House Swap Holidays: Have a Two Week Holiday For Just the Cost of Your Flight

  • 09 May, 2024
  • Ray Viljoen
  • No Comments

House keys in door

You’re planning your next holiday, but the soaring costs of accommodation are swallowing up your budget before you’ve even hit the book button. Sound familiar? If so, we’d love to introduce you to the concept of holiday home swaps.

This type of holiday has increased dramatically since the post-covid price-hikes, and it’s something that’s changing the game. Since 2022, more and more people are embracing the idea of swapping their homes with others for a budget-friendly vacation experience.

How a holiday home swap works

1. List your home on a dedicated platform such as Kindred or Home Exchange. You’ll need to detail the location, what is available for guests to use at your home, and any relevant information that would be useful for someone looking to stay in your home.

2. Once listed, you can browse through listings from other members and find a property that ticks all your boxes for your selected dates. If you’re a match, you agree to swap houses for that time!

Does a home swap holiday really save you money?

Instead of shelling out for a hotel, AirBnB, or holiday home, by staying in someone else’s home whilst they stay in yours, you’re essentially getting free accommodation. It’s not totally free though. You’ll have to pay for your transport costs, of course, whether they be flights if you’re leaving the country, or train or fuel costs. Then there are the actual holiday expenses for any food or activities during your stay. It’s a fantastic way to stretch your holiday budget without compromising on comfort or quality.

There is usually a fee to become a member of these home exchange sites to help ensure the quality of the listings, so this is worth bearing in mind as well. There is also no guarantee that you’ll find a match, so you may pay the fee without getting the holiday.

Locations abroad that usually have house swap holidays available

One of the most exciting aspects of holiday home swapping is the sheer diversity of destinations available. From charming cottages in the English countryside to beachfront villas in the Mediterranean, there is usually something to suit.

Popular destinations for home swaps abroad include Spain, France, Italy, and the USA, but you’ll find listings all across the globe if you can be flexible.

How popular are holiday home swaps?

With the popularity of house swap holidays increasing in recent years due to the resurgence of films like the classic The Holiday and the ease of access to home exchange platforms. As the cost of living crisis continues to eat into some holiday plans, this budget-friendly option has become more appealing. The good news about this is that the more people participating in these schemes means there are more homes available.


How does holiday home swap work?

Holiday home swapping involves exchanging homes with another traveller for the duration of your vacation. You list your home on a dedicated platform, find a suitable match, and agree to swap homes for your chosen dates.

How much does it cost to swap your home?

Most sites charge a fee to become a member. This is to provide security for all involved. However, once you’re a member, the accommodation itself is free, allowing you to save significantly on your holiday expenses.

How safe is it?

Home swapping platforms typically have security measures in place to ensure the safety of their members. These may include identity verification, user reviews, and secure payment systems. Additionally, many platforms offer insurance options for added peace of mind.

Is holiday home swapping suitable for families with children?

Absolutely! Holiday home swapping can be a great option for families, providing spacious and comfortable accommodation with all the amenities of home. Many properties listed on home exchange platforms are family-friendly, offering features such as play areas, swimming pools, and child-friendly facilities.

Can I swap my home if I have pets?

Many home exchange platforms cater to pet owners, allowing you to find suitable swaps where your furry friends are welcome. Just be sure to communicate any pet-related considerations with your exchange partners to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

What if I need to cancel my home swap at the last minute?

Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes plans change unexpectedly. Most home exchange platforms have cancellation policies in place to address such situations. Be sure to read any relevant rules and cancellation terms of the platform you’re using and communicate openly and promptly with your exchange partners if you need to cancel or reschedule your swap.

How do I ensure that my home is ready for guests?

Preparing your home for guests is an important aspect of home swapping. Before your exchange partners arrive, it’s a good idea to clean your home thoroughly, declutter, and make any necessary repairs or improvements. You may also want to leave a welcome pack with information about your home, local attractions, and any instructions for using appliances or amenities.

Can I exchange homes for a shorter period than two weeks?

Many home exchange platforms offer flexibility in terms of the duration of swaps. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a month-long adventure, you can often find listings to suit your preferred timeframe. Just be sure to discuss the details with your exchange partners to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

What other considerations should you factor in?

While holiday home swapping offers many benefits, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks before diving in. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Mismatched Expectations: Despite your best efforts to communicate and plan, there’s always a possibility that your exchange partner’s home may not meet your expectations or vice versa. Variations in cleanliness standards, amenities, or even neighbourhood could lead to disappointment if not adequately addressed beforehand.

Logistical Challenges: Coordinating schedules and logistics with your exchange partner can sometimes be challenging, especially if you’re dealing with different time zones or communication barriers. Additionally, unexpected issues such as flight delays or last-minute cancellations can disrupt your plans and cause inconvenience.

Privacy Concerns: Opening your home to strangers for a home swap requires a level of trust and may not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals may feel uneasy about the idea of having others stay in their personal space, leading to privacy concerns or anxiety about potential damage or theft.

Limited Availability: While home exchange platforms offer a wide range of properties to choose from, availability can vary depending on factors such as location, timing, and demand. Popular destinations or peak travel seasons may have fewer options available, making it challenging to find suitable swaps for your desired dates.

Home Maintenance: Hosting guests in your home, even temporarily, requires a certain level of upkeep and maintenance to ensure a comfortable stay. From cleaning and preparing the property for guests to addressing any issues that may arise during their stay, house swapping entails additional responsibilities.

House swap holidays aren’t for everyone, but they are an option for those who are looking for an opportunity to do something different and get a holiday for just the cost of their flights! We can only see this area of the industry continuing to grow, so why not take a look at it for your next holiday?

If you’ve taken part in a holiday home swap, let us know how it went in the comments!

About Ray Viljoen

Developer, coffee addict and rural seaside-living family man with a passion for anything on 2 wheels. I also write the occasional technical blog post and contribute to the open-source software community.

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