In this week’s Guest Traveller, we explore the global travel trend of house swaps. Ally talks about her experiences with ‘Home Exchange’ and the benefits of staying in someone’s house while travelling.
I joined Home Exchange because I wanted to do exchanges overseas when I was planning to travel for months at a time which is expensive if staying in hotels or AirBnB in all destinations. I am yet to use it overseas but my experiences in Australia have been great and I have had guests stay at my place from Sweden, France and Australia and requests from all over the world.
The way it works is as follows:
- direct exchange with another “Home Exchange” member
- points awarded for letting people stay at your home without a direct swap
- using accumulated points to stay anywhere in the world without swapping your own home
I have used all of the above options.
What do I love about it?
- I can stay in beautiful homes around the world for any length of time (2-3 days to 2-3 months if I wish) on a free exchange basis or using my accumulated points
- I have met really lovely people who have stayed at my home or I have stayed at theirs. Often “Exchangers” meet and greet their guests and show them around the home and the neighbourhood. This may be more difficult when house swapping with overseas members, but arrangements can be made to leave keys and provide details of the exchange
- It is a community of people who are all happy to share their home (without locking everything up or clearing out personal belongings). Everyone is respectful and leave space for guests to hang up their clothes and shelves to place belongings and food but otherwise not a lot of preparation is required
- “Exchangers” can swap cars, look after pets and plants etc if they wish to make those arrangements