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Holiday home swap

Didim, Turkey
Level Contributor
575 posts
28 reviews
29 helpful votes
Holiday home swap
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Hello all, has anyone used a home swap websites for a holiday please? Are there any pros and cons that anyone has experienced, I’m looking to go to the U.K. around September time and thought this could possibly be a good option.

Many thanks in advance

13 replies to this topic
UK
Destination Expert
for North Wales
Level Contributor
8,011 posts
63 reviews
126 helpful votes
1. Re: Holiday home swap
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In a previous job I facilitated a few as part of an international exchange programme.

In the main they went well but a few things to consider.

Try to swap “ like for like” as far as possible

Put away all your good stuff

Inform neighbours - strangers suddenly appearing in your house/ garden?

Expect some breakages - I recall one exchange getting into difficulty over a vacuum cleaner not working - one complained it wasn’t working - the owner contested that the “ guest” had broken it and that caused a lot of ill feeling.

Resist the urge to ask neighbours, friends, family to keep an eye on the guests while you are away . Fine if they are genuinely offering to help but it can feel as if you are spying on them

It can work extremely well as I found - and I made some good friends out of my time doing it- BUT the one or two that didn’t work went spectacularly wrong and upon reflection it was probably down to personalities and the two parties not getting to know each well beforehand .

Leaving a much loved large comfortable home to find that you have travelled to a much smaller, badly decorated house in a less desirable area can and has happened

Be open and honest and communicate a lot and set out the ground rules clearly at the beginning

Didim, Turkey
Level Contributor
575 posts
28 reviews
29 helpful votes
2. Re: Holiday home swap
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Thank you Leuca,

I totally understand what you mean. I was looking at different sites and the people who have homes are a lot bigger than my own. It’s good to read from someone with some knowledge as that is what I was looking for.

I thought this could be a good “cheaper “ option as with everyone, we are all struggling financially due to the situation.

Do you recommend and good companies? And ones who you would possibly avoid? As there is a sign up fee on the sites and I don’t really want to waste good money.

Thank you

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
19,312 posts
268 reviews
142 helpful votes
3. Re: Holiday home swap
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Make sure to inform your insurance providers (home and car) and get written confirmation of cover.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,147 posts
2 reviews
8 helpful votes
4. Re: Holiday home swap
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we have used lovehomeswap.com - they have allowed us to suspend membership for the moment which is good - i think by the summer we will be looking again

we started around 6 years ago when the site was small and friendly and swapped our london house for some amazing places in australia, bali and new york - i think we did 7 swaps each for at least 2 weeks each - we were swapping like for like so people were very respectful as they had a house of similar type and quality - its not like renting where it could be anyone but there is a sense of mutual trust - most like us people had more than one house so would let their main house and go to the holiday one or vice versa which also allowed non-simultaneous swaps which can be easier to arrange

in the last few years the site grew and this for some reason made swaps harder rather than easier - too many people with just one house and.or very inflexible plans and too many people hoping to swap a one bed flat on the outskirts of a regional city wanting to swap for a london townhouse

also too many people wanting to do short swaps of just a weekend - too much trouble to get the house ready

they have a points system which supposedly allows indirect swaps but points are easy to accumulate and hard to use

anyway from the summer we will resume but if we cant arrange some good swaps we may give up or look for a different site

Edited: April 09, 2021, 3:37 pm
Didim, Turkey
Level Contributor
575 posts
28 reviews
29 helpful votes
5. Re: Holiday home swap
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I suppose I worded things wrong when talking about my current place as my house in the U.K. was a four bedroom detached house in the countryside, I’m living in a two bedroom apartment but with lots of space outside and close to the beach.

I will look up that site, thank you.

It’s given me a good start and I hope things can get going in the future for holidays. I’ve just planted out my summer flowers so probably waiting a bit longer to get some lovely photos will be better.

London, United...
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1,147 posts
2 reviews
8 helpful votes
6. Re: Holiday home swap
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if the place you are offering to swap is not attractive as a holiday destination you will struggle to find swaps

centre of major city or tourist spot

beach

beautiful countryside

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
578 posts
18 reviews
8 helpful votes
7. Re: Holiday home swap
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We used Homelink many times and it worked great for us, but we haven't done it for a few years so I can't comment on what the company (or swapping) is like now.

Things I loved

- we had young children, and swapping with a family with children meant we'd often get kids' bikes, games, garden toys etc., that you don't generally get in holiday homes

- more space than your typical holiday home

- great cost saving of course

- we would swap cars too, so we'd get a free car

- we went to some places we'd never have thought of and turned out to be brilliant

- surprisingly, I found it heartwarming to think that while we were having a great holiday somewhere, the house occupants were having a great holiday in our house

Things I didn't love

- cleaning our house top to bottom before leaving!

- a certain amount of stress over whether there would be any issues. There never were though, the worst we had was a house that smelt of dog, and they hadn't cleaned particularly well before leaving. I can only remember refusing one swap due to the people, which started out with 4 people (like us), then they wanted their sister and family to stay as well, an additional 5 people. I said our house wasn't big enough for that, and they said, It's fine, they can all sleep on the floor... I said, Er no, there is one bathroom, 6 dining chairs, and this isn't a doss house!

We stopped doing swaps when we were having some house renovations done, then never really got back to it as the kids got older and we wanted a bit more flexibility, maybe a few days here and there rather than 2 weeks in one place. We never had any trouble finding swaps as we live in a city popular with tourists. We usually exchanged with a bigger house than ours, but ours is perfectly fine so I didn't feel bad about that! Mostly we didn't meet the swappers in person, but we did meet one or two and everyone was lovely.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
578 posts
18 reviews
8 helpful votes
8. Re: Holiday home swap
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Just remembered, not all house insurers are happy with house swaps, so make sure that yours is.

Didim, Turkey
Level Contributor
575 posts
28 reviews
29 helpful votes
9. Re: Holiday home swap
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Thank you all, I’m living in Turkey and well aware of the insurance situation with things but it’s a lot different here (and cheaper) so not a problem at all

Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
17,748 posts
90 reviews
119 helpful votes
10. Re: Holiday home swap
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Eddie

Your home insurer may be happy with home swaps but as many are not, this will restrict the number of properties available for you to swap with.

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