There are many home exchange sites out there. But they are not all created equal.
Different sites offer different amenities and prices to their members, and some sites are specifically designed for families or luxury homes.
The best way to find the right site for you is by researching the various options that are available.
Here is a list of popular home exchange sites and what they offer to get you started.
The Different Types of Home Exchanges Available
There are a variety of different home exchange sites out there. Some of the most popular ones include HomeExchange.com, HomeLink.org, and IntervacHomeExchange.com with sites like THIRDHOME specializing in the luxury market.
To find the right site for you, you have to know what type of experience you’re looking to have as different websites cater to different needs.
Below is a list of popular types of experiences:
A house swap is one where you will be living in someone’s home for a certain amount of time while they live in your home (usually for an equal amount of time and at the same time but this is not necessary if you use a website like THIRDHOME). The idea here is that you have a property (you don’t necessarily have to own it, you could be renting it) that you can swap with someone else’s property in a different location.
A vacation rental is when you stay at someone else’s place but only rent it out for short periods of time (usually by the week). It’s like staying at a hotel but you’re renting someone else’s space instead. In this case, you don’t have to own a place to participate and, if you do, you don’t have to find someone willing to swap houses with you.
You may also be considering a shared holiday exchange. This type involves taking turns hosting people who visit your country during Christmas or other major holidays every year. This is usually done by families or small groups of friends who want to keep traditions alive while making new memories together every year.
House-sitting is a popular alternative to traditional home exchange because it offers the potential for free lodging even if you don’t have a home to swap. Many house-sitting sites offer a list of homes available for house sitters, as well as listing opportunities for homeowners looking to place their home with someone.
Some sites allow both property owners and house sitters to post their information, including pictures and details about the property, as well as set availability rules and requirements. House sitters can also write a profile that includes what they’re looking for in a house-sit, their experience level, and why they want to house-sit. Then homeowners can filter through various profiles to find the perfect match for them.
Below, we’ll dive more into some specific types of home exchanges and how specialized websites cater to them.
As mentioned above, house swapping is the practice of exchanging houses for a certain amount of time. This can involve either private homes or vacation rental.
House swapping has many benefits. It’s a great way to explore other parts of the world and experience new cultures like a local and it can also save you lots of money on accommodation in addition to giving you the opportunity to make new friends.
Home exchange sites focusing on this niche provide listings of houses available for exchange for your time away from your home country.
Sites like HomeAway.com are specifically designed for home-sharing with families and they offer a variety of amenities. They offer a range of options, including accommodations that have cooking and laundry facilities and others that have more high-end features like hot tubs and pools.
It is free to list your home on the site and they charge a small fee per night for any guests who stay at your property.
VRBO is a website also allows you to host rooms in your home for travelers coming to visit. This includes rooms with kitchens, bedrooms, living spaces, and other features. A one-night stay starts at $50 per person so it may be more expensive than other sites depending on what you’re looking for.
Traditionally, home exchanges have been for people looking to live in a home that is different and more exciting than their own. Therefore, luxury homes are becoming increasingly popular on the home swapping market.
By using a luxury home exchange site, you get to live in your dream house and have access to things you would not have otherwise the opportunity to experience. Luxury homes offer amenities like pools, game rooms, or outdoor living spaces that standard properties do not.
THIRDHOME specializes in this luxury space with over 13,000 high profile listings all over the world. Perusing their properties is like looking at a catalogue of dream homes and it’s almost impossible to choose among all their incredible options!
Home exchanges are a great way to save money and stay somewhere new while feeling like a local. Home exchange websites make the job of finding your preferred solution uber easy these days.
However, there are so many websites and options to choose from.
The best way to find the perfect one for your needs is to decide what kind of accommodation you want, whether it is house-sitting, house swapping, or luxury accommodation.
Once you decide, take a look at the different websites specializing in that niche and go through the search filters in order to find the best solution for you!
While you don’t have to use a house swapping site to help you find someone to swap houses with for business or vacation, if you want to save yourself time, effort, and some potentially huge headaches, you can’t beat the convenience and safety provided by specialized house swapping websites.
Why use a home exchange site?
Like everything else, not all sites are created equal.
Home exchange sites allow you to list your property for free and they have a vetting process to make sure you’re not dealing with a scam. Also, some of these sites offer insurance plans, while others do not.
All THIRDHOME trips are covered by SUPERHOG, a digital trust platform that provides protection for our Hosts. In the rare event a THIRDHOME Guest causes damage during a stay and doesn’t reimburse the Host, they are covered for property damage and liability protection. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. This can give you huge peace of mind when letting a stranger stay at your house.
No matter what, before you decide to do a home swap, you should always talk with your insurance company to ensure your home is insured and that coverage includes your guests.
The best home exchange sites are easy to navigate and use.
These websites allow people from all over the world to swap residences with one another. There are even home exchange sites for people who don’t own a home. For example, if you’re renting an apartment, you can list your apartment on a home exchange site and then rent it out to a stranger for period of time.
To participate in the home exchange, you simply create a listing with a detailed description of your home that includes photos and specify where you’re looking to stay. The most popular arrangements are simultaneous ones, but this is not strictly necessary in all instances.
However, if you have any questions, be sure to contact the owner first. These people want you to enjoy your stay just as much as you want them to enjoy theirs at your place and they can be a huge source of information for you!
A home exchange site will help you find a home swap partner who meets your criteria quickly and easily. For example, THIRDHOME has over 13,000 listings all over the world categorized by location, so you can’t help but find what you’re looking for. If anything, you might have trouble choosing among several incredible options!
Don’t you wish these were the only kind of problems we ever had to deal with in life: too many amazing choices?
You found a home exchange site. What’s next?
After coordinating the dates of your stay with your exchange partner, you should also check their reputation by reviewing feedback that is available on most of these sites.
While most websites offer free listings, watch out for the ones that charge fees or hidden fees to list your house. Some of the most reliable home exchange sites like THIRDHOME are membership based.
Tips to help you avoid scams when choosing a home exchange site:
- As there are many home exchange networks available on the internet, make sure that you sign up with one that matches your situation and what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Different sites focus on different types of housing and locations. It is important to choose a home exchange network that has locations in the country you want to visit. A network with a wide range of locations, like THIRDHOME, makes it easier to find a home swap partner.
- A home exchange site should be safe. If you’re not sure about the safety of a particular website, ask around for recommendations or find reviews online.
- Additionally, a site should offer insurance to protect you. The membership fee is well worth it just because of the insurance coverage.
- When you use a home exchange site, be sure to choose one that offers protection against scams. This is an important upside to using an established home exchange site as opposed to being a do-it-yourself kind of home swapper.
Overall, the safety offered is one of the biggest advantages of a home swapping site. While there are many more benefits to using a specialized exchange, nothing beats the peace of mind that come with knowing that your house will be safe and secure during your swap. This comfort will then allow you to fully enjoy your new travel adventure!
Get started on your home exchange adventure with THIRDHOME here.