If you’re tempted to move abroad but are nervous about taking the plunge, home exchanging can be a great way to get a feel for a new country before you commit to a long-term move. Although the majority of home swaps are for shorter holiday-length periods, there are also many exchange offers for longer periods of 3+ months (e.g. retired people with grown-up children living abroad often want to spend lengthy periods visiting children and grandchildren).
Living in a home in a real neighbourhood will give you the chance to decide whether it is a place you could see yourself moving to permanently and, if you are already seriously looking into the move, the opportunity to search for jobs, schools and homes to buy or rent.
To check for members offering longer exchange periods, search home swap offers. Under the Search home swaps column on the left, tick Long term exchange under Type of exchange. Select country and other important search criteria to narrow the results (automatically updated) to the most likely to suit your needs.