Home Exchanging 101
Our interest in travelling to see the world is at an all-time high, however often what holds us back is the cost. Undoubtedly travelling is expensive – but wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow significantly reduce what you pay for possibly the biggest portion of your vacation budget… the accommodation!
The good news is you can through home exchanging! The concept is not new and is often described as ‘vacation rentals’ and can be in the form of an apartment, condominium, single detached house, houseboat, villa and château!
Home exchanging occurs when:
1. Two travellers make arrangements to stay in each other’s homes. In this scenario, the travellers are trading spaces with each other.
2. Alternatively, and more commonly, home exchanging occurs when multiple travellers are involved… whereby traveller A stays in traveller B’s home, while traveller B stays in traveller C’s home and so on creating a web of connections.
For both parties, it’s a win-win situation. Instead of paying a hotel or inn the nightly room rate, travellers pay each other!
Originally, home exchanging attracted travellers that required several weeks’ accommodation for their vacation. As home exchanging is now so flexible, hosts are welcoming guests for stays from 1 or 2 nights to several weeks. And it is now attractive for people travelling for business reasons, on temporary work assignments and sabbaticals. Home exchanging is also popular among solo travellers, couples and people travelling with families including children and elderly relatives.
The benefits of staying in a vacation rental are numerous. It gives you:
– Practical amenities such as a kitchen to prepare meals and in-home laundry facilities.
– More space for you and your travel group. There are separate rooms for living, dining and sleeping, including multiple bedrooms. In addition, there’s usually more than one bathroom!
– The opportunity to live like a local and immerse yourself in a different culture and lifestyle.
– The opportunity to experience a different environment. With home exchanging, you can experience living in a château in France once occupied by a Marquis, a cottage in the Cotswold Region of England, a villa in Tuscany or a houseboat off a Caribbean Island, a renovated lighthouse located along the USA’s east coast, a vintage sausage-shaped silver aluminum Airstream trailer, a restored windmill on the Cycladic Islands of Greece or have a true nomadic adventure with a stay in a yurt!
The #1 benefit however of home exchanging is… saving you money! Typically the price of your accommodation can represent the largest part of your travel budget. With home exchanging, the cost of your accommodation is ‘paid’ by the person who is staying in your home. Depending on the type and size of the home you book for your vacation and the type and size of your home that you are renting out to a guest, the cost of your accommodation can either be eliminated or significantly reduced.
To illustrate this, let’s look at an example of you staying in a one bedroom apartment in Barcelona for $150/night and for the identical time, another traveller stays in your home for $180/night.
You pay your host $150/night
Your guest pays you $180/night
… The cost of your accommodation = $0
Your profit: $30/night that can be applied to another part of your vacation cost such as meals or transit.
Of course, there are numerous vacation rentals available that are highly luxurious and therefore expensive… just as there are luxurious and expensive hotel suites.
But when you compare an average vacation rental’s nightly room rate to that of a similar hotel’s room rate, a vacation rental is more economical. And that’s not all… it offers more space, privacy and practical amenities that are not available in a standard hotel room.
Most importantly, it offers you a kitchen to prepare your meals. True – maybe you won’t want to cook dinners every night while on vacation… but you will be able to make breakfasts and prepare lunches to take with you during a day of sight-seeing. Plus, when the pangs of hunger strike you late in the evening or night, all you need to do is head to the kitchen for a midnight snack! You don’t have to rely on vending machine fare or pay outrageous prices for something from the hotel’s in-room mini-bar!
Home exchanging can be for everyone! It is a great way to have an affordable and memorable vacation! Why not give it a try on your next vacation.
Sandra Pearson, a former owner and manager of a guest house from Toronto, Canada, is the author of ‘Home Exchanging: Your Guide to Enjoying Free Vacation Accommodations’. She gives expert advice on how to monetize your home to pay for your vacation stays!
Sandra has travelled extensively throughout the world and ardently promotes vacations which offer the opportunity to expand our minds by experiencing new and different cultures, foods and lifestyles, all the while making us better-rounded. She firmly believes that home exchanging is the ideal way to save on your vacation accommodations.
You can contact her via the following:
Have you ever done home exchanging?
Would you give it a try?
Let us know 🙂