What is Home Swap?
Does it sound strange to you that people regularly swap homes? A modern fad you say? Well, what if we told you that home swapping began as far as 1950. Back then, it was used as a powerful way for others to meet each other and as a means of social interaction. Advertised privately through little booklets back then, now you can do the entire process through a host of online websites.
Companies who specialize in home exchange have started to appear in the last ten to fifteen years. These companies give you the chance to home swap, as well as travel and see a completely new area of the world. The main idea is to give you a new zest for life – to see things from a whole new perspective, as well as to meet new people and just to see a whole new part of the world, in general.
Pretty much, you simply swap homes with somebody – you move into their house, they move into yours. Obviously, you need to swap with someone who can meet your needs – facilities, bedrooms, working conditions etc – but this is a great way to save money on vacation. You do not need to pay for accommodation, which can regularly be one of the most expensive parts of a holiday. Basically you both get a great vacation out of it, while saving money, and seeing a whole new culture and meeting new people and being able to see life from a completely different point of view.
The concept of the entire process has been made famous by building trust. The idea of leaving your home in the hands of a complete stranger is obviously daunting – what if important things go missing or they cause a riot and bring trouble to your house? However, it’s a great way to learn to trust strangers and also to prove that you are trustworthy yourself. Generally, the exchange happens on the same day, but sometimes in a slightly alternate route, is that these people will put you up for two weeks, and then you do the same.
Not only do you have to learn to live with a complete stranger, but you have to learn how to tolerate somebody you barely know and the habits they have. In a home swap, you have to make everything as clear as possible regarding culture differences, help about the house, what is cool and what is not on. It’s all very exciting, meeting new people and learning how they live life and also learning the hardships and bonuses of a completely different family’s life.
Believing that when you are on vacation, taking care of their home, that they are going to take care of your home too is vital. You will not enjoy the experience if you are full of paranoia, hoping that they are not damaging the property or taking liberties with your neighbors.
Another form of home exchange is hospitality. This means that you visit a country you have always wanted to travel to and visit, and live in an unknown city. This means you need to learn fast about the cultural differences, and how to live life in that country. It can be an extremely hard thing to do, but it is a great way to learn how life has progressed for you. This means you get to meet the people they socialize with and love, meaning you can create whole new social circles for yourself, seeing how other groups of friends enjoy each other’s company.
This obviously takes out the fear of a stranger making a mess of your home, allowing you enjoy your new culture while paying your way. It’s an extremely exciting way to travel and go on vacation, and give you a completely new outlook on life.
Home exchange is something which can give you a new lease of life. Bored in work? Bored in the same old house? Can’t afford a holiday? This gives you an escape from the usual connotations of money and hardship. It allows you to break free and enjoy the company of potential new best friends, as well as taking in something you usually would not be able to afford – an entire new way of life.
Home swap in the United States has gained huge momentum since the turn of the century, because more Americans have to travel regularly across the state for work, and start to accrue huge hotel bills. Also with the inflation rates causing the house market to become increasingly difficult to get involved in, it gives young Americans a chance to see the entire country, live an exciting life and meet new people.
Work around the area you live in, doing tasks and helping around, pa your way and see local landmarks and just enjoy the fact that you are currently not tied down by the 9-5 of work life.
There are a number of websites out there which offer home swap services all across the United States. This makes it easy to get in touch with a like-minded individual and agree to swap homes. It gives you a break from the same old story, but vigilance is still required with home swapping.
Before you dive straight in with one of these companies – do your research. Check out the background, the reviews online, and even try and get a meeting with the owner of the company to get some final details. Although home exchange is great, there are unscrupulous individuals who use home exchange for fraudulent purposes.
You should never exchange money or details until you have received all the necessary proof you require to know that the situation is going to work out fine. However, don’t let this put you off – there are far more adventurous, reputable companies and people out there who are looking to home swap than sinister individuals looking to rip you off.