How Does a Home Swap Work? A Closer Look

Dreaming of travel, but worried about the cost?

Home exchanges may be the perfect way to see the world without the huge price tag. Home swaps are a unique and low-cost way to travel that allows you to live like a local.

Curious about how a home swap works? Read on for everything you need to know about home swapping.

What Is a Home Swap?

A home swap occurs when you coordinate to stay in someone else’s home while they stay in yours. Also known as home exchanges, these can be a more fun and affordable way to travel. Imagine you live in New York City, and would like to visit Vancouver, Canada. You can use sites like to find someone hoping to visit New York and arrange to travel at the same time.

Non-simultaneous house swaps are also rising in popularity. For example, you may be travelling for work and have a free home. You can list your home for the dates you are away, and arrange for you to occupy your ‘swappers’ home at a later date.

Similarly, home swaps have become popular for owners of multiple properties, where they arrange for travellers to occupy their secondary residence while they remain in their primary, and travel at a later date.

Benefits Of a Home Swap

Home exchanges have been growing in popularity as there are many advantages of opting for a home swap over a hotel or popularized Airbnb options.

A huge benefit of house swaps is that you do not pay for your accommodation when travelling which makes them a much cheaper alternative to hotels or housing rentals. House swaps eliminate both the financial stress of vacation, as well as the opportunity cost of an empty home or apartment as you pay rent or a mortgage.

Another thing to keep in mind is that since you will be staying in a home, you will have access to a kitchen, which can reduce meal costs while you are away. Looking for more ways to keep the trip affordable? Try negotiating a car or bike swap too, to avoid rental costs while away.

Usually, the only cost involved in a house swap is a small fee for listing on house swap platforms.

What to Keep In Mind

While a convenient, cheaper, and more creative way to travel there are things to keep in mind when searching for and, booking a house swap and ensure you find the best home.

The first is that strangers will be living in your home. While house swap platforms have vetting processes and you will be in contact with them before and during the house swap, some people are not comfortable with the idea of a stranger occupying their space.

Second, there is the potential that your property could be damaged or stolen. This is another reason it is so important to choose a reliable house swap platform where you can read and leave reviews of your potential guests.

Finally, home swaps are more involved than renting a hotel. Before your trip, it requires more time to set up a profile, find a suitable house swap that meets your needs, and coordinate the dates and details with the other party. Once dates are booked, you will need to prepare your home for their arrival.

Ready, Set, Swap

A home swap is a unique and affordable way to travel. While it’s a more involved process than booking a hotel, house exchanges give you the chance to live like a local and the savings will be worth the added effort.

Looking for more travel tips and tricks? Check out the rest of the blog.

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