Q: I live in London and am looking to visit Melbourne for an extended stay. I'm quite flexible but would like to stay from anywhere between 6 - 9 months. Home swapping looks like it could potentially be an ideal option but is there any limits to the length of a home exchange? - Jason (London)
A: Hi Jason! Thanks for getting in touch. Home swapping can be a great way to try a new location for an extended period of time - we've even seen a number of members arrange a home swap to try living in a new location 'as a local' before deciding whether to move abroad permanently. It can be ideal as you'll enjoy free accommodation and, as you'll be swapping, you'll not need to think about sorting out a rental on your own property (being tied down to a rental contract and potentially having to change your mortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage).
Although the majority of home swaps are for shorter vacation periods of 1 – 4 weeks, there is no limit to the length and many members arrange swaps of anything from 3 months to 1+ years, it totally depends on the length agreed between the two members taking part.
It can of course be a bit more difficult finding longer term exchanges and so it's important to give yourself plenty of time; Join Home Base Holidays several months before your planned travel dates and be as proactive as possible (contact a number of members to suggest a swap). You might even look into arranging more than one exchange or arranging one swap and using rental accommodation for any period not covered. This will give you the chance to move around and get a feel for more than one area.
To browse current long term exchange offers, go to the home swap search page and select ‘Long term exchange’ from the ‘Type of exchange’ options.