House swop or home exchange

A great way to make holidays abroad more affordable is to do a house swop or home exchange. Instead of renting a villa or an apartment you can offer your house in exchange for someone else’s. 

There are quite a few website where you can list your holiday home.

Obviously you will need to live in a touristy area like Camps Bay, London, Paris, New York etc.  I am not sure if overseas guests will be delighted when they realise that the house they have exchanged in Parow is far from the city, tourist attractions, good restaurants and the beaches and there is no safe public transport.

The house will have to be left immaculately clean with spare clean linen and towels, wrapped soap, unopened water, milk etc. I stayed in a home exchange once, the house was very luxurious but there was a ¼ bottle of milk, water and coke in the fridge with old bits of soap in the soap dish.  It made me wonder if they would have gone to the trouble to change the linen.

A few of the house swop arrangements also offer the use of their car so that you do not have to rent a car.  In Europe there are bicycle rental on about every corner which you can return at your destination.  In London you only pay £2 for the bicycle for 24 hours and then you pay for the time you use it. 30 minutes is free so you can cycle to your destination and dock the bike and it doesn’t cost any extra.

We stayed in an apartment in Les Marais in Paris recently which my friends exchanged for their holiday villa on Lake Orta. It had two large bedrooms, a cellar, a fully equipped kitchen, two dining rooms, two lounges, a private courtyard and two bathrooms.  You could choose if you wanted the bathroom lights to change to different colours, there were the choice of two coffee machines and you only touch the bedside lamps to work.  I could not find a washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher and they used one ply toilet paper.

Interesting how people’s priorities are always different. At least this way you will definitely see how the locals live and the owners will be able to give you tips on their favourite coffee shops and places to go.

House swop or home exchange