You might have heard the term home swapping before. It gained international popularity with the 2006 movie The Holiday, when characters played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swapped homes and countries on their vacations, and fell in love in the process. While nobody can guarantee you’ll fall in love on your home swapping adventure, it isn’t out of the question.
Home swapping offers numerous benefits. While hotels often try to give you a taste of local culture, they make a bigger effort to maintain a consistent brand image. When you stay in a home belonging to a real person, you get an insider’s view of the region. You’ll get a literal taste of the foods and spices they use and maybe get the inspiration to make a local creation with an appliance you’ve never used. One of the biggest reasons why home swapping is better than staying at a run-of-the-mill hotel is the immersion into the culture of your destination.
Likewise, when someone else stays in your home, you have the marvelous opportunity to teach them about what it’s like to live in your neighborhood. You can proudly display the locally made goods or the dining room table your grandfather built. Home swapping gives you the chance to share your special items with others in a unique way.
Another reason why home swapping is better is because it’s a transaction between people, rather than with a faceless international corporation. When you decide to swap homes with someone, you can meet them beforehand and even get to know them a little, giving you a fairly good idea about who’s staying in your home. At a hotel, all of the workers have a key to your room, and while you’re gone you don’t know who’s entering.
As an added bonus, when you choose home swapping, you come home to a clean house. Guests are expected to leave everything clean and just as they found it. With this comes the expectation that you will do some tidying up before you leave your holiday abode, but that’s a small price to pay for a fantastic vacation. If you had a particularly good time, you can even leave a small gift for the homeowners to come home to. Maybe you’ll find something waiting for you, too. You never know!
Home swapping is better than your average hotel for so many reasons. This more personal style of travel offers greater comfort and experience at a much lower cost than paying for a room for each night of your stay. If you’re traveling on a budget or if you’re looking for a more authentic way to learn about the culture of your destination, consider home swapping.
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