The concept of house swapping is incredibly simple; one home owner arranges to swap their house with another home owner for an agreed period of time. The phrase is arbitrary, as you can swap a unit, townhouse or even a houseboat.
House swapping provides holiday makers with a more homey accomodation option. The available facilities are better - unlike in a hotel, you can make your own dinner and do your laundry - plus you get to live like a local.
Anyone can house swap – all you need is a house. A lot of house swappers prefer to swap with someone in a similar situation to themselves, e.g. families like to swap with families, retirees prefer to swap with other retirees. This way, there is a greater guarantee that the house will have the facilities that you require. This is not a hard and fast rule, but you should do a lot of research before settling on an area or a house to ensure that all your needs are met.
House swapping is free and easy. To get started, try these websites:
Aussie House Swap is a site listing house swap advertisements. Members pay $65.00 per year to register and can contact other members through the site. The site lists accomodation in Australia and New Zealand.
House Swap Holidays is a similar website that offers free membership for the first two years. You can list your preferred travel destinations on this site.
Mind A Home provides opportunities for house swapping and house sitting. You can advertise for a house sitter or organise to become one yourself.