Do home swapping holidays really work?
Your place or mine? …Do home swapping holidays really work?
For most of us, it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to think about planning a holiday. But now that restrictions have eased in parts of the UK, there is nothing to stop us getting those plans in place.
But where is the best place to find a holiday bargain?
One thing that you might want to consider is home swapping. Over the years there have been various TV shows on the concept, which may have whetted your appetite. But do home swapping holidays really work in practice?
In this article we’ll take a quick look at:
- What is a home swapping holiday?
- How can you arrange a home swapping holiday?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of a home swapping holiday?
What is a home swapping holiday?
Home swapping is just what it says on the tin. You swap homes. So you stay in someone else’s home whilst they stay in yours. You can swap homes within the UK or anywhere else in the world.
Your homes do not have to be the same size or value. The home swap is a private arrangement between two households, based on trust. You can have as much contact as you need with the other homeowner beforehand. Then, as long as both parties are happy with the arrangement, you are good to go.
How can you arrange a home swapping holiday?
The usual way to arrange a home swap is through a home swapping website. There are many available: some of the most popular are:
You will usually have to sign up for membership of the exchange scheme, so it is worth exploring a few to find one that you think will suit you.
Some people worry that their home is not nice enough for people to want to stay, or perhaps is not in an area that would be of interest to holidaymakers. But most home swappers are simply looking for a base to stay in a particular area, rather than wanting a luxury home to spend all their time in. And it can be an advantage for some people not to be in a tourist area.
Just make sure that you provide as much relevant information about the area, and where it is in relation to cities, transport hubs, and other places of interest.
What are the advantages of a home swapping holiday?
There are many advantages to home swapping. Some of these are:
All you pay is the membership fee of the home swap website. There is no further rental or other charge for the property itself.
Space and facilities
You have a home – and maybe also a garden – to relax in, instead of just a hotel room. You also have the facilities of a home – with kitchen and laundry facilities – which can be a real advantage if you are travelling with children and/or pets. And can cut down the amount of stuff you need to take with you.
If you need any help there are likely to be local contacts who can do so. The homeowner may even be able to give you advance details about babysitting etc
Your home is looked after
Whilst you are enjoying your holiday, you know that your home is being looked after. Some home swappers even agree to look after each other’s pets or plants whilst they are there.
What are the disadvantages of a home swapping holiday?
Perhaps this is sounding a bit too good to be true? After all, there must be some disadvantages? Well, we can’t think of many. But you may want to consider:
It takes time to organise
A successful home swap doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to take time to find the best property for you, then liaise with the owners about mutually acceptable dates and all the other arrangements.
On the other hand, you could argue that any holiday takes time to plan. With home swapping it’s just a case of doing things a slightly different way.
There will be strangers in your home
You need to be comfortable with the idea of strangers in your home. Although you will have had plenty of contact with them beforehand, so will feel as if you know them. And remember, you will be in their home too.
Many home swappers have found that they become friends with the people with whom they have swapped homes.
The risk of damage
Accidents do happen, so there is a risk that something could get damaged by your guests. But then, you could also damage something of theirs. Bear in mind that most home swappers will be very careful because they are committed to home swapping and don’t want anything to go wrong.
Make sure that your home insurance covers you in case of damage, and if there is anything you particularly value you could put it away just to be on the safe side.
In the unlikely event of any dispute, the home swap company will be able to provide help and advice.
We hope that this article has helped you to learn more about home swapping, and given you some useful places to start looking into home swapping if it is something that you want to do.
Good luck with your search! Remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Simple Fast Loans.