Have You Considered House Swapping For Your Next Vacation?

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The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Shondell of Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap. She blogs about her recent car loan and mortgage pay off and a whole bunch more. Check out her blog right here.

There is no place like home, but what if you could have the comfort of your home while enjoying a wonderful vacation in your favorite place in the world?

Home swapping or home exchange is the ultimate vacation alternative where people trade their homes at convenient times for both parties. Although it is a relatively new concept, vacation home swapping is remarkable and unique in many ways, gaining more and more popularity every day.

The Benefits of Vacation House Swapping

If you have doubts about the success of home swapping, consider the many benefits that come with this solution. First of all, it has exclusive characteristics, which no resort or hotel will ever be able to provide. Here are some of the most general advantages of vacation home swapping:

  • Privacy. When you exchange homes for your vacation, you will spend time in a private space where you can continue to get the pleasure and warmth of a home without the typical annoyance that comes with hotel or resort staying.
  • No Costs. There is no other vacation alternative where you basically spend no money on accommodation and you have a new place. Vacation home swapping offers a free place to stay and that basically reduces your costs to a minimum.
  • Freedom. Vacation home swapping offers the freedom of making your own schedule. You can enjoy home cooked meals or you can go to a restaurant. It is up to you. You can come at any time of the day or night without anyone checking on you.
  • Peace of Mind. When you are away from home, you tend to worry about your house and about what could happen in your absence. On the other hand, when you choose vacation home swapping, you can be rest assured that your home is in good hands, cared for by people just like you.
  • Culturally Rich. There is no better way to experience and understand a new culture or way of life than living in a real home where real people live their lives every day. You can get to feel the places you are visiting. You will be more than a simple tourist.
  • Friendships. Most home exchangers become friends. The connections that are created between exchange partners can transform into sustainable friendships that will last for many years, and that can open numerous doors and opportunities for both partners.

Things You Should Know About Vacation Home Exchange

Every year is a new possibility to engage in a new enticing vacation experience. With vacation home swapping, the experience is unique every time. There are countless possibilities, and you will be surprised at the diversity of choices you have. However, there are certain aspects that you need to consider before embarking on this wonderful journey. Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • You can trade all types of homes including condos, apartments, or vacation homes;
  • Vacation home swapping does not refer strictly to home exchange; it can sometimes involve trading homes over yachts, RVs over villas, and so on.
  • You should also consider including vehicles in the arrangement, which can make your stay easier and more convenient.
  • Home exchangers are generally adventurous people, eager to learn about new cultures and experience new life styles.
  • If you are worried about leaving your home in the hands of complete strangers you should remember that the “strangers” are entrusting their home to strangers, too

What To Consider When You Choose Vacation Home Swapping

Vacation home swapping is becoming increasingly popular among the ranks of doctors, lawyers, singles, and couples that want the reward of a new experience in a new setting. It is a concept that is based on mutual trust and respect as well as goodwill. As more and more people are offering their homes for home swapping, it is important that you know what you are looking for:

  • Setting: Most people want to spend their vacation in natural environments that are somehow different or even opposite to theirs. If they live by the seaside, they want to check out the mountains. Thus, you need to decide what type of setting you would prefer: picturesque mountains, sandy beaches, ocean sands, busy big cities, serene small towns, African deserts, tropical locations, or the Mediterranean air.
  • Country: Vacation home swapping is not limited to a particular country. People trade homes all over the world. You can get to spend your vacation in Italy while your exchange partners try out your bungalow in Canada. It is all about meeting needs at both ends. Many people dream about travelling to other parts of the world, and home exchange offers the perfect opportunity.
  • Timing: This is another important aspect of home exchange. You should have a list with the dates you would be able to travel to your new location. Just like with many other things, timing is essential. Carefully pick your dates without limiting your options to traditional holidays such as Easter or Christmas. You can choose any other dates around the year. Remember that Japan is most beautiful in springtime or that Switzerland is great in the winter. Every place has its charm depending on the time of the year.
  • Type of Home: There are people eager to experience new life styles, not only a new setting, a new city or a new country. That is the reason why you can exchange your home for a yacht, an RV, a mountain cottage, a seaside bungalow, or a vast apartment in New York. Again, the possibilities are countless.
  • Time Interval: It is also important that both exchange partners agree on how long the vacation will be. Some people have 7 or 10 days available for vacation while others have more or less.

The important thing is that all of these needs are met for both partners involved. Vacation home swapping is really more about exchanging lifestyles rather than exchanging actual properties. That is the reason why you should learn everything there is to know about your new vacation destination including transportation, amenities, places to visit, events, restaurants, neighbors, and everything else you may be interested in. In the end, home swapping is a written agreement that will ensure that both parties get what they want and set limits to what they can offer.

How about you all? Have you ever house swapped? If not, would you?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/justicemitchell/


  1. I definitely would consider it in the future! Not really possible so far as we've lived with other people or in absolutely tiny places in the burbs that nobody would want to visit.

  2. studentdebtsurvivor says:

    I've never considered doing a house swap for vacation, but it makes a lot of sense if you can find someone responsible that you trust to swap with. I suspect there would be plenty of people who'd want to swap with us (we live in the greater NYC area). I'd happily trade a week for a week in someone's house by the beach. Especially with the snow we just got.
    My recent post My Dog Has More Coats Than I Do

    • I agree, NYC is definitely a tourist attraction. It's the best for shopping!
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  3. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says:

    I have just started to consider it as I now have a house in Guatemala that would be nice to swap! Before I have used couchsurfing and apartment rentals to stay at other people's place, and also hosted so having strangers in my house isn't really a problem. The only thing would be dates, as people usually want to come to Guatemala for the winter sun, and going somewhere cold in exchange isn't really appealing. Maybe I'll swap with eemusings 🙂
    My recent post 13 money resolutions for 2013: #13 enjoy!

    • Guatemala sounds nice. I've never been. How is it there?
      My recent post Blogging Can Really Change Your Life!

      • Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says:

        It is amazing! A very small country with so many different landscapes, climates… Pacific beach for surfing, Caribbean for snorkeling, active volcanoes for hiking, Mayan ruins for exploring, nice food, nice people and it is called the country of eternal spring, the weather is (almost) always perfect!
        My recent post 13 money resolutions for 2013: #11 give back!

        • Sounds wonderful, especially now when it's freezing here. It would be perfect for a house swap in the winter, but if that's your escape for the winter than It might be a problem.
          My recent post Blogging Can Really Change Your Life!

          • Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says:

            I have heard about people swapping at different times. One could have my house in December while I go back to Europe to visit family, and then I have their US place in summer while they are on another holiday. It is a bit more complicated but feasible.
            My recent post 13 money resolutions for 2013: #12 make a plan!

            • You should try it. I am sure many people would want to travel in December, especially since the kids are on Christmas holidays then.
              My recent post Blogging Can Really Change Your Life!

  4. The area where I live simply isn't a vacation destination so I don't think this would work. I have often considered the idea of renting a condo or something like that versus staying in a hotel, which I suppose would be a pretty good compromise and still lead to some cost savings.
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