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House Swapping Saves

House Swapping Saves

Although for many of us vacations are being put on the back burner this summer, there may an affordable way to get out of town for a few days.  House swapping is soon becoming a growing trend among vacationers who are trying to keep their travels as thrifty as possible. 

The idea of trading homes with someone else who is traveling is not new.  You may remember the 2006 movie The Holiday starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz where the two women are depicted as switching homes (a Los Angeles mansion for a quaint English cottage) over the Christmas holiday.  According to a recent Time magazine article, the company Intervac has been setting up home exchanges for people since 1992. 

Though not new, it is just now that these services are reporting dramatic increases in the rate of house swapping.  The website HomeExchange.com has seen a more than 30 percent increase in their membership this last year.  Home swapping has become so popular because it eliminates the huge cost of hotels on vacation.  Depending on where you live, it may or may not be simple to find a suitable swap.  For example, if you live in a nice apartment in the heart of Paris, France it may take less time for you to find someone willing to swap than if you live in a small town in say Virginia. 

The idea that one man's shack is another man's castle could certainly apply here.  Kathleen Dwyer, a home exchanger for six years, reported to Time magazine about a swap experience she had when she traded her one bedroom Manhattan apartment with a view of the alley for an upscale California home on a lagoon with a view of the ocean.  Dwyer said, "The got this little, small apartment, and I got this million-dollar home.  I laughed at the trade, but they were happy to be near their daughter in Manhattan, so it worked out fine."

What do you think of the idea of swapping homes with a stranger during a vaction?

Do you think you might consider home exchange on your next trip?

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  • CrystalBurgard By CrystalBurgard
    07.29.09  

    while it sounds like a good idea, in this day and age you really can't trust people like you used to. I would not feel comfortable having strangers in my home, even though I would then be in theirs too. too many psycho's out there

  • par5873 By par5873
    07.29.09  

    I think that its a great idea! I would have to be reassured that the company has done a through background check on the other party.

  • angelite By angelite
    07.31.09  

    i think this sounds like a fantastic opportunity. i just wish i currently lived somewhere that would be more appealing for a swap.

  • BlondieKAA By BlondieKAA
    07.31.09  

    I personally just wouldn't feel comfortable staying in someone else's home or having someone stay in my own home. Although it may be a good idea for some, I would have a hard time trusting the other group staying in my home.

  • StayClassyBflo By StayClassyBflo
    08.02.09  

    I think people would be surprised at how appealing even the most remote/small town places may be to someone who just wants to "get away." I think this is a good idea - I think I would just want to check with my homeowners insurance before signing up.

  • lruppert75 By lruppert75
    08.04.09  

    I'm a little uncertain about it, but it sounds good.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    08.05.09  

    though it is a pretty nice idea to save money, i do not think i would do something like that because i don't like strangers in my house. espeically when you come home and find a few things moved or missing, then what?

  • bonnieb118 By bonnieb118
    08.07.09  

    Just doesn't settle with me. I'd be too paranoid to know that someone else was sleeping in my bed. There's also another website where you can swap couches with another family. I wonder how many people actually do this.

  • shellie By shellie
    08.09.09  

    I love this idea !! I would of course do a background check on the people thst I would be swapping with but all in all , I like it !!

  • thebutlerdidit By thebutlerdidit
    08.11.09  

    I'm not comfortable with this idea at all. I get creeped out thinking about people in my house when I'm not home. Looking at my clothes, in my drawers and cupboards - ick!

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