A growing trend in the baby-boomer age group (and those a wee bit older) is to organise house exchanges when travelling.
Each winter, Vernon in British Columbia sees an inundation of Australians and New Zealanders who have exchanged homes so that they can enjoy a month or more skiing mountains in the Okanagan Valley and beyond.
It’s a win-win situation as many Canadians want to escape the winter to enjoy the sunshine in Australia or New Zealand while the Aussies and Kiwis make the most of the Canadian ski fields.
It’s possible to swap houses with people from just about any country in the world. And as baby boomers retire, more people are exchanging for long periods of time – up to 12 months. It’s feasible to be away from home for a couple of years as retirees organise multiple exchanges in different countries around the world or within their own country for that matter.
So how does one go about organising a house swap?
There are a number of options that have worked for us:
- word of mouth – this works best if there is an active home exchange network happening already
- home exchange websites
- advertisement in travel accommodation section of newspaper.
Numerous websites now abound on the Internet with listings of thousands of homes in every country of people who want to swap homes.
But it’s not just about the savings in accommodation costs, it’s the experience of becoming part of a community even if only for a short time. Neighbours introduce themselves (and often pick you up from the airport), you meet all kinds of people, you get to live in a home rather than a sterile hotel room, and generally, the locals are very friendly.
House swapping – it’s great stuff!
Contact Susie if you are interested in discussing a house swap in Balmain, Sydney.
You can see more images and get more details about our apartment on the house swap website, First Home Exchange.