Home > Buying Process > A Home from Home: House Swaps

A Home from Home: House Swaps

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 25 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Home Exchange Accommodation Home

Home Exchange is expanding travel horizons for many people. Swapping home-from-home comforts enables people to enjoy all aspects of spending time in a community, and experiencing life like it is lived in the country they have exchanged in.

Instead of impersonal hotels and self-catering apartments, holidaymakers are free to treat their accommodation swap facilities as if they were their own – obviously this includes respecting someone else property and possessions.

The added bonus that you are not paying for your stay, or car hire, allows you to spend the cost of holiday accommodation on whatever you like. That may be treating yourself to expensive meals out, day trips or pampering treatments. It also means that you are able to exchange for longer periods – your work restrictions permitting - because your expense is minimal. Sounds tempting?

There are two ways you can proceed:

You can register will a reputable company that specialises in Home Exchange holidays. A well-known home organisation company is able to offer you exchanges in over 70 countries. They are also able to offer you support, should a problem develop.

Or you could arrange a Home Exchange with people you know. This may not be as appealing for some people. Unless, of course, you have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances worldwide. Exchanging in this way means that you will have to make all the arrangements yourself and will have no-one to resolve a situation should a problem arise.

Is It For You?

  • Are you an independent traveller who likes to explore the heart of the community they are visiting?
  • Do you like to feel in control of your holiday experience?
  • Would you like to visit countries further afield?
  • Would you like to holiday more than you usually do?
  • Would you like to stay in a place that provides all the home comforts you require, and can cater for your specific needs – child-friendly home, disability requirements etc?
  • Would you like to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is being looked after whilst you holiday abroad?
  • Are you restricted to travelling at certain times of the year, and tend to have to pay inflated prices to do so?
  • Do you like to save money?

How It Works

For a membership fee a Home Exchange company will allow you to register details of the property you would like to exchange. This could be your home or a second home, if you have one. Membership lasts 12 months and allows you to exchange with other members as frequently as you like.


You don’t have to own lavish property to benefit from home exchange swaps. The majority of people exchanging homes are professional people so your home should be of a certain standard. It should be presentable with all the facilities and amenities you would require of the home you will be exchanging with. If you have children it makes sense that your home is child-friendly for other families to use.

You will have to describe your home, and it’s facilities, honestly. So it is not wise to lie about the fact that you have children or pets. Your home should also be clean – no greasy oven or hob, mouldy tiles in the bathroom or dirty windows. You will obviously want your guests to be pleasantly surprised when they arrive, and not disappointed.

You will also have to clear away, and possibly store, personal belongings to allow space for the home exchangers to put their own belongings. This will mean you will have to empty wardrobes and cupboards etc.


Most Home Insurance policies will cover home exchangers, as they are your guests, and no different from friends or family. Having people staying in your home, whilst you holiday abroad, is also less of an insurance risk.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: