'We are a retired medical couple with more than 60 home exchanges so far. We are addicted to travel and find living in someone else's home the best way to do it!'
The quote above us from Home Base Holidays members, a couple from Sydney, Australia, who are certainly making the most of their retirement to travel far and wide via home swapping.
The couple are quite specific in their requirements (see their full home exchange offer) but are able to arrange suitable swaps by being very active members, contacting several others to suggest a swap and planning exchanges well in advance of dates wanted (they are currently looking for exchanges in 2014 and 2015). It helps, of course, that they are able to offer a new luxury apartment in a prime position in Sydney, a very popular city destination for home swaps (apartment on a high floor, with all day sun and magnificent harbour & city panoramas) plus a second home, a beautiful beach house at Whale Beach, just 50 minutes from the city.
If your only home is modest or not in a well-known location, don't despair (let's be honest, most homes fit this description) or think that no one would be interested in swapping with you. Just look at the benefits you can offer. For example, if you live in London, your home s more likely to be in the suburbs than in the heart of central London. A suburban home may not be as convenient as being able to walk 'home' in a few minutes after a night out in the West End but most London suburbs are very well served by public transport (we Londoners like to moan about it but where else are there so many buses as well as the Tube and trains?). And the suburbs have their own attractions - lots of green spaces, a wide variety of restaurants (within three minutes I can eat Italian, Indian, Afghani, Turkish, Greek, Polish, Bulgarian or fish and chips!) and be within easy reach of the countryside too. If you are lucky enough to live in an Edwardian house, you will be able to offer spacious rooms and garden unlike most smaller inner city apartments and your home may be suitable for families with children too, opening your offer to many more members than would be possible in an adult only inner city complex.
Whether you live in a prime location or not, the key to successful home swapping is being willing to devote some time to contacting potential home swap partners with your offer and taking time to keep up the regular correspondence during the run-up to an exchange.