Wednesday, January 28, 2009
London Home Exchange
House swapping is believed to have developed in the 1950s, but rose to prominence in the 1970s as more people got involved and considered it to be a viable vacation option. Some estimates indicate that 15-20% of travelers are participating in some form of house swapping. Summer is traditionally the peak season for house swapping, due to families traveling during summer vacations and house swapping allows families to try out a location for a short period of time.
I've always liked the idea of saving a bit of money by doing a holiday home exchange, but my home would need some serious cleaning before I would want to offer it in a home exchange. The idea that someone would travel across the world and spend a couple of weeks camped out among my odds and ends while I was camped out among there's is kind of interesting.
It is fun to read some of the listings for vacation exchanges, a lot of people seem to want to travel to Sydney or New York, so I guess if you have a home in Sydney or New York then you'll do good on the whole home exchange front. But I also found people in London that wanted to home swap with people in New Mexico and just the USA. There are a lot of home exchanges for California as well.
A quick searches find that there are worldwide exchanges and property swaps seem possible to just about anywhere you'd want to go. Paris seems to be a hot vacation home exchange site, though the people in Paris seem to want home exchanges with people in Italy or California. There seem to be a few adventurous types who do house exchanges and want to go anywhere at any time. Must be nice to have that kind of freedom. I tend to feel a bit trapped myself at the moment.
Of course, it would be different if I had a vacation home swap, if I had that extra house by the lake or in the country. If I had enough money for a vacation home, would I still be interested in the whole house swap thing? Sure, if I had enough money, it would just mean that I could do all the holiday home exchanges I wanted and see more of the world.