In today’s downturn economy, all moms & dads are having to find new ways to be efficient with a tight shopping basket budget. This doesn’t necessarily mean that luxuries like family vacations and weekends away should immediately get the axe. If there’s one positive outcome from the global financial crisis that has hit thousands of families and households across the globe, it’s the crafty and creative ways parents have found to save money and still keeping a sort of lifestyle.
When I heard of house swapping, I thought that it sounded too good to be true. Friends of mine who live in Manchester have swapped all over the UK to some great locations: Edinburgh for the fringe Festival, weekends in Brighton, and they are now getting ready to swap in San Francisco!
House swapping became popular within the last decade. It’s a very simple concept and relies on a culture of trust and respect for other people’s property by exchanging homes for an agreed period of time through a registered third party (such as Home Exchange ). People even swap cars and pets! There are thousands of house swappers across the globe. If you live in London or New York then your property is almost certain to attract other house swappers from around the world.
For families with kids it can be an ideal arrangement if you swap with another family who are willing to trade homes for a while. Apart from the registration fee which can be as little as £35 / $50 for a yearly online subscription, house swapping is absolutely free, meaning there are no hotel bills.
How it Works
Register your home with a house swap service and start looking at the other listings of people whose houses are available for the time you want to spend away. If they are looking for a house or apartment in the same area that you live in and at the same time you want to travel, then you can contact other house swappers and fix arrangements for your free holiday!
Other benefits of house swapping
• House swapping offers the chance to really get to know a culture away from corporate hotels
• Save more money on restaurant food when you’re on holiday by having a kitchen to cook in
• Have peace of mind that your house is being looked after while you’re away. Arrangements to look after pets can also be agreed
• If you’re a large family, then house swapping offers the space and room to relax that a hotel or self-catering apartment may not.
Here are some of the most popular house swap sites, but it’s wise to shop around for one that you feel comfortable with