British Holiday Information

Cheap holiday accommodation – what about a home swap?

In today’s economic climate, finding ways of getting a good deal on a holiday rental can mean the difference between going on holiday and staying at home. But to save money, have you ever stopped to consider a ‘holiday home swap’?

I must admit I’ve never done it, or really even considered it, although I knew someone years’ ago that used to do it.

Home swap is, as the name suggests, swapping homes – you go to stay in someone else’s home while they stay in yours. Usually, no money changes hands and you can swap homes for a mutually agreed period of time, say for two weeks, or longer for work purposes – it doesn’t necessarily have to be for a holiday as long as both owners are happy with the length of the agreement.

Properties can be anywhere, a person in England can exchange homes with someone in Wales, Scotland, Canada, Australia, or wherever takes your fancy.

While I’m not the person to be asking about holiday home swaps, check out the home exchange travel blog run by Lois Sealey which offers loads of information and tips about setting up a home swap. Or read about the home swappers that have more than 60 home swaps under their belt.

Home swapping definitely sounds like a viable option for holiday accommodation. Who knows where you could end up staying.

Related posts

Money saving tips for a cheap British holiday
Save money on English tourist attractions
Save money on kennel fees

8 thoughts on “Cheap holiday accommodation – what about a home swap?

  1. Lois

    Thanks, Paula, for mentioning my home exchange blog. The state of the economy has meant many of our members are now swapping homes within the UK as well as abroad. Also, with the pound so low in value against other currencies, we are seeing an increased interest in holidays here from members from outside the UK. I will publish a post with a link to your blog as an excellent source for British holiday information.

  2. Kathie

    We have swapped homes many times and enjoyed some fantastic holidays. Our swap arrangements often include trading cars, club memberships – even camping gear for side trips. Our ‘cheapest’ exchange was a stay in a lovely traditional cottage overlooking the sea on the west coast of Ireland. Five of us travelled – for the grand sum of 1p each way. We took only hand baggage (the cottage had washer and dryer so no need to pack loads of clothes) so there were no additional charges – 10p for all of us! Our car hire cost about £100. Any other costs we would have incurred anyway. Our destinations have included Canada, the US, Portugal, CZ Republic, the Caribbean, Iceland, France, Brazil, Spain, Portugal…and of course Ireland. For us, the best thing about home swapping is the chance to see the country we are visiting through the eyes of a local, living as part of the local community. We also get great tips about where to go – and where to avoid, the best restaurants in the area, the tourist traps to avoid and the hidden gems. At the end of a busy day we return to a spacious home with a full kitchen, a comfortable lounge, often a garden or good outdoor space, BBQ, plenty of CD’s, DVD’s and toys for the kids. We would find it very hard to go back to the traditional package holiday – but then we have no intention of going back 🙂

  3. 1st Home Exchange

    Hello Paula,
    Thought your readers might be interested to learn about our home exchange website,

    Not only will visitors find home swap listings in 130 countries but we have numerous articles, tips, and videos for people new to home exchanging to help them learn about this travel alternative.


  4. Jackie

    Hi Paula,

    It’s good to see so much interest recently in holiday home swaps. We think that your readers might be interested to know that our recently launched website is the only one which caters exclusively for UK-based holiday swappers. We have chosen this route partly because we believe that the swapping is an idea whose time has come (not least in a recession) and needs to be democratised and made available to a much wider clientele than that traditionally associated with international swapping. In addition, we see ourselves as part of an an environmentally-aware movement towards ‘greener’ travel; part of our appeal is to holidaymakers to explore the many opportunities provided by the beautiful country in which they live, rather than jump on an aeroplane at the drop of a hat.
    We would be very grateful if you at some stage find space to give us a mention, and hopefully a link. Our website address is:
    Thank you and best wishes
    Jackie and Dave Wiltshire

  5. Paula Post author

    Well, when I started to explore home swaps I didn’t realise how big an industry it is and how popular.

    @ Lois, no problem, thanks for all the great information that your site provides.

    @ Kathie, yes I can see the huge advantage that home swapping provides – basically, it’s a home-from-home. I’ve stayed in many self-catering cottages where I’ve ended up buying glasses or some cooking utensil or item because the kitchen is ill-equiped to cook a meal.

    @ Tony, thanks for another great resource.

    @ Jackie & Dave, staying at ‘home’, i.e. staying within the UK is certainly a greener way of taking a holiday and one that is becoming increasingly popular. Good luck with your new website. With the popularity of home swaps I’ll certainly be writing more about this soon.

    If anyone else has anything to add to this topic, please feel free to comment.

    Thank you, Paula

  6. Reader

    Good work! Thank you very much!
    I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?
    Of course, I will add backlink?

    Regards, Your Reader

  7. Valerie Martin

    You can even get New Zealand for just the cost of the airfare. Many of our HomeLink International members have sons or daughters in NZ and visit every year for maybe 2 months exchanging Homes. Its certainly the future of travel and you can read about a typical Home exchange holiday at
    HomeLink International has personal representatives in 28 countries so you can be assured of help should you need it.

    Happy travelling Valerie