Although two or three week holiday home swaps are still the norm for most Home Base Holidays members, increasing numbers are looking for long-term exchanges of up to a year (sometimes even longer). This is a growing trend for a variety of reasons:
- There have always been the few lucky ones able to take sabbaticals but now more people can work remotely wherever there is reliable internet access, and so can combine work and a holiday.
- Retired home exchangers often prefer longer exchanges to long-haul destinations; once flights are paid for, most are able to live as cheaply (sometimes more so) as they would at home.
- Others like to spend a lengthy period near (but not living with) family abroad.
- Some look for long-term swaps when working abroad on a set period contract or to try out an area/country before committing to a permanent move.
See Detailed Search and choose Long Term Exchange from the drop-down menu beside ‘Type of Exchange’ to limit search results to members offering this option.
We recently had a request for advice from Marie who is looking for an extended exchange of two or three months in Italy next year. Marie was already checking new listings often for potential swaps and contacting any such members without delay. Being pro-active as Marie is doing is always the best way to optimise chances of finding a suitable exchange, especially important when looking for a long-term home exchange and/or to a very popular destination. We suggested a few tweaks Marie could make to her listing to draw extra attention to her request and she has made the changes. Now her destination request reads: ‘Italy 1-2 month off season exchange (s) sought in 2011’.
Marie has advantages in being as open as possible on the length and area(s) in Italy she will consider and is open to one longer exchange or two or three shorter swaps. Also, having two homes available (a villa on an island - Ile D'Oleron, Charente Maritime, France and an apartment in Waldershare Park, Kent, England), and able to offer a non-simultaneous exchange, increases her ability to fit around the needs of potential exchange partners in Italy.
As the dates for exchange get near, if Marie has not already found and agreed exchanges in Italy next year, she will be able to add her listing to the separate Last Minute Offers list (and check regularly for other offers on this list), as well as add some extra copy to the beginning of her descriptions in both listings to draw attention to her request (this will be seen in the summary results when members/site visitors search on England and France). However, as she has two very attractive homes to offer, it’s unlikely that she won’t arrange at least one exchange in Italy long before this time. A taster of her offer in Kent (link above for full details):
Waldershare House (in photo) is an 18C, Queen Anne Mansion on the 2000 acre country estate of the Earl of Guildford.
Our 2nd floor apartment (lift)covers the top floor of the left wing and has panoramic views across the estate. There is a residents garden from which you can walk for miles over the North Downs.
We are located in the beautiful Kent countryside (known as the Garden of England) within a triangle bordered by the Port of Dover and the medieval towns of Canterbury and Sandwich.
Beaches and stunning coastal walks along the cliffs are just a 15 min drive away. Daytrips to France or London practically on your doorstep.
We are looking for one or more exchanges for an extended stay of 2/3 months in Italy in 2011 and can offer either or both of our homes in exchange. We are an active couple in our 60's, Michael a retired architect & Marie a holiday rentals consultant. We love to travel and now have more time to do so. This is our UK home but we are never there April to October. We are open to any suggestions that may spark our interest and we are free to travel at any time of the year.