Housing swap is often not the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks about going on vacation. But, If you’re exploring vacation packages to popular tourist destinations such as New York and Paris that could cost you thousands of dollars for a hotel room or at least hundreds to book on Airbnb, it’s time to check out cheaper alternatives.
What if we say, your stay can be free? Yes, it’s true with housing swap. It is a practice in which two parties agree to swap their accommodation without any cash exchange.
Now, here how a housing swap works, and how to get started:
Step1: Understand Housing Swap
Today, there are so many platforms where you can sign up, create your house listing, find and swap homes across the globe. You can peruse listings of hundreds of home swappers worldwide.
You can swap in one of the two ways: a direct, two-way exchange where you can swap your house for someone else’s. The other way being the one-way swap, where you live in someone’s home, while your house is empty. Since no money exchanges, you can plan long vacations, even for months, knowing that your accommodation costs won’t sky-rocket with each passing day.
Step2: List your Home for Exchange
Don’t think you’re not eligible for home swaps if your house is not in a tourist hotspot or a picture-postcard chateau. People these days are exploring all kinds of destinations to escape the crowd and finding peacetime with family. Also, it is a no-brainer to highlight all the key points that make your house special, whether it’s the private swimming in the backyard, nearby hiking trails, lovely neighborhood, or proximity to public transportation.
Be sure to upload pictures of your house, highlighting how spacious and comfortable it is compared to hotels.
Step3: Clear Communication
Once you come across someone ready for a vacation home swap with you, it is imperative to have a chat, either over the home swapping messenger or via Skype/ FaceTime. You can also ask them to provide a video tour of their house and ask all the questions that you might have. This will help you to ease all the anxieties with regards to exchanging each other’s abodes.
Step4: Tell About it to Neighbors
Once the deal is locked, let the family next door know about your travel plans, so that they’re not surprised seeing another family set foot in your house. This will help you keep a tab on your swapper and leave your fellow swapper with a local to count on for any need.
Step5: Be Smart with your Valuables
Have a rare selection of porcelain dolls? First-edition of novels? Or expensive crockery? Don’t hesitate to keep them in secure spots. Lastly, give them a warm welcome, just like you do if your sister or a close friend comes to visit your house. So, lay in supplies for your home swapper.