What if where you stayed while traveling actually felt like a home?
Home Swap is the hotel alternative you’ve been waiting for. Instead of paying for a place to stay, HomeSwap members stay for free at other community members’ homes. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, and membership is free for the foreseeable future. Savvy travelers have been home-swapping for centuries. Thanks to modern technology, HomeSwap makes finding a home away from home easier than ever.
Putting a new spin on an old concept
French and Italian ambassadors swapped homes with each other as far back as the 1500s. Teachers around the world have been swapping since the 1950s. And, thanks to advances in technology, increasing numbers of intrepid, curious travelers enjoy the many benefits of exchanging homes with members all over the world.
Connecting like-minded travelers
We listen to our members and understand how frustrated and disappointed they’ve been with other home exchange sites, so we crafted HomeSwap to work they way you want without the hassles you’ve come to expect. It’s never been this easy to connect with the HomeSwap community!
Robert loves to travel. After 30 years as a small business owner he couldn’t wait for the travel opportunities of retirement. His company had helped pay for him to visit Europe and travel around the country several times a year, but once all the costs fell to Robert, he needed to travel smarter. Home swapping was the obvious answer.
After trying to navigate several home exchange sites Robert felt there had to be a better way. They worked alright but were frustrating to use and could be so much better. He talked to his son Gabe about his frustrations, and after careful thought Gabe decided to build HomeSwap, a beautiful, easy-to-use site where people like his dad could have an incredible home swap experience.
What is Home Swapping?
Home swapping is a time-tested way to travel cheaper, smarter, and better. Here’s how it works, why it’s great, and what you can expect from your experience with HomeSwap.
How it Works
You want to travel. You may have a specific destination and dates in mind, or you may just want a change of scenery. You connect with another HomeSwap member, a person or family, make sure your needs and swapping styles match, Skype or talk on the phone, and arrange the swap. The two of you arrange a home swap: during a certain time period, you will stay in each other’s countries, each other’s towns, and each other’s homes.
Before the swap, you and your fellow member exchange tips and advice about making the most of your respective visits. You set ground rules for the use of your home and arrange logistics. Finally, you travel. your trip is comfortable, authentic, and cheap, and you’ve made meaningful connections with the home swapping community that will last a lifetime.
Why Swapping is a Better Way to Travel
Hotels are expensive.
Hotels are expensive. They’re usually impersonal and bland. They don’t offer the comforts and amenities of a home. So instead, you stay in an actual home, and live like a local, having a meaningful and authentic experience while traveling. Whether you want a relaxing vacation spot, access to urban or outdoor adventures, or a better place to sleep and work while on a business trip, you’ll find a great fit on HomeSwap.
You’ll also save a lot of money.
You’ll also save a lot of money. Besides avoiding nightly fees for a room, you’ll have access to a kitchen, where you can prepare as many meals as you like instead of spending on restaurants. Your swapping partner will give you tips on things to do, places to shop, and restaurants for when you do want to go out; ask the right questions, and you can dictate your own budget.
Why it’s safe
Exchanges are based on partnership. Trust is built into the exchange for both parties. The key to a succesful partnership is communicating with the person you're swapping with to make sure your expectations match.
The ground rules for the use of your home are up to you. Take the precautions that make you feel safe, and establish clear expectations and boundaries with those staying in your home before the trip. It can help to write out instructions.
Only swap when you’re comfortable swapping. The choice is always yours. Joining HomeSwap doesn’t obligate you to swap.
Once you’ve set up your profile on HomeSwap with basic information about your home and yourself, you’ll have access to a calendar through which you can indicate specific dates or longer periods when you’d like to travel, or be willing to consider a swap under the right conditions. Other members do the same. HomeSwap makes it easy to search by dates, locations, and even member reviews to find a match.
Once you’ve found another member of the community whose schedule and home meet your needs, simply reach out through the site to arrange a home swap. Since many members have flexible schedules, it shouldn’t take long to find the right match. Many members offer listings of their second or vacation homes, making it even easier to set dates that work for everyone, even if your schedules don’t line up precisely.
You can also contact members whose calendars don’t indicate availability exactly when you’d like; schedules may have changed, or they may make time to travel for a swap they’ll really enjoy. If nothing else, you’ll have made a connection you can draw upon in the future.
An annual membership to HomeSwap will always cost less than a single night at a hotel, and allow you to swap as many times as you’d like, and for as long as you like, without incurring any extra charges. Plus, you’ll save money in many other ways -- more on that here.
For a limited time, we are offering annual memberships to HomeSwap absolutely free of charge. We’re excited to grow this community; consider this our way of saying thank you for joining early. We’ll never start charging for membership or raise rates without ample warning, and our cost structure will always remain the same: a small fee for a year’s worth of better travel accommodations.
Founder and Lead Developer
Gabe started his career by helping create the first system to deliver satellite-based Internet access to airline passengers. He also developed educational software used by millions of elementary school students nationwide at a company called Wireless Generation.
After realizing how much better the home swap community could be served by modern technology, Gabe decided to form HomeSwap. His favorite home swap was spent in a rustic farmhouse three hours outside Montreal surrounded by horses, feral cats, and the laziest dog he's ever met.
Founder and Marketing Guru
With ten years of experience in law and various creative pursuits, Rina brings a spark of inspiration and wit to the personality of HomeSwap. She holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins and a J.D. from BU Law.
Software Developer (Guardian of Security)
A member of the New York Ruby community since its inception in 2004, Lee has created software for the finance, education, and movie industries. His focus on software security at Morgan Stanley and other companies makes him an excellent guardian of data at HomeSwap. Lee graduated from Columbia with a B.S. in Computer Science.
Community Outreach (Chief Happiness Officer)
Audrey graduated with a business degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and considers herself a midwest girl at heart. After a number of years at Fortune 500 companies, she's following her fascination with how communities come together by working on all things community for HomeSwap. During her world travels, she stayed in a home in Thailand and always appreciates a home cooked meal, especially one with spicy noodles. Phad Kee Mow, anyone?
Come Work with Us
HomeSwap is a young and growing start-up. We have a great product, and this is just the start. We're dedicated to making the travel experience better by creating a phenomenal community and building one of the best sites on the web.
Front End Developer
- Solid experience as a developer at a tech company.
- Something to show for it: impress us with something you’ve built.
Get in touch
Say hello, we're happy to hear from you!
Want to chat?
Call us at (507) 242-HOME
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Other ways to get in touch:
305 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013