Travel Trip Home Swap

Nancy Atwater sits on the couch in the living room of her home outside Sperry, Okla. on Friday Feb. 16, 2007. She and her husband Mike participate in the home exchange vacation program through Homelink USA and have swapped their home with others as far away as Lancaster England. (AP Photo by Mel Root)

The concept of swapping abodes for a budget vacation is nothing new, but a boom in exchange sites and companies have revived the trend. The introduction of home-swapping companies negates the free aspect, but it provides an added insurance and matching service that saves time and anxiety.

The types of swapping range from a simultaneous exchange of homes to staying at someone’s vacation home to spending the night as a guest in a fellow swapper’s abode with them. Memberships aren’t very steep, with HomeLink costing $95 for an annual international membership. Some of the newer sites offering more customer support, like Love Home Swap and Knok, cost $20 per month and $29 per year, respectively. Love Home Swap has properties in 160 countries, while Knok specializes in facilitating exchanges between families.

It’s best to be clear about your expectations with fellow swappers for practicality and peace of mind. Consider all the necessary details that could arise, so you’re free to spend your vacation hassle-free in your borrowed home.

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