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How to Find a Vacation Swap

How to Find a Vacation Swap


Are you looking to live like you’re on vacation for a while? We’ve done a house exchange between Paris and Los Angeles, and here’s how to find a vacation exchange so you can do the same.

How to find a home exchange
How to find a home exchange

If you’ve been visiting these parts for a while, you may remember our house swap experience when we went to Paris. It was the greatest experience ever – we swapped houses for about a month with a Parisian couple.

They came to stay at our house and we went to stay at their house. Truly, it was the greatest trip of my life, and I loved living like a local.

The experience was positive from start to finish. And now we look forward to planning our next exchange!

I just love the idea of ​​being able to open up your home to a like-minded traveler, and being able to experience the way other people live for a little while.

So I thought it might be great to share the process of how to find a vacation swap or home swap when we’re looking to travel.

Psst — before you get the details, make sure you enter your information below to join my VIP group. Send these people your best travel and family ideas, hacks, and tricks!

Heart of Sayulita Walk

Where to find vacation swaps

First and foremost, I always start by researching Home exchange website. It’s something we stumbled upon early in our marriage when we wanted to do a lot of traveling but wanted to do it on a budget.

The site makes searching for a house swap very easy and safe. All members have profiles so you can see how many exchanges they have done, different ways to check them out, and more.

Here’s a great post with a lot of information.

Travel guide to Cabo San Lucas

Prepare your home for swap

When you start looking for an exchange, always first make sure your home profile is up to date, that there are plenty of recent photos, and that your home descriptions are clear.

You are more likely to find exchanges or take credit for allowing others to stay in your home if this is well represented in photos and information.

Next, focus on the places you want to travel to. While searching for an exchange, I’ve found it helpful to be somewhat open about your travel plans when it comes to date range and destination.

It opens up greater possibilities when it comes to finding someone who might be looking to exchange in your part of the world.

Mother and son in Old Town San Diego

Narrow your home exchange options

Once you’ve identified a few places, start searching.

One great tool that HomeExchange has is the ability to enter a search for the country or city you want to go to, and then filter the results by other HomeExchange members who also want to travel to the country or city where you live.

I use this almost every time I search, because it instantly narrows down the search results to people who might consider exchanging. It’s very useful.

Now comes the fun part! Once the search results appear, scroll through them all to find places that might be a good fit for your family, your needs, or the type of trip you’re looking to take.

It may sound silly, but more often than not I’ll look for photos of homes that have a similar aesthetic to ours, because that will likely put us on a good footing to start exchanging.

I also look for family profiles with kids our same age, so I know our homes will be a good fit for each other.

Little boy running on Kauai

Track options

While searching, if you find anything even remotely interesting, always be sure to add it to your favorites or bookmark it in some way so you don’t forget the list.

From there, go back and review them again and narrow them down to your favorites.

Once you have some favorites, start contacting the owners! I recommend communicating directly through a reputable vacation or house exchange site without exchanging any personal information.

After you make a connection with someone, you can choose to continue your conversation through the site, or exchange information and go private.

I totally recommend arranging some phone calls and FaceTime or Skype sessions with your exchange partner to make sure you feel comfortable.

On our first exchange, we made Skype tours of each other’s homes and talked a few times to make sure everything was taken care of.

Mom and daughter dancing

Would you like to exchange vacations?

Think of all the possibilities! When you use vacation swaps, it opens up new ways to travel that you might not normally explore.

It’s a great way to experience the world, and I can’t recommend it enough. Have you ever traded houses with anyone? can you? xoxo

How to find a home exchange

This post is not sponsored. However, HomeExchange kindly offered us a free year’s membership to get our honest feedback about our experience.


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