just life traveling

swapping homes

have you ever seen the movie “the holiday“? in it, two women swap their houses in LA and the UK during the christmas holiday… and naturally end up getting into lots of adventures.

for me, the movie was nothing short of a revelation. i liked the idea of home-swapping so much that we quickly signed up for one of the websites and have not looked back since! :) i love traveling and experiencing cultures from within, and having a fully-equipped house in the destination is the best way to experience a place without the sterility of an hotel room.

as much as we love traveling, we would not be able to afford all these extended trips without house swaps. if the biggest expenses in a trip are usually accommodation and eating, the first is taken care of when you swap your home for someone else’s, and the second gets easier with a kitchen available — especially when you’re traveling on a budget. we can cook at “home” now and then, work and relax without worrying about keeping our stuff in a safe or getting kicked out by the cleaning service.

sometimes people ask us whether we feel ok letting strangers into our house… and after a few times, it’s actually not as scary as you’d think. we don’t have fancy china or designer couches — it’s all straight from ikea, and thus easily washable and replaceable. in 11 swaps, we’ve lost the lid of a coffee grinder.

one of the unexpectedly nice parts about it is definitely the books! you get to peruse someone else’s bookshelves, maybe even pick up a few books to read — it’s wonderful. in the pictures, you can see three different bookshelves from three different homes we stayed in, all stocked with interesting reads.

it’s not something for everyone, but i can’t recommend it heartily enough!

7 replies on “swapping homes”

Actually, in a way, that was the origins of AirBnB and even before that, the renting out of your own home. It’s not sharing, but it’s still providing access to a personal space (although, now, many are just another business).

One thing that always surprised me is that when a place is rather personal, people take care of it. After 12 years of renting out my space, only one person behaved uncivilised. And a few broken glasses now and then, but that happens to everyone!

Hi Ana! I would like to know too which website do you use? I am active on Couchsurfing and this seems really interesting too. Thanks!

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