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Article of the Month

The Art Behind House Swapping
By Hannah Yoffa

    The mystery behind house swapping is a new, unique way to travel that is being discovered by people from around the globe. This growing international trend is becoming more popular, especially when trying to cut travel expenses in regards to accommodation and transportation. Before the internet, house swapping used to occur through friends and family. The internet provides endless possibilities, thus allowing for numerous websites specializing in house swapping. This provides enormous potential for vacation spots. A person will first pick a destination, pick a specific listing, and then begin contact with the member. Most of the websites charge a membership fee in exchange for a yearlong listing of a house or accommodation.
    House swapping decreases the cost of spending money on accommodations, transportation at a destination, and lessens the cost of food. Depending on the arrangement, which is specific to each party, people may include cars or other modes of transportation in the trade. Rather than eating out for every meal, people can cook for themselves, reducing money spent at restaurants. Many people feel that house swapping gives visitor’s a better feel of the culture and dynamics of a destination because they have the opportunity to interact with the locals on a daily basis. For instance, a participant who went to England got to know their local neighbors and was invited to a traditional afternoon tea party.
    According to the popular house swapping website, www.houseexchange.com, there are two types of exchanges: home exchange and hospitality exchange. Home exchange allows people to trade homes, apartments and condominiums for a specified amount of time. Traditional ideas of a home are not the only accommodations being exchanged. People are now trading their house to take a trip on someone’s yacht or go cross country in an RV. In this exchange, both parties agree on a time to exchange their homes that is convenient.
    Hospitality exchange allows participants to meet one another. Participants take turns hosting one another at their homes during specified times. Each exchange participant has the opportunity to be a host at their own home and a guest at their partner’s home. Hospitality exchange is becoming more popular because travelers are able to interact with one another and gain insight into a destination by having a personal tour guide.
    To learn more about house swapping visit www.homeexchange.com or www.domuswap.com.

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