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Swap houses and go on vacation

Swapping your home with Home Exchange, a way to travel as “swingers,” in a good way


The traditional vacation supply chain usually involves leaving one's usual abode and then staying in a tourist facility or rented house. But the first part of the equation, as well as the last part, does not always involve homes remaining empty and desolate for weeks at a time. In fact, there is the possibility of preventing homes from suffering the fate of so many pets, remaining lonely and outcast during the summer.

With an open and dynamic approach and with an eye also on the overall vacation budget, one can in fact choose to occupy other people's homes-in this case with their consent-to enjoy a real vacation home. Real because it is accommodation that is actually inhabited for the rest of the year by another family who then, during the vacation season, chooses to exchange it, with mutual benefit, including financial. Through Home Exchange one can make one's own real estate available and at the same time search for those that are made available for exchange and then cross supply and demand, just to avoid that in the dynamics of the vacation market someone finds himself without where to sleep.

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The procedure is simple but, you should know, requires a subscription to the service 160 euros per year, with an unlimited number of exchanges. You start by creating an ad, in which you indicate the specifications of your home, with the inevitable pictures and the dates when the property is available to be exchanged. That done, one can begin searching for the destinations to which one would like to cross exchange, filtering the locations and types of homes suitable for one's vacation and lodging needs. Management of the Home Exchange will then take place with the messaging that the system provides, and negotiations will be concluded when the right cross between supply and demand for homes to be exchanged is found.

People will then be able to choose whether to enjoy their vacation in a house with a pool or one equipped with a barbecue. Whether you need an accommodation where you can also accommodate your pets or one where there are outdoor spaces, gardens, bicycles available or special equipment for children. This type of tourism comes across as more sustainable, because it is an alternative to mass tourism and more respectful of communities. More humane, because it is based on free hospitality that creates bonds among members of a community that has about 150,000 members in 145 countries around the world.

As in any self-respecting social-tourist system there are also reviews of swingers, to help travelers in their choice. And also badges indicating how many years an owner has been making his or her home available, attesting to its reliability. Then if bad luck strikes or inappropriate behavior and choices occur, Home Exchange provides protection on revocation of availability with a refund of $840 per week if a replacement home is not found. Then there is a guarantee to cover the nonconformity of the housing to the description. Finally, there is coverage for any property damage carried over from the exchanged home, with a maximum of $1 million.

But then if reciprocal and traditional exchanges between dwellings fail to work out, one can opt for the use of guestpoints, a form of remuneration for one's hospitality that can then be used to travel to destinations beyond the exchanges. In all this, the underlying question remains, namely the willingness, both moral and material, to leave one's home available to strangers-though part of a community-for an extended period of time. Would you guys do that?


Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios