House-swap holidays

Have you ever heard of house-swap holidays? Beverly has, and she’s wondering how it all works. In Travel SOS, Leon goes through the basics.

Q. Beverly
We have a house near the beach in Rye, Victoria, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to exchange our house for a summer with someone on the east coast of New South Wales or nearby. I’ve heard there’s some way you can do this but I can’t remember what it’s called. Can you help me?

A. Hi Beverly. What you are talking about is called house-swap holidays. House-swapping is an affordable and unique way to go on holiday. And you are in a perfect spot to be able to make this scheme work for you.

There are a few online sites on which you can register your interest, and each site may have a different way of doing things.

Trading your home for another is more convenient and often more comfortable than a hotel room. Not only do you save on accommodation, you have the option of cooking your own meals and washing your own clothes, instead of having to pay someone to do it.

Plus, with permission, you may even have access to cars, bikes and boats. You can arrange for your pets to be looked after, your lawns mowed and your plants watered by your temporary tenants.

And you’ll have the security of knowing that your house is occupied while you’re away.

Some sites specialise in Australian accommodation, while others have house-swapping hopefuls from all over the globe. Just think: you could swap your house in Rye for a Tuscan villa. Wow.

There are a few ways to go about a house swap. You could do a simultaneous sway, where you stay in someone else’s place at the same time as they stay in yours. Or you could stay in someone’s place then, later on, they stay at yours. This works best if you have a second property.

Another way you can do it is by ‘hosting’. You simply let them stay at your home while you’re there and then they’ll do the same for you at another time.

Pretty cool, huh?

And, if you find a taker, you can swap for a weekend, a week or a year.

Try one of the house-swap websites listed below:

Then, jump on a forum and get to know your fellow house-swappers. You never know, you could be in Queensland or Cancun for free this summer!

Have you tried a house-swap holiday? How was your experience? Would you try a house-swap holiday?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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