HashOut: 2007/08/19
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House-Swapping Vacations

House-Swapping VacationsEver dreamed of staying in a villa in Tuscany? Maybe you can -- if you're willing to swap your house for someone else's. It can save you huge amounts of money (at least half of swaps include cars too), and give you the experience of another culture in a way hotel stays can't. Bill and Mary Barbour have been swapping their home in the US for 18 years -- 100+ times worldwide -- and never had a theft or serious damage. Here's what they've learned:

  • Don't do it if you're uneasy living in someone else's home -- or trusting them to live in yours.
  • Don't expect a palace in Paris if you're trading a modest small-town home. But with time, you'll find the right fit.
  • Get to know the swap family. Talk by phone or email, and exchange photos and information.
  • It's easy to arrange swaps through several agencies like Intervac or HomeLink. For more agencies, just Google for "house swapping"
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