If you’re looking for a low-cost accommodation option, then house swapping or house sitting could be of interest. Of course, both come with their own strings attached, but they can be a great way to live like a local in the places you want to stay.
If you’ve ever seen the film The Holiday, then you might have an idea of what house swapping is. As the name suggests, with a house swap, you offer your home on a house swapping platform as somewhere for people to stay, connect with someone else who is offering their property and you switch homes for a period of time. There are a number of platforms offering house swapping, with the two biggest being HomeExchange and Lovehomeswap.
Of course, letting a stranger stay in your home is likely to worry people, and you’ll want to check whether your current insurer will cover you for the swap. If they won’t cover you then it’s suggested that you take out specialist insurance for the swap. Homelink and pikl both provide this type of insurance so could be a good place to start. Whatever you do, never commit to anything that you don’t feel completely confident in and make sure you’ve done your research before you start swapping.
House-sitting on the other hand is slightly different. While you won’t need to let anyone stay in your home, you may have to carry out certain tasks. Most house-sitting arrangements are set up because the owner needs some help while they are away, whether that’s looking after their pets, watering the garden or just having someone look after the property while they are away for work. There are homeowners all over the world who list their properties for house sitting, so you might be able to find something wherever you want to go. One of the biggest house sitting platforms is Trusted House Sitters which has an Excellent Trustpilot rating from over 14k users.