Fancy a free holiday?
You go to theirs. They come to yours. Welcome to the world’s simplest holiday idea. A house swap where you swap your own home for someone else’s anywhere across the globe…for free.
Love Home Swap is the Tinder for travellers. This is definitely the new way to holiday.
Remember The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz who swap homes over Christmas? Diaz trades her enormous L.A. Villa for Winslet’s crumbling cottage in the English countryside (although she does get Jude Law thrown in for free so its a fair swap in the end). Well, now you can be them with LOVE HOME SWAP.
An early convert (thank you very much), in four years we have had the luxury of swapping houses with a gorgeous townhouse in Bordeaux, a cottage on the Isle of Wight, a luxury condo in Naples, Florida and two gorgeous houses in Sweden, one just outside of Stockholm and one in the rural Swedish countryside. This year it looks like we have a stunning apartment in Cannes and we’ve been offered a weekend in Barcelona. This is all for free, well apart from our £240 annual subscription to Love Home Swap and some time researching properties. We think we have so far saved approx £8,000. We have also made some lovely family friends to boot.
The huge plus for us (bar the cheaper holidays) is that we get to immerse ourselves in new countries or areas rather than sitting on the tourist sidelines. As its a swap we also get to use lots of their stuff so there’s no lugging toys, buckets and spades and beach towels around. We’ve even used their bikes and scooters. Often you can even swap cars! Usually the owners are also perfectly happy to point you to the best restaurants, the nicest beaches, the local farmers market and all other local amenities so precious holiday time is also not wasted trying out dud places and getting lost doing so.
Now you may be thinking – you haven’t got a swanky home so no one will want to swap with you but that’s simply not true. With over 80,000 homes across the world, there is literally something to suit everyone from one bedroom apartments to enormous villas by the sea.
You may also question whether it is weird having strangers in your home but it is simply not. If you do have lots of precious jewels and gold bullion hanging around then by all means lock it away it it makes you feel better but by the time we do a swap, we have emailed many times and exchanged Facebook profiles so we can check their authenticity.
We would thoroughly recommend this is way to holiday. Interested? See below for our top tips on how to swap homes.
Top Tips on How to use Love Home Swap
- Fill in your details and trial it for 2 weeks completely free.
- Take the best photos of your property and explain why people would want to visit it.
- Say where you want to go and when and check out the homes on offer.
- Message any you like the look of remembering to check out any previous reviews.
- You can do a direct house swap, non-simultaneous swap or pay with ‘points’ which are the Love Home Swap currency.
- Agree your swap and confirm securely on the website.
- Once confirmed, organise your Love Home Swap insurance to protect your swap. (approx £49 per holiday)
- Book your flights and start planning!
TOP TIP: If you’re doing a direct swap then agree to clean and change the beds on the last day ready for your return. It is wonderful to arrive back with no house work to do.
- Cheaper holidays (we think we have saved about £8k to date)
- Not being the usual ‘tourist’ and finding the hidden gems of an area
- Access to everything – toys, bikes, scooters, cars, washing powder…..
- Making great long term relationships with families from other countries
- Travel to unusual places off the usual ‘family holiday’ track
- Researching and finding the right place can be time consuming
- It is hard work cleaning and sorting your house ready for a swap (but totally worth it!)