The Pros and Cons of House Swaps

In this day and age people are getting very creative with ways to save money, especially when it comes to extra luxuries like a holiday. Many people consider ‘House Swapping’ with other people in their chosen destination as the experience can cut the costs of accommodation from your holiday. Such agreements come with many positive and negatives that you need to be aware of before you embark on such an adventure. Read on to see what the pros and cons are of house swaps.

House swapping basically means that you trade homes with someone else for a week or maybe two. You stay in their home, and they stay in yours. People all over the world swap houses all the time and for those more budget minded folk it is the best way to travel and to see new places without spending a fortune.

How it works:

House swaps happen simultaneously: you are on your holiday at the same time as the family with whom you have swapped homes with.

Pros

Cost-effective:

Home swaps mean you don’t spend one single penny on your accommodation for your holiday. Usually you will have to pay a fee for the website you join to find a house swap, but that is usually below £70 per year so a return on the investment when you consider the cost of accommodation. You will also have the facilities to cook in the home instead of eat out every night, saving you even more money on your holiday.

Local living:

By living in someone’s home you will get much more of sense of life as a local. For one, their home isn’t likely to be in the built up tourist area of town so you will experience more local culture in the surrounding neighbourhood.

Home away from home:

You will be living in someone’s home so there will be a kitchen to cook in, DVDs on the shelves to watch and books to read. You won’t be in a bare and impersonal hotel room with no character or charm.

Variety is the spice of life:

There are so many different homes available in house swaps that you don’t always have to choose a standard home. You may want to experience a trullo in Italy, an igloo in Norway or even go off land to a yacht. Properties like this are usually very expensive when rented commercially, yet you can experience them at an affordable price with a home swap.

Cons

Stranger Danger

Nobody likes the idea of a stranger living in their home for a week or two and for some it is a very uncomfortable prospect. There are ways that this can be solved through the process of finding potential guests:

  • Use trustworthy listing website.
  • Chat with your potential guests several times before you agree to swap homes.
  • Host your guest before you swap.

Damage

It is natural to be concerned about your property being damaged or your valuables going missing during the exchange with home swappers. There are precautions you can take. It is very important that you use a trustworthy listing website to avoid any problems with theft and vandalism. For the most part, most people never experience any problems with this if they use a reputable listing company. It might be a good idea to get additional insurance anyway, just in case.

Time management

As with any venture of this type, it will take time. Time to find people willing to travel at the same time as you. Time to get to know your swappers so you know who you are exchanging homes with. Time to book the holiday and get on your way. Flexibility is important here and so is starting this process early in advance.


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