How Exactly Does a Home Swap Work? The Details, Explained

July 14, 2021 • By Amy Jo Robertson


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If you love traveling but feel tied to your own place, home swap may be an option. It allows you to enjoy privacy and the comforts of home while leveraging your own investment. Perhaps it is time to try a home swap?

It will allow you to see the world for much less than you could pay for other forms of accommodation, like hotels. Plus, you have the same comforts of home, yet get the benefit of visiting other parts of the world.

Luxury home exchanges are becoming very popular with travellers looking for comfortable but exciting new travel experiences.

If you are considering making an exchange but are still unsure about what it involves, then read on. Our short guide will tell you all you need to know.

What Is A Home Swap?

A home exchange or home swap is when stay in someone else’s property whilst they stay in yours. There are several ways this can be done either simultaneously or not, or you can host your exchange family whilst you stay in your house.

You get to choose and arrange the house exchange that works for you and work with your exchange family to craft the ideal holiday for you and your family.

Home swaps can take place between home owner’s primary residences, or with their second homes. 

Home exchanges can allow you to experience a new place or even a new country with the comforts of staying at home. They allow you to taste life as a local, living as they would live in their city or town.

Types of Home Swaps

Primary Home vs. Vacation Home Exchange 

Thanks to movies like The Holiday (2006), home exchanging has continued to grow and evolve over the years. In the movie, two characters swap homes for two weeks. One lives in Surrey, England while the other lives in Los Angeles. This swap, is an example of primary home exchange, and is defined as the usage of an owner’s primary home that they live in full time. A vacation home exchange, on the other hand, involves the exchange of a second home, investment property, or fractional resort property. THIRDHOME is a home exchange that facilitates vacation home exchanges.

Reciprocal vs. Direct Exchange

A direct exchange is where two homeowners coordinate calendars to stay in each other’s properties during the same period. Direct exchanges were popular among academic groups in the 1950s because academia shared similar schedules in which they could travel. Those outside of academia didn’t have the same flexibility in schedule, so the trend didn’t catch on. Eventually, the Internet allowed exchange companies to create marketplaces where direct exchanges weren’t necessary. A reciprocal exchange or indirect exchange, allows more flexibility for an owner by utilizing a credit system. THIRDHOME, for example, uses the reciprocal exchange model by awarding Keys to owners when they deposit stays. This, in turn, allows an owner to use their credits (Keys in our case) during a time that suits them.

A simultaneous swap is the most common kind of exchange. This means you both holiday in the other’s property at the same time. 

non-simultaneous swap is a little more difficult to arrange as it means one person holidays in your property whilst you stay somewhere else, and vice versa.

hospitality exchange is a final option for a house swap, and this requires you to host your exchange family in your house whilst you are still living there.

You can choose whichever option suits you best and arrange it either directly with your exchange family or via a home exchange partner. Joining a home exchange club will give you access to a greater variety of homes to visit, offer more protection, and provide assistance for finding and booking an exchange.

What Are the Benefits?

Luxury home exchange sites will enable you to find house swaps in some incredible properties in desirable parts of the world.

If you own a second home, you can participate on house exchange site and earn credit for taking your own homestay vacations around the world.

The benefits of a home exchange are that you get to feel at home wherever you are in the world. You will have a full run of the house and gardens and will feel as comfortable on holiday as if you were in your own property.

If you live in the city but fancy an opportunity to spend time in the countryside or by the sea, then a house exchange could be the perfect holiday opportunity for you.

Time To Do A House Swap?

Is it time you tried a home exchange? Hopefully, this article has given you some inspiration for the incredible opportunities that await. Take your family on a new adventure and explore the world from the comfort of your new home.

If you would like to learn more about our luxury house exchange opportunities, please take a look at some of our available properties.

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