How cool would it be to take a vacation overseas (or just across the country) for nothing more than the cost of getting there? That would surely save a ton on hotel costs, especially in Europe with the value of the American dollar so low! There are tons of people taking these types of vacations right now, by swapping their house with someone looking to vacation in their hometown. Live in Los Angeles but always wanted to visit Paris? Just find someone in Paris looking to vacation in Los Angeles and trade places – voila, a free stay for your vacation!
I would imagine that this type of swapping would not be for everyone, as I am sure there are plenty of people who don’t want complete strangers staying in their home without them being there. But luckily there are services that exist that prescreen and rate potential swappers and can set you up with a perfect match for your needs and wants. I guess I could trust a family to stay in my house if they were allowing me to stay in their home at the same time. Besides, the money savings alone would probably be worth it! A few of the sites I found that facilitate house swaps charge an annual fee, but that seems like a small price to pay for free lodging on vacation, no?
While I cannot vouch for any of these organizations, as I have never done any house swapping, here are a few names that popped a couple of times in my searches:
I suppose the key to participating in a home swap is being comfortable with both living in someone else’s home while allowing someone else to stay in yours. Supposedly problems are few and far between, and I can imagine that would be true. After all, you are being trusted while trusting someone else! I think I will keep this in mind for the future should we ever want to vacation overseas somewhere. Have you ever had any experience with home swapping? If so, how was it? If not, would you ever consider it?