Are you over 50 and want to travel but don’t want to spend a fortune on hotels? You may want to look into “house swapping”, a growing trend amongst senior-age people. No, it doesn’t involve amorous house parties, it’s all about people who are looking for a way to save money, yet have a great, safe place to stay while traveling.
More and more, people over age 50 are deciding to exchange their home with someone in a destination that they want to visit, and who wants to visit their area. As many seniors are retired, or have greater flexibility with their work schedules, or are empty nesters without kids’ school schedules to consider, they can be more flexible with booking open stay dates in participating homes around the country and the world. You can spend a weekend in upstate New York, visit Florida for a few days in the winter, spend a week looking for Nessie in Scotland, all at a fraction – if that – of traditional accommodations.
Start by joining a group of home exchangers – like HomeExchange 50 Plus – and listing your home and yourself. You pay an annual, or 5 year, membership fee, you list photos and all the information about your home. Your name, address, email address is not revealed on websites – you control whom you give that information to.
To exchange a home, you simply contact a listed member at your destination and inquire as to what type of home they have to offer and their available dates. They send photos and information about their home and if you like what they’re offering, you can make the arrangements to complete the exchange. Some may even include cars for you to use during your vacation and you may want to do the same with your exchange partners. You simply contact your insurance company and let them know who will be driving the car during that time period.
You may also want to sign a letter of agreement with your exchange partners for both your advantage. You/your exchange partners may require a cleaning deposit, but generally, people leave homes the way they found them, the same as they would like you to do. Pets are not always welcome, it depends on the exchange. Seniors have been home exchanging for several years now and, so far, has been a safe and enjoyable experience for many travelers.
Here are some other positive benefits of it:
- Saves on every day dining out expenses – you can stock up the fridge, cook your own food, and eat whenever you want, just like at home.
- Generally, no accommodation costs. This is worked out with exchange members.
- A chance to experience life like the locals – rather than from a canned hotel experience.
- Make new friends around the world and just have fun!