Great "Travel Swapping" Hunt

2

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  • kb36kb36 Forumite
    440 Posts
    It is largely about attitude and you presume that people will behave as you do! On our recent swap the family managed to melt our electric kettle but left us the cash for a replacement without us having to ask - we would do the same. Our daughter managed to break a small toy which we left money for as we could not find a replacement. Accidents do and will happen and it is something we are willing to accept. I think most people that we have swapped with have the same attitudes as us. You can however lay down house rules about smoking, food near carpet areas etc, shoes off once in the house and I am always really respectful of these conditions in other people's houses! I would recommend finding a swap partner with the same family composition as yours. Families tend to be more tolerant of fingerpints left on the walls etc. I would be reluctant to swap with some super deluxe house where I would be worried and watching my kids every move!
  • smiths84smiths84 Forumite
    141 Posts
    We live in the Westcountry and our relatives live in Kent and it hit me like a ton of bricks while yet again traveling East down the interminable A303 in the school holidays that there were thousands of people travellling the other way paying a fortune for accomodation in the Westcountry while my house was empty...and vice versa! (infact we normally squash into my mum's house - increasingly hard as I keep having kids!)

    We signed up with www.homebase-hols.com because it seemed to have quite a lot of people interested in swapping within the UK. We're doing our first swap with a family in Bexley this half term. My husband keeps worrying about all the what-ifs but I'm happy to go with my instincts and basic optimism about human nature.

    Although..I think its a good idea to agree NOT to use each other's PCs!;)
    Make £10 a day May challenge
    2011 Sealed pot challenge
  • stphnsteveystphnstevey Forumite
    3.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I saw a programme on the telly and they even go so far as to swap cars (not sure if i would want someone who is used to driving on the other side of the road driving my car!), but each takes there own risk. Guess it's just how much risk you see it compared to how much you will save on accomodation
  • liberty6201liberty6201 Forumite
    42 Posts
    We also belong to Homelink. I too can recommend it - our first swap was to New York where we stayed in a homely apartment. we loved it so much we always stay in that area noe when we go. this half term we are doing a swap up North and in the summer a month long swap to Florida. We could not afford to take our 2 kids without swapping as we get the accomodation, use of a kitchen and a car just by swapping ours. i do not mind paying the £100 annual fee as we save such a lot. we have been offered numerous swaps this year, far more than we could ever do, and we live in a terraced 3 bed house - admittedly near the beach but i do think that people are more interested in the location than the siz of your house. I would def recommend the company though this is the first time we have swapped our car - i am a bit worried about this but i fugure it is only a car and can be fixed, we too have signed to say how much we need to pay if we cause any damage, etc.
  • emmar_2emmar_2 Forumite
    2 Posts
    Just wondering if anyone knows what impact this has on your home insurance policies???
  • kb36kb36 Forumite
    440 Posts
    My insurer Esure state that my accidental damage policy will not be honoured whilst swappers are in my home and that if there is no sign of forced entry if things go missing then those items are not covered. In other words if they run off with all our possessions no claim would be honoured! Hasn't happened yet though;)
  • The first home swap club was founded in the 1950's. In the decades since, millions of people have enjoyed exchanging homes with only minor problems. This isn't an unknown way to travel, it is a successful, established industry.

    Most exchange clubs report the occasional misunderstanding but most "problems" involve differing house cleaning standards. All of these issues are easily addressed by using an on-line contract, available at several of the home exchange clubs.

    To see which club is best for you, go to KnowYourTrade.com which rates and reviews all of the clubs for free. I write a completely non-commercial blog with home exchange tips and stories at HomeExchanger.blogspot.com (I don't make any money from my blog and it is not affiliated with any club).

    Don't do home exchange just to save money. The benefit is living like a local and getting to meet real people who live somewhere, instead of being segregated in an artificial tourist hotel. This is about building a relationship with another family, not just getting what savings you can out of them.

    I have completed 36 wonderful home exchanges since 1991. It is the only sane way to travel with children, IMO. A separate bedroom for each child, a kitchen to prepare a snack or breakfast, laundry facilities and a lot more space make family travel so much more pleasant than staying in a hotel.
  • S40S40 Forumite
    6 Posts
    This sounds like a contradiction in terms to me.
    OK I can see the sense in swapping a caravan or a static mobile home, but surely the point of a motorhome is to be able to drive from a to b with flexibility of where and how long you stay.
  • The first home swap club was founded in the 1950's. In the decades since, millions of people have enjoyed exchanging homes with only minor problems. This isn't an unknown way to travel, it is a successful, established industry.

    Most exchange clubs report the occasional misunderstanding but most "problems" involve differing house cleaning standards. All of these issues are easily addressed by using an on-line contract, available at several of the home exchange clubs.

    To see which club is best for you, go to KnowYourTrade.com which rates and reviews all of the clubs for free. I write a completely non-commercial blog with home exchange tips and stories at HomeExchanger.blogspot.com (I don't make any money from my blog and it is not affiliated with any club).

    Don't do home exchange just to save money. The benefit is living like a local and getting to meet real people who live somewhere, instead of being segregated in an artificial tourist hotel. This is about building a relationship with another family, not just getting what savings you can out of them.

    I have completed 36 wonderful home exchanges since 1991. It is the only sane way to travel with children, IMO. A separate bedroom for each child, a kitchen to prepare a snack or breakfast, laundry facilities and a lot more space make family travel so much more pleasant than staying in a hotel.
    I was interested to read of experience with home swapping. I've been considering this for some time now but not sure whether many would wish to swap with us in Stockport. We have a nice house but then location does seem to be the most important consideration
  • Home exchange is probably the best way to holiday. I have had no 'bad' exchanges in over 30 swaps. I have been a member of Homelink for the last 17 years but have now stopped due to the annual cost of over £100. That said it is probably the best and largest exchange site available but there are many others. Some of these are free and most are considerably less costly than Homelink. The following site are the best in my opinion... Homeforexchange; Homeexchange; holswap; holiswap; intervac; ihen; and Homelink.
    (not allowed to post actual links as a new user!! but google each of the above and you should get the site)

    Advantages of exchanging are...
    1. Not just a hotel room but a whole house
    2. Locations to suit almost everyone and at any time of year
    3. Exchanges can often be non-simultaneous as many exchangers are swapping second/holiday homes.
    4. Exchanges often include cars (you're driving on correct side of car/road to country you are in making driving abroad much easier and safer.
    5. Living in local community so you get to see the area from a local perpsective and not a tourist perspective. Because of this you find many things that a tourist would not. eg. In Florida we went to Blue Springs State Park which would not be on many tourists lists but it was probably one of the best places to visit in my travelling life.
    6. Many exchangers swap not only their home but their holiday home as well so you can often get 2 locations for your holiday. In addition some swap camper vans/boats/country club memberships etc., etc.

    I think many people are put off exchanging by thoughts of 'strangers going through their personal belongings' and 'people will destroy my home'. In my experience this is not the case as exchange people are of similar minds. They want their home kept clean and tidy so they do the same. As regards personal belongings if you have anything particularly precious or private then lock it away or give it to a relative/friend to keep while you're on hols. I have never had any desire to rake through anyone else's belongings!!

    If you are thinking about it at all you should give it a try, you will not be disappointed!!!!! and you'll save large sums of money!!:money::beer:
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