Home Exchange: Swap Yours for Theirs

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Clarence House Antigua
the 1804 Clarence House in Antigua.

What’s Not To Love About Home Exchange?

By Oscar Davis

cameron diaz and Kate winslet
Just like the movie with Kate and Cameron, you can do a home swap and live in another country.

Ever watched the movie Holiday? It was when Cameron Diaz gets fed up with the busy schedule, and then finally decides to swap her grand mansion with a stranger.

The stranger is Kate Winslet and the life of both people changes when they decide to spend their Christmas holidays in each other’s houses.

The charming movie depicts everything that home exchange can be about. You have the choice to trade your home for any duration with another person. Instead of deciding to stay at the anonymous hotel, you can go ahead and stay at their home and they can stay at yours.

We recently swapped our home in Leeds, UK for a house in the Costa Brava of Spain. It all worked out very well. We used the US-based agency 48 dots.

All across the world, millions of people go for home exchange and apart from the budget-friendliness, this is also one of the ways by which you will be able to experience the city in a completely different manner. There are a few sites out there that let you do a home exchange, but the 48 dots seems to be one of the best.

How do Home Swaps work?

houses on the hill
Houses on the Hill.

Home swaps and home exchanges are two ways of saying the same thing. They mostly occur simultaneously. For example, you can be living in Toronto and might be planning to visit Paris for vacation.

You find another person that wants to visit Toronto and you request a swap. Then you both can plan the holiday at around the same time!

If you don’t want to do a simultaneous swap, that’s ok too. Sometimes second homeowners on the 48 dots just give away their home in good faith that they will be able to use someone else’s home at a later date. It’s all about community.

Everything That Makes Home Exchange Interesting!

There are several aspects of home swapping on the 48 dots that will make sure you have an amazing vacation experience that might not happen through traditional options of lodging. Let’s take a look:

It’s very budget-friendly. When you go for home exchange through the 48 dots, you won’t pay for lodging. The cost that you might have to pay includes a really low fee for the exchange, but it’s still much lower than two nights in any other accommodation.

In some cases you may decide to swap cars as well, so you will also be eliminating the car rental costs. In today’s world with rental car prices skyrocketing, that can be huge in and of itself!

house in a postcardExperiencing Life as a Local

When you stay at another person’s home through 48 dots, not only is it more comfortable, but you will also be able to experience the life of a local. 48 dots members usually give tips about sites to visit or restaurants to eat at.

Some even introduce you to their friends! They let you read their books and even let your children have access to some of their children’s toys.

There are houses with fitness rooms and pools as well. This gives you a much better cultural sense of the area when you compare it with a hotel stay.

When you are living like a local, you get a deeper perspective that is otherwise completely missed. The entire experience can be thrilling for everyone.

Great Use of the Second Home

Home exchange is immensely easy when you already have another vacation home. You don’t stay there all year round, so why not put it to work for you? Coordinating schedules isn’t difficult.

The Martin House, Buffalo
The Martin House, 1905

And, even if you make money on your home some days from Airbnb, you can use the off days for swapping.

Looking for a Yacht Stay or RV? Did you know that home exchanges on the 48 dots aren’t limited to houses? People also swap homes with another person’s yacht, and even RV as they can take a tour of the area. You will be able to find many lodging options that are unique in this manner that isn’t available otherwise or very expensive.

Travel On Your Schedule, The Way You Want And For As Long As You Need!

Gone are the days, when going on holidays used to be a precious thing, mainly because of budget concerns. Many of us can now work from anywhere and we have so much more freedom to move. With home exchange on the 48 dots you can experience freedom all around the year without worrying as much about costs. It’s simply brilliant!

You have a charming house, tempting offers with some exchanges even being offered for months at a time. It’s like you can keep vacationing for an entire year if you want.

Final Thoughts on Home Exchanges

Once you agree on a home exchange, you must keep your side of the bargain as well. Keep in mind in case you decide to cancel, you will be leaving someone else hanging as well. If you cancel too many times that can get you restricted from futures swaps.

But, undoubtedly home exchange on the 48 dots can be a magnificent way of taking a look at never-seen places. It’s affordable and immerses you in the local culture a lot more than any hotel can. If this is the kind of vacation that you had been searching for, the 48 dots is going to be worth all of the added efforts needed.

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Oscar Davis is a freelance writer living in Leeds, England. He is a regular contributor to newspapers in the UK and GoNOMAD Travel.

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