Rather than renting a vacation spot, why not swap your house or apartment? Advice from Fanny Guinochet.
franceinfo: Is this home swap practice more and more?
Fanny Guinochet : It allows you to travel without paying, or almost, a euro for accommodation. The principle is that you leave your house, and in exchange you live in the person’s home. Sometimes the dates match, the exchange is simultaneous, sometimes not, it’s staggered. It is very advantageous especially for exchanges abroad, since in fact, it is a big budget, the housing budget that you remove.
For that, there are several specialized sites?
The leader is home exchange.fr. But there is also homelink.fr or also echangersamaison.com or troc maison.com. You register, you create your profile. You make a description of your house, and then the destinations where you want to go and the criteria that are yours, and you access advertisements. Attention, often it is paying, via a subscription system but it is rarely more than ten euros per month – 149 euros per year on homexchange.
On some sites, when the dates cannot be simultaneous, there is a point system, you earn points when you host at your home, and you spend them when you go on vacation to a member.
And then, sometimes with the house, there is also the car which is lent. This allows you to save money, and then, it’s a way of traveling that is a little less impersonal than a hotel. It’s friendly. Bonds can be created with the person who will take your house and to whom you will go. Moreover, before departure, do not hesitate to ask any questions by email or to make a quick phone call.
Isn’t that a bit risky?
Insofar as you leave your property and go to people’s homes, there is a form of reciprocal security that takes place. You can also ask for a deposit check, if you are not sure and it’s always good to call your insurance to cover you. You can take out exceptional insurance. Obviously, exchanging your house must be prepared in advance, a few months before departure, to have the best offers, but also to prepare your property well.
What if we are a tenant?
It is possible, but on condition that the lease allows it. A priori, as there will be no transfer of money, it is not a sublease, strictly speaking.