house swap vacations - how do they work?

House Swap 101: How Do House Swap Holidays Work?

October 18, 2021 • By Amy Jo Robertson


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Are you looking to take a vacation, but don’t want to leave your home vacant for long? Then it may be time to consider a house swap vacation. With the rise of the pandemic, one house swapping network found that membership rose by 282 percent in 2020.

From working remotely to enjoying new sights with your family, many people are finding that swapping houses is a great way to explore the world safely and at a low cost.

With this in mind, read on for our comprehensive guide on house swap holidays!

What is House Swapping?

If you’re looking to go on vacation with cheap accommodations, house swapping is a popular option. This is when you utilize house swap websites or a house swap app, and swap houses with other people who are looking for an affordable vacation.

For instance, if you’re seeking accommodations for a one-month stay in Ireland and you live in Florida, you may find that a homeowner in Ireland is also looking for a month of warmer weather and beautiful Florida beaches.

It’s also possible to do a non-simultaneous stay. This means that if you know you’ll be away from home for a while, you can agree for someone else to stay in your home as a short-term vacation rental.

You can then stay at their home at a time more convenient to you.

Understand the Costs

Before you jump in, you’ll need to understand that are still some costs associated with home swapping. If you use a website to list your house, most of these home swapping networks will require a membership fee. This is typically an annual rate of $150 or more.

Along with the membership cost, you may need to pay an extra fee that offsets cleaning costs for the homeowners. You may also need to negotiate utility costs, especially if you’ll be staying in a home for longer than a month.

Clear Communication

Next, it’s important that both parties are clear about expectations. For instance, you’ll want to let people know what days the trash goes out, as well as the cleanliness you expect when you get home. You may also ask for people to water your indoor plants or garden while they’re staying at your home.

Some homeowners even choose to create house manuals or pamphlets for their homes. This can include operating instructions for the TV, checkout procedures, and what areas are off-limits.

Unlike booking a hotel or Airbnb, you’ll find that there’s more communication required for home swapping, since it’s a more personal exchange. It’s possible to form long-term relationships with other homeowners as you establish greater levels of trust with each other.

What Are the Benefits of House Swapping?

Now that you know some of the basics of home swapping, what are some of the benefits that you can enjoy? Here are just a few:

Living in Comfort

If you’re traveling internationally for a month or more, you may find that home swapping is far more comfortable than booking a hotel or even an Airbnb. This is because you’ll have all the benefits of a house without the costs.

For instance, you’ll be able to save costs by cooking in the kitchen more often, as well as doing laundry. Noise also may not be as much of a problem.

Enjoy Life as a Local

One of the main issues people have when traveling is that they can get stuck in common “tourist areas.” Although you can still experience plenty of history, you’re missing out on how people are experiencing the location every day.

By house swapping, you’ll be able to be more in tune with how locals live day-to-day. You’ll be able to see the kinds of books they read, shows they watch, and even toys they purchase for their kids.

Utilize Second Homes

Home swapping is even more convenient if you have a second home. Since you aren’t living in your home throughout the years, this means that it can remain occupied by vacationers. When you’re ready to start traveling, you can bank on the vacationers’ homes that used your property previously.


Last but not least, home swapping can be far more affordable than timeshares, short-term vacation rentals, and hotels. You may or may not have to pay the utility bill during your stay along with a small cleaning fee. Besides that, all you have to worry about is an affordable annual membership fee.

Keep in mind that when you book a hotel or short-term vacation rental, many of them don’t come with a working kitchen. This means that you’re spending additional money eating out every day. You can save even more money and stretch your vacation budget by cooking a few days out of the week.

Take Advantage of a House Swap Vacation

House swapping is easier now than ever before because of the internet. You can easily use home swapping networks in order to compare your options, easily list your home, and vet people who will be staying at your home. This means you can have increased peace of mind while you’re away.

Start by making a list of all the places you want to explore in the future along with the dates. Then, start looking for home swapping opportunities as soon as possible in order to book reservations and connect with other homeowners. This can lead to long-lasting, cross-country, and international relationships.

Ready for a house swap that’s luxurious as well as convenient? Get started with us today!

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