Home swapping is a great way to travel with kids. The cost of travelling has gone through the roof recently. From holidaying locally to overseas adventures, travel-lovers are finding that hotels and rental properties are increasingly expensive. Which could explain why Love Home Swap’s members are so excited about home swapping! With 18,000 homes in 100 countries, their members benefit from staying in family-friendly accommodation – making this the most cost-effective way to travel. We caught up with three of their members to find out why home swapping is the ideal solution to travelling with children….
Mum of two, Lexy, has been a member of Love Home Swap for more than six years. Travelling with her husband and two daughters, they have swapped their Scottish Highlands home for numerous stunning properties across the UK and Italy. Reminiscing about their adventures, Lexy says: “For me, one of the big factors of home swapping is the cost. It saves so much, and I can imagine with a big family that would make a massive difference. But there’s also a lot of other pluses. It’s a home, not just a sterile holiday rental. There’s photos and books, and you immediately feel a bit more part of the country [you’re visiting].”
As many parents will appreciate, travelling with children often means that you end up packing a huge amount of toys and worrying about the lack of ‘essential’ paraphernalia such as high chairs and stair gates – but by staying in a real home, members are able to swap with families who are at a similar life-stage. Lexy says: “There’s often a lot of toys, which is wonderful and something a holiday rental might not have. So the children love to discover other kids’ toys and explore the gardens.”
Mum-of-four, Clair, has travelled the world with her husband Daniel and their children. Staying in more than 60 home swaps across 16 countries, the family travelled for two-and-a-half years. Travelling everywhere from New Zealand and Canada through to Spain, Croatia, Switzerland and Holland, Clair is an expert at exploring the world with a large family! She says: “We have four children who have been travelling since they were about 3-years-old. It’s been perfect for us to have our own space, and for the children to have their own rooms when we’ve stayed in some of the houses.”
While it has been exciting for the family to travel so extensively, Clair admits that the ability to meet the practicalities of family life has made home swapping even more desirable. She says: “The use of a kitchen has been so useful. It means that you can stay on your own family’s schedules, and you can cook whatever you want and not be held over a barrel by tourist prices in restaurants. I love going to local markets and seeing what produce they have and then cooking it at home. We’ve also been able to use the host’s car before, which has been really, really useful. And having a washing machine means that there’s no panic if your children drop their dinner down them!”
Mum-of-four Jo and her husband have been house swapping for about 12 years. She says: “Our oldest child is 14, and when she was ten, we took a year out and we left the UK. We predominantly house swapped our way around the world – we stayed in a few hotels, but very few.”
Jo understands that people who are new to the idea of home swapping may be nervous about letting a stranger stay in their home, but members build relationships through emails, and even Zoom sessions and phone calls before they travel to each other’s homes. She says: “There are some amazing people out there in the world. Be trusting of other people, and be trustworthy. People respect and look after your things, just like you will respect and look after theirs. And enjoy it. It’s a way of life for us now and we wouldn’t be without it. The kids love the playrooms, the new games, and the dressing up that they find, and we love the tips that the owners leave for us.”
Ready to dip your toe into the wonderful world of home swapping?
Gorgeous properties like these are waiting for you!
Visit www.lovehomeswap to find out more about home swapping, or to start your free 2-week trial.