Home swapping for travel accommodation can be a game-changer

Have you ever seen this movie “The Holiday?”

I’ll Save You a Watch: Two women, played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, swap homes in each other’s country. They each meet a local, handsome guy and fall in love. The magic ensues.

Here’s the thing: Home swapping is unlikely to lead to happily ever after with a new lover.

It could, however, show you a whole new side to travel, save you money and discover new friends all over the world. Home swapping is a growing phenomenon in the travel industry, and it’s gaining traction on social media: millions of videos fall under the #homeswap tag on TikTok. Proponents say the practice saved them a small fortune on hotels and Airbnbs, and it allowed them to travel the world on short notice.

The Holiday (2006) Official trailer starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law! Two women with guy issues swap houses in each other’s country, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Alyssa Lauren, TikTok userwho only goes by her first and middle names online, is a big proponent of home swapping and often shares stories of her travels with her 1.3 million followers on the app. Several of his home swapping videos have gone viral lately. month.

An exchange even brought her to Toronto.

“I remember one night I was parading on TikTok, and I saw a lady in London who was looking to swap apartments,” she told the Star. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is a scam’, but then I was looking through the comments, and there were hundreds and hundreds of people commenting where they came from.”

Alyssa’s interest was quickly piqued and she went online to try out a home exchange site, where she was able to provide her personal information for insurance and security purposes.

“Within a week, we received our first request,” she said.

Since her first home-swap trip by swapping her California home for a lakeside home in Arizona, Alyssa has been able to travel far more freely than she could if she still relied on Airbnbs and hotels. During her trip to Toronto, she especially enjoyed exploring the city’s culinary scene.

“We fell in love with the poutine!” the California native said with a laugh, adding that she and her partner had it “every day, in all different variations.”

The home swap opened Alyssa’s eyes to lifestyles and experiences beyond her own – perhaps her favorite part of the journey.

“I feel like everyone goes through this, where you’re limited in your perspective, and as you travel you realize you’re stuck in your ways, you see the infrastructure that locals use and experiment. So to experience that in Toronto was amazing.

Emmanuel Arnaud, CEO of Home exchange, joked in an interview that the company doesn’t necessarily provide “incredible lovers from across the ocean,” referring to “The Holiday.” (You quickly learn in this business that the film is omniscient, a frequent reference for lovers of roommates.)

“But the advantage is financial,” said Arnaud. “You save so much money when you do a home exchange because you don’t pay for the exchange. You pay a subscription to join our community, but then you can trade as many as you want…these are real homes with a warm welcome.

“And of course they can give you directions on how to experience local life, their favorite restaurants,” Arnaud continued. He splits his time between France and Boston and has plenty of tips for visitors to either place. “I always tell people that there are two bakeries near my house, here’s the good one and the bad one, and it’s very important that you go to the right one.”

Arnaud suggests that the ideal swap occurs between homes with similar lifestyles – two families with children, for example, or two homes in roughly the same tax bracket with comparable amenities.

If you want, you can also use Home Exchange without buying commercial houses using the site’s points system.

For those concerned about the security aspect of home exchange, Arnaud says Home Exchange has measures in place to protect travelers on both sides of the trade, including identity verification and insurance.

“We are used to managing exchanges all over the world,” said Arnaud. “There are very few problems with that.”


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