Home Swapper: A Beginner’s Guide to What It Is and Why You Should Do It!

Home Swapper: A Beginner’s Guide to What It Is and Why You Should Do It!

February 22, 2022 • By Amy Jo Robertson


Search Icon

Home Swapper? What exactly is one of those!

Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world and seeing new cultures? And if you have, do you know where to start?

Home swapping is a great way to get your feet wet. It’s a bit like “couchsurfing”, but you stay in someone’s house rather than sleep on their couch!

Home Swapper: A Beginner’s Guide to What It Is and Why You Should Do It!

You can trade homes with someone from anywhere in the world. Some people swap because they want to save money and others just want to meet locals and explore a new culture. No matter your reasons, here are some ways for aspiring home swappers to get started.

What is home swapping?

If you’re not familiar with the term, “home swapping” is when people exchange homes for a certain period of time. You generally have to match dates, but this is not strictly necessary depending on how you go about it. There are specialized house swapping sites out there that allow you much more flexibility in planning, but we’ll get more into that later.

Home-swapping is an easy and inexpensive way to travel the world like a local, whether for work or play. You’ll get to experience new places like an insider by staying in someone else’s home in exchange for someone else staying in your home.

How do you go about swapping homes?

While you can find a matching host on your own by asking friends or going on social media and casting as wide a net as possible, there are risks and downsides tied to that. This is one of those areas in life where doing things by yourself opens you up to potential headaches that can definitely dampen your experience.

The easiest, safest and most popular way to plan a home swap is by using a specialized house exchange website. You start by creating an account on one of these sites. Then search for your desired destination and create a profile that will help you find the perfect home to swap with.

Some locations have more homes available than others. For example, if you’re looking to swap in rural France, there are many more options than say, Tokyo. More established sites will also provide more options than others. For example, ThirdHome has over 13,000 listings spanning the globe and categorized by location.

Browse through the available homes until you find one that looks like your ideal place to stay. Read the description of the home, scan the photos, and read the reviews carefully so you know what to expect when staying there. Every house is different!

If you see a house that you might be interested in swapping with, write a short profile about yourself and why you want to swap homes at that specific location. Be sure to include any information your exchange partner might need to know about you, including number of people in your group, or any special needs in your family. Click “contact host” and send them a message!

Why should you swap homes?

There are two main reasons why you should swap homes: to save money and to experience new cultures as an insider as opposed to feeling like a tourist. Home-swapping is an easy way to do both these things without spending too much money.

The pros of home swapping

Home-swapping is a great way for beginners to get started with international traveling. It’s an affordable, cost-efficient way to see the world.

When you find the right host, it feels like you’re making a new friend. You can stay at their house and get tips about their culture or partake in their favorite activities.

This allows you to feel like an insider in a new place as opposed to having to deal with the typical tourist traps and having to watch your back all the time for fear or being fleeced or targeted somehow. It also allows you to avoid the typical hotel set up which can become quite repetitive and exhausting.

Home swapping adds color and personality to travel and gives you a chance to build unique lifelong memories!

The cons of home swapping

Home-swapping is a fun and different way to travel, but it does come with some risks. It’s important to do your research before swapping homes!

If you’re not careful, you could end up in an unsafe situation. You want to make sure that the person you’re swapping homes with is being honest about what they’re offering and doesn’t live in a dangerous location.

Also, make sure that you are appropriately insured against damages and liability and that your exchange partner is trustworthy and will not destroy your house.

If you don’t want to deal with any of this, the best way to avoid all these risks is to use a reputable house swapping exchange like ThirdHome where swapping opportunities are pre-selected and there is insurance coverage offered to take care of repair issues. (Please note that you will still need to get your own insurance coverage as well.)


Home-swapping can be a fantastic way to explore the world like a local if you go about it the right way. Luckily, there are websites that make the process fun and easy for you because, once you try this, you’ll want to do it over and over again!

Get started on your home exchange adventure with ThirdHome here.

Search our luxury travel blog

Search Icon

Hit ESC to close, ENTER to search