Dear Families: It's Time to Try Home Swapping
Hello! Camille here. I’m the owner of Get Globetrotting, a budget travel planning company geared toward families. I love home swapping because it makes world travel accessible for everyone, especially travelers with children. I'm going to take you through how we began our home swapping journey and give you detailed tips for starting yours!
My husband and I bonded over a love of travel. We got married 6 years ago and continued our adventures throughout the world as a couple. When we had our first child, friends and family told us our traveling days had come to an end. This is true for most people. They travel when they're young and they travel when they're retired. But what about in between? For most families, the cost of booking multiple hotel rooms and being forced to eat most meals out makes travel cost prohibitive. But what if you were able to live similarly to how you do at home without paying an exorbitant amount for lodging? With home swapping, there is no need to put off your dream trips until your kids are out of the house.
I first learned about home swapping when we were living in San Francisco. A friend with three kids told me they stayed on someone's boat in Sausalito in exchange for the person staying in their Marina home. I was intrigued. Fast forward two years, and we finally became home owners in LA. Our first swap was in Utah. Since then, we've exchanged with families from NYC, London, Colorado, Zurich, and Vienna. Our upcoming swaps are in Palm Springs and Austin Texas. In 2019 we are hoping to exchange in Korea, Japan, Washington DC, San Diego, and near some national parks. With home swapping we are able to maintain our budget while enjoying all the comforts of home in new locations. We feel like we've lucked into something that will keep us traveling throughout our lives.
Who can home swap? You likely first think of someone who owns a home in a popular vacation location. While those people will certainly have a very easy time finding swaps, the truth is most listings don’t fit that criteria. If you are a renter, the first step would be to check with your landlord. Most of the places we have stayed have been rented apartments. Next, think about why you live where you do. Are you close to culture or nature? If you’re just a short train ride away from San Francisco, wouldn’t it be fun to swap with someone who is a short train ride away from Paris? What about someone in a city center that might want to stay in your country home to get away from it all? Every area has something to offer. There must be a reason you live where you do and other people will want to try it out!
In my next blog, I will be detailing every step of how to be a successful home swapper!