for instance, the play structure in the spacious backyard of that Des Moines house is probably more attractive than the most fancy granite kitchen in Manhattan.
People travel for all sorts of reasons beyond seeing the world's famous sites. They may need to be in an off-the-beaten-track place for a family event. Or they may live in a busy city and yearn to learn about life on the other side of the fence. They may be planning a cross country trip and looking for convenient places to stop for a week along the way.
It doesn't hurt, though, if your home is in a place with great weather.
Shirley Fogge-Piazza-Freeman, for instance, traded her home in Florida for a fourth-floor apartment in Paris that featured a formal living and dining room. Very quickly, she says, she and her husband felt at home.
The driver on the bus route that went by their apartment in the 13th arrondissment even began to recognize them. The home's owner "didn't leave a stone unturned in terms of taking care of us," even leaving fresh flowers and a bottle of wine as a welcome gift.
However, house swapping does carry more risk than some other forms of travel. Most of the people interviewed for this article had almost universally positive things to say about their exchanging experience, but not everything has been sunshine and light.