Frequently Asked Questions




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What is home exchange?

There are several variations of home exchanges, but the most common is when two families agree to swap homes during the same time period. Thus they each spend the same amount of time in the other's home and return at the same time, perhaps with an overlap to meet in person. Part of the fun is getting to know others from around the world.


For purposes of home exchanges, what is a home?

A home can be a:

  • Single family home
  • Condominium
  • Rental apartment
  • Yacht or sailboat
  • Motor home
  • Houseboat


When does a home exchange take place?

A home swap can take place whenever the exchangers want it to. There are no set rules on when exchanges can happen. It is up to the home swappers to select and agree to the dates convenient to them.

In practice, many home exchangers are bound by their lifestyles. Work, their children’s school year, vacation times, family commitments, travel opportunities, seasons and weather, and other issues affect their decisions. Many travelers prefer to exchange home during July and August, Easter and the end-of-year holidays.


Where do home exchanges take place? 

Since almost anyone with a home can participate in a home exchange, home swaps can take place anywhere there is a home. In practice, most home exchanges take place in the United States and Western Europe. 

There is an increasing number of exchange offers in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand; there is also a handful of exchangers from Latin America, the Middle East and some exotic destinations like Mauritius, New Caledonia, the Cook islands, and the Bahamas.


Why do people swap homes?

Home exchangers trade homes for many reasons. Many enjoy living in someone else’s home, neighborhood, city, etc. for the period of the exchange.  Others may want to visit family, be on sabbatical, travel for business, or attend a special event such the Olympics. Often they prefer the extra space and comforts an exchange home can offer. Most exchangers appreciate the savings in accommodations expenses since no money exchanges hands for accommodations during a home swap. 


How do you exchange homes?

Once you find out if you are a good home exchange candidate, you can begin the home exchange process. To do that you will have to decide: Where you want to go; who you want to travel with and when; how much money you can spend finding an exchange and on the trip; and what you are willing to offer prospective exchangers.


How do you know if you are a good home exchange candidate?

Read articles, books and anything else you can about home swaps. Many potential exchangers talk to experienced exchangers they know and ask them for their advice.

A newly released book, The Home Exchange Guide: How to Find Your Free Home Away From Home, walks you through the home exchange process. It includes a questionnaire to help you decide if home exchange is for you.  


How do you find home exchangers?

You can place an ad in a newspaper of the city or country you want to visit; talk with other exchangers for referrals; and visit and join one or more home exchange organizations.


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