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House Swapping to Save on Hotel Expenses

Would You Swap Houses to Save on Hotel Expenses?

House swapping was never something that crossed my mind until I watched Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet merrily swap abodes in The Holiday. Cameron's character (Amanda) got to stay in a cozy English home while Kate's character (Iris) spent a week in a decked-out Los Angeles pad, and in the end everyone got exactly what they wanted. I made a mental note to peruse Craigslist to see what was out there the next time I traveled, but the fact is the idea hadn't come up again until I read an interesting article from Budget Travel.

Frequent traveler Joanna Goddard is a big proponent of home swapping; she's exchanged her Manhattan apartment for stays in other people's homes all over the world. She and her traveling partners have been able to stay for free in often expensive cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, and more. Joanna admits that, at first, it was difficult to imagine other people using her towels and sleeping in her bed, but once she became friendly with them over email she became comfortable with the idea.

Would you ever consider checking out the Housing Swap section on Craigslist instead of searching for a hotel deal?


Join The Conversation
Zero_Cool Zero_Cool 8 years
There are other websites out there as well. Ones that are more reputable than craigslist. is one of them. They do charge a fee to use their site, but I think that helps keep the crazies at bay. As for people stealing your stuff, you are in their home and they are in your home, I'm sure they have the same worries as you! I would totally do this if I owned my own home. I've been trying to talk my folks into doing this for their next vacation. You basically get to stay somewhere exotic for free! What's not to love about that!? And you can experience places more like a local than just a tourist.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
I probably wouldn't. I work at a Hilton, and I get amazing hotel discounts, (Seriously, I can stay at Hampton inn's for $29, and they have free breakfast!) So, I probably wouldn't swap houses with some one. Plus, I live in an apartment, not the most desirable place to swap with.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it really depends on the situation to be honest. you can think that you know someone online and be friendly with them, but there's always going to be a bit of a skeptic in me that worries that they won't be honest and caring with my home and take things. i guess that's all a part of making sure that there's security with your home in case something does happen. i think though that in today's economy, hotels are really struggling as well and you can certainly get great deals that it won't cost you nearly as much as you think to travel.
alikat07 alikat07 8 years
I would definitely do this (once I get a house that is!), but only with a reputable company!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Nope. I love hotels. Half the fun of traveling for me is getting to be a huge slob and yet coming back to an immaculate room every night.
Purple-Damsel02 Purple-Damsel02 8 years
I didn't know there were websites for this! Holy shiz! I just thought it was a cute idea while I watched The Holiday. Wow. I wouldn't ever swap houses, except for Family. That's just weird. Too many personal valueable belongings.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I know there are a lot of websites out there for something like this I would never do it with someone I met on Craigslist I hate to be a downer but a lot of people on there are really sketchy. I definitely would not let anyone use my car.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
This sounds like a really cool idea. I would just worry to death about the people trashing my house or stealing things from my house. :scared: I mean how can you really GET to KNOW someone through emails or talking to each other online? :p
ohkate ohkate 8 years
I think at first it would be extremely weird and there would be many an insecurity but once there was a foundation of trust I would be ok with it. I would also offer up (once there was an establishment of insurance) the use of one of our three cars!
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