Looking for an affordable option to get the family out of town? If you’re seeking to cut costs on vacation, you might want to think about home-sitting and house-exchanging as alternatives to conventional travel. These are excellent strategies to locate free or inexpensive lodging!
If you’re cool with another family moving into your home while you move into theirs, house swapping is a tempting choice. House sitting also allows you to cut costs on lodging, but there are general requirements; you may even need to take care of the owner’s pet… or ten.
Both of these arrangements may be made for a little period, like a weekend in New York City, or for a long period, like in the spring in the South of France. In any event, you and your family may locate free and inexpensive places to stay that will provide an interesting opportunity to visit hundreds of areas across the world with a little diligent study on these house-sitting and home exchange websites (and perhaps a modest membership fee).
Best House Swapping Websites:
Let’s start by taking a look at several websites that are dedicated to housing exchange. Others have developed more complex point systems that allow for greater flexibility, especially if you have a second property you can offer up or use yourself! Some people concentrate on simple agreements (you stay at my house next summer; I’ll stay at yours).
1. Home Exchange
HomeExchange, the global leader in house switching, has over 400,000 houses in 187 nations. The website is similar to Airbnb; it is stylish, functional, and extremely simple to use to obtain the information you need. Joining the platform is similarly simple. You only need to establish a profile, select your favorite locations, and include details and pictures of your residence. Getting everything organized so you can take some excellent pictures is the hardest part. Additionally, you may immediately change your availability calendar so that other members can know the times that your house is available for usage.
Home Exchange enables you to make reciprocal exchanges, where you and another member utilize other’s houses at the same time, or you may use their flexible Guest Point system. By inviting additional users to the site or hosting existing users, you may accumulate points. Based on the expected rental value, each residence is assigned a point value. You can get 450 points just for signing up, which is around 2-3 nights in a typical house.
You must pay $150 every year to officially join to complete an exchange, but you may explore and make plans without doing so first.
2. Love Home Swap
LoveHomeSwap offers the same house-swapping option as HomeExchange. They also provide the choice of a “traditional exchange” or a points swap. After signing up for a free 2-week trial, you may pick between three subscriptions that allow you varying degrees of access to the site’s services and cost an average of $150 each year. The ideal strategy includes free access to airport lounges and a staff of support personnel! Without providing any information or registering for anything, you may have a quick look at some of the available properties. With more than 100 nations represented, there is a lot to view.
Homelink demonstrates that house exchange existed long before the internet did! This organization was established in 1953 using hand-written lists of home exchange offers, and its straightforward strategy has endured the test of time.
You may go through their vast selection for free, and if you like what you see, you can establish an account and join for roughly $105 each year. There aren’t any points or any gimmicky features; simply a well-designed website where you may meet individuals who are enthusiastic about straightforward, synchronous house sharing.
To get the most out of the exchange, you can go through “10 Principles for a Successful Home Exchange,” member reviews, and guest books in addition to speaking with representatives in 27 different countries.
4. Holiday Swap
Holiday Swap is the last website we’ll cover, and it offers properties in roughly 185 different nations. You may subscribe to extra features like travel insurance and property damage protection for as low as $1 each night.
When communicating with house swappers from across the world, their chat tool will translate into any language. In contrast to the other websites we’ve listed, you must first register for a free account to access any member’s house. The site is less robust overall, but if you are successful in finding possible mates, the price point will balance the longer navigation time.
Best House Sitting Websites:
Next, take a look at some top-notch websites for home sitting. This can be the option for you if you don’t want to give up your residence and are willing to be responsible for someone else’s animals and/or property.
1. Trusted Housesitters
About 2,000 house-sitting positions are available at any given moment on TrustedHousitters.com. and a feature-rich website that makes it simple to sort through and evaluate offers. You may browse without signing up, and for $189 a year, you can get an annual membership that enables you to both search and provide childcare.
Although this is the most expensive service we have examined, you get a lot for your money, especially if you’re looking for a home or pet sitter yourself. This website is a secure and useful alternative for pet owners who know how difficult it is to pay for a kennel or burden on friends and family to travel. Apply early and frequently since there is a lot of competition for desirable seating chances.
Nomador is a well-known home-sitting platform that has hundreds of positive customer ratings and an easy-to-navigate website. As many houses are vacation homes that require care during the off-season, there is a little less of a focus on pet sitting here than on Trusted Housesitters.
By uploading identity papers and receiving feedback from completed sitting gigs, Nomador’s badge system assesses individuals based on how trustworthy they have shown themselves to be. This means that developing a strong enough profile to land amazing jobs might take some time, but on the plus side, it’s a sign that the decision-makers want to keep things legal.
The people who advertise their houses must fill out a “home book” in advance, which includes all the details the sitters will need to fulfill their expectations, such as where the spare key is located and how frequently to water the ficus. Nomador charges $99/year for all of its benefits, or you may select the “discovery option,” which enables you to look at and apply for up to three jobs without cost.
3. House Sitting Magazine
Although House Sitting Magazine is not a platform for discovering sitting arrangements, it performs the useful task of comparing several websites that do. The site’s creators have a lot of gaming expertise. They have roughly 100 sitting under their belt and offer a variety of advice. Even a six-part course is available to educate you on how to become a professional home sitter. Before agreeing to pay the membership cost for a home-sitting website, it would be wise to start here and educate yourself.
Not everyone will find house swapping and house sitting to be ideal, but if you believe your family is adaptive and flexible enough to accept the less desired aspects of these experiences, you’re sure to build some memories along the way. Always be aware of what you’re entering into, is our counsel. Speak with your host in advance and make sure you have all the necessary inquiries.
Check your homeowner’s insurance if you’re house exchanging to make sure you’re protected in case the worst occurs while someone else is in control. Investigate the folks you are sitting for or trading with on social media and any other website you can find. Of course, you should also pay special attention to the feedback they have received on their accounts.
There is little doubt that the websites mentioned above offer a wealth of useful information about house sitting and house exchanging, as well as general travel advice. With a little luck and talent, you could just land that dream job and spend a few weeks cuddling puppies by a hot pool at someone’s holiday house. Happy searching!