Living overseas? If so, home swapping can be an excellent way to arrange comfortable free accommodation when returning ‘home’ to visit friends and family. Having a home 'base' can be especially welcome if you are staying for several weeks and would perhaps feel uncomfortable about imposing on friends or family for a lengthy period.
Having your own place gives you the space and freedom to relax and get back into being a local again. Often it's the simple things we miss about our home country – just the simple day-to-day way of life. As an expat, some of the small things you miss can’t easily be lived while staying in a hotel or even with family if you feel anxious about disrupting their routines. You are there on holiday, but you are not a tourist. You want to be able to cook a meal at home, have your friends over for coffee or dinner, do the shopping and spend quality time with your family in the same way you would if living there.
As well as the huge savings on accommodation, by swapping homes, you can shop for food in your favourite shops and markets, cook at home with familiar ingredients, and pack lunches for day trips. The savings on eating out all the time will add up too. You might be able to enjoy longer visits or even plan trips back home more frequently.
Visiting 'home' with your kids
Living as an expat, as time goes by you may be more and more settled in your new country. If you have young children, they will be growing up, making friends and possibly becoming fluent in a new language, but it’s always nice to keep them in touch with your culture too. Taking your kids back to visit relatives in your native country can feel very important and home swapping makes doing so more pleasant and affordable. Staying in a real home in a real neighbourhood will give children growing up in another country a better feel for the culture you grew up in.
How home swapping works:
First you'll need to sign up to a home swap club such as Home Base Holidays. You'll add your own home to the site, search home swap offers and then contact other members to plan your home swap accommodation. By swapping homes there are no hotel or rental fees and so you'll enjoy free accommodation.
Home Base Holidays: join for free and plan your home swap holidays
Sign up to Home Base Holidays two-week free trial or select a full membership (6-month or 1-year).