Q: My husband and I are hoping to visit London (or somewhere within easy access to London) over the Christmas period and possibly staying until the 5th or 6th January 2024. Most of the half decent hotels and holiday rentals we've checked are incredibly expensive and, as we'd be there for Christmas/New Year, we'd ideally like to stay somewhere quite homely and welcoming.
We've just started looking at the possibility of arranging a home exchange in London, it sounds like it could be a really great option but ...we are total novices in this! We have a two bedroom cottage in Cornwall (not far from St Ives). My question is, how would we go about finding a home exchange and have we left it too late to arrange an exchange for the Christmas period? - Allison, UK
A: Thanks for getting in touch! Home swapping sounds like it would be an excellent fit for your travel requirements. Firstly, the accommodation is free (except for the small membership fee) and secondly, you'll get to stay in a real London home over the festive period - much nicer than staying in a hotel room!
There is definitely still time to arrange a home swap over the festive period but it's best to get a move on and start looking as soon as possible. The first step is to sign up to a home swapping website such as Home Base Holidays where you'll add your home and details of where you're looking to visit (London for the festive period). Once you've signed up, start searching home swap offers and make sure to be proactive and start contacting any members in or around London whose offers look tempting.
You can search by exchange dates to find members in London looking for exchanges late December to early January. You can also add your offer to the "Last minute swap" section on the Home Base Holidays and search other last minute offers.
Home Base Holidays: join for free and start home swapping
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Home swap guarantee: second year free if you do not arrange a swap during your membership.