close
Magazine
Advertisement
 

How to House Swap Safely

Want to stay around the world for free? House swapping is a fun way to live like a local overseas. Here are some tips to help you swap.

How to House Swap Safely
Thinkstock
Advertisement

How to start: Join a reputable house swapping site with homes available in the cities you want to visit. While it costs nothing to browse properties, you will need to pay an annual subscription fee (around US$75) to communicate with potential home swappers and to have your own home profiled on the website. The swapping itself is free so no other money should change hands.

Secure insurance: Having the right insurance is your responsibility. As soon as you discuss travel arrangements, call your home and car insurance company. Also ensure the home you are staying in is properly covered and check who carries the cost of any extra premium fee if the swap takes place.

Do your homework: Arrange a call with your swappers to “meet” them. Ask for and provide references. Ensure you have the name of a local trusted friend or family member of theirs you can contact in case of emergency. Provide the same, plus a local doctor, hospital, pharmacy, vet, mechanic and your travel details.

Consider pets: Taking care of the house owner’s pet can often be part of the deal. Leave clear instructions and enough supplies for the whole period of the swap.

Be thoughtful: Leave basic supplies like milk and bread. Write a welcome note and share local faves. Lock away valuables and make it clear what is OK to use (bed linen, pantry staples) and what is not OK to use (evening wear, wine collection). Reports of theft or damage are rare in the house swapping community, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.



Advertisement
Travelling during a storm?

Travelling during a storm?

What to do when your travel plan is disrupted by natural disasters
What to look out for when buying travel insurance

What to look out for when buying travel insurance

Make sure you’re adequately covered during your travels by closely reading the fine print
Experience the world’s best places

Experience the world’s best places

Looking for ideas on where to spend your next holiday? Check out some of the world’s greatest places, according to Time magazine.
4 modern, man-made marvels in Southeast Asia

4 modern man-made marvels in Southeast Asia

Check out these impressive modern wonders that are worth visiting when you’re in this part of the world
The World’s Top 10 Airlines

Top 10 airlines around the world ranked

Want to feel pampered when you’re 30,000 feet in the air? Head to your next vacation on these winning airlines
Advertisement