If you think you need a vacation this 2023, you’re not alone; 8 in 10 Americans share the sentiment. About 2 in 3 of those who’ve already traveled recently also said they plan to take another domestic trip. Over 7 in 10 even said their vacation planning involves an international destination! However, that increased travel demand has also led to higher vacation-related costs. Overall, they’ve spiked by an average of 9% as of 2022. The good news is that, through house swapping, you can enjoy a holiday without breaking the bank. Also called a home exchange, this concept involves a temporary exchange of houses.
But how exactly can this vacation idea work out for you? What are the primary house-swapping benefits you can expect?
We’ll tell you about them in this guide, so read on.
1. Various Accommodation Options
Swap your house on a home exchange website, and you get another vacation home in return. Depending on what you like, you can get another private residence, villa, estate, or even a yacht! The owners of your chosen property then get to stay in yours, either at the same time or later.
You and the other owner can also agree on a hospitality exchange, which is a more social experience. This involves you staying at the other property while its owners are present and acting as a host. Then, the roles get reversed at their requested time, and you’d do the hosting.
2. Save on Accommodations
Since a house swap is a bartering agreement, it often doesn’t require you to pay to stay on another’s property. In most cases, the only cost involved is the home exchange club’s membership fee. The fees vary, but they can range from a few dollars monthly to a couple hundred yearly.
That can save you a lot, especially if you want to travel multiple times a year and stay in hotels. After all, hotel rates have surged, averaging $212 per night in January 2023. That’s over 50% higher than in January 2022.
You can also join a house-swapping website that specializes in luxury properties. Such platforms often charge weekly booking fees, as they list premium real estate. Still, the cost is usually just a fraction of what you’d otherwise pay per night to stay in these grand homes.
3. Enjoy More Authentic Travel Experiences
In a 2022 survey, 9 in 10 travelers said they prioritize experiencing a destination like a local. These include local food, sites, history, arts scene, and interactions with the locals.
If you’d like to experience the same things, house swapping may be right up your alley. You can get the lowdown on all things local from the other property owners, as they’re also from or live in that area. This includes insider info, such as the place’s history, hidden gems, and the best local foods.
4. Avoid Pricey Tourist Traps
Many accommodations, especially hotels, are in or near other business establishments. These include bars, restaurants, and shopping centers, enticing tourists. Unfortunately, although conveniently located, their goods and services also have hefty tourist prices.
You can avoid those when you house swap because, as mentioned above, you can get local insider info. As someone who lives in the area, the other property owner can tell you where the tourist traps are. They’ll also surely tell you the best markets and food and drink stores so you can enjoy them at your temp home.
Your reliable exchange partner can also teach you about the area’s must-avoid spots. These include less safe places, such as where tourists often get targeted. Listen to their advice to enjoy a relaxing, stress-free vacation.
5. Cook and Enjoy Meals With Privacy
Properties for swapping often have all the amenities you’d expect from a home. These include fully-furnished kitchen and dining areas.
So when you house swap, you can choose to cook and eat meals in the comfort of your temp home. This can save you even more money since you can avoid restaurant prices. Remember: Away-from-home food costs over three times more than in-home food.
You also get to enjoy privacy when preparing and having your meals. This can be a plus if you want to avoid crowded, tourist-packed establishments.
Some homes may even have outdoor BBQs, patios, or gazebos where you can eat while enjoying the view! You can find these details in the property’s profile listed on home exchange systems.
6. Peace of Mind
Before traveling, many folks have to ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to look after their house. This is especially true for those with pets, making up 70% of U.S. households. Pet-friendly transportation now exists, but fur parents can’t always take them on trips.
Pet safety aside, there’s also the issue of property security. In the U.S. alone, burglaries occur every 30 seconds. Properties that look unoccupied are some of their favorite targets.
So when you go on a trip and don’t take steps to make it look like someone’s home, you risk becoming a burglary victim.
Fortunately, a reliable home exchange partner can help with all that. You can rely on them to look after your home as if it was theirs, and they also trust you to reciprocate. They can even offer to send photos of your animal companions to update you.
You also don’t have to worry about the trustworthiness of your exchange partners. All members of reputable home exchange systems go through screening and vetting processes. These allow the platforms to confirm each registrant’s identity and property for listing.
Also, remember that you’re staying on their property, so they have a lot at stake, too. This mutual trust makes the best home exchange systems safe, giving members peace of mind.
Enjoy These Benefits of House Swapping
From giving you more lodging options to helping you save big on travel, house swapping can do all that for you. So, consider trying it out to enjoy a memorable, less expensive, and stress-free holiday. Ready to consider a home exchange but still unsure of the destination? Then check out our other vacation ideas; we have a recent post on the best places in the U.S. for a relaxing trip!