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Home swapping as a solo traveller!
Meet the Members

Home swapping as a solo traveller!

Lydia Altman
By Lydia Altman - 6 minute read

Habi­ba has been a mem­ber of Love Home Swap for over two years, and goes on around ten amaz­ing swaps by her­self, every year! Embrac­ing the free­dom to trav­el where she wants, when she wants, she opens the doors to her love­ly one-bed­room flat in cen­tral Paris to like­mind­ed mem­bers so that she can explore amaz­ing loca­tions such as Scot­land, Ire­land and Swe­den. We caught up with Habi­ba to find out more about her adven­tures as a solo traveller…

Tell us about one of your memorable solo adventures.

I had a won­der­ful stay at Jas­mine’s place in Stock­holm. The flat was sit­u­at­ed in a very calm yet trendy area, with many restau­rants and shops near­by, and a view to die for! I could see the cute lit­tle park from my win­dow and hear the church bells from the famous Sofia church that was just in front of the flat. The weath­er was sun­ny and warm, so I could go for nice walks in the city, take the fer­ry to the near­by islands, and vis­it the amaz­ing his­tor­i­cal town. At the end of the day, I’d stay home to enjoy a nice cup of tea with some Swedish bis­cuits while look­ing at the park and plan­ning my next day trip. Jas­mine is com­ing to my place in a few weeks, and I’m super excit­ed to wel­come her as warm­ly as she did, and make sure she has a com­fort­able stay in my Paris apartment!”

Meet the members Habiba Budapest

The view while explor­ing Budapest on her swap

Why is home swapping your preferred way of travelling?

Swap­ping homes allows me to stay at an authen­tic place, full of char­ac­ter, style and warmth. I’ve been able to find some rare jew­els that would have cost me a lot if I rent­ed them! Real homes are very dif­fer­ent from Airbnb or apart-hotels, and through swap­ping, I get to know a lot about how the locals live, which def­i­nite­ly adds to my trav­el expe­ri­ence. For exam­ple, I was lucky enough to be in Budapest dur­ing the nation­al hol­i­day fes­tiv­i­ties, and my host Ildiko made sure I enjoyed every bit of it through her very use­ful rec­om­men­da­tions. I stayed in her love­ly home in the his­tor­i­cal Jew­ish neigh­bor­hood. Every­thing was a short walk away – I could do a day trip to the lit­tle town of Szen­ten­dre, or vis­it the cas­tle hill, and dur­ing the days when I want­ed to relax, I enjoyed a few mas­sages and chill­ing at the famous spas in Budapest.”

Why did you start home swapping?

I’m a big fan of the movie The Hol­i­day’. It paint­ed such a roman­tic and orig­i­nal pic­ture of this new way of trav­el­ling, and I want­ed to have the same expe­ri­ence as the char­ac­ters. Trav­el­ling alone as a woman can be chal­leng­ing some­times, so I always want to make sure I’m stay­ing some­where where I can have pri­va­cy, and where I feel safe and com­fort­able – and hav­ing a real home to stay in meets these require­ments. Also, hav­ing a con­nec­tion with oth­er home swap­pers and know­ing some­one in the town I’m vis­it­ing makes me feel safer and more comfortable.”

Has Love Home Swap made it easy for you to swap as a single traveller?

I find it very accom­mo­dat­ing and easy, and also very safe (safer than hotels and rent­ed places). Also, I get to know the peo­ple I’m swap­ping with, so I’ve also made some very good friends, as I some­times get to meet the peo­ple I’m swap­ping with dur­ing my trav­els. Also, hav­ing a full home for just myself is very cool, as I get to enjoy the space and to be real­ly com­fort­able, while hav­ing the pri­va­cy I need!” 

My stay in Dublin offered that, and it felt like a fairy­tale. I rent­ed a car to go on a few road trips to the neigh­bour­ing cities of Cork, Lim­er­ick, and Wick­low, then I was able to go back to Dublin at the end of the day, to enjoy a good night’s rest. The place I stayed in was a love­ly town­house which was so well-dec­o­rat­ed and fur­nished that I some­times pre­ferred spend­ing a few hours at home, enjoy­ing the love­ly gar­den, the cosy liv­ing room and the big TV. I even rewatched a few clas­sics like Pride and Prej­u­dice, as it just felt per­fect with the décor and cosi­ness of the place! The whole vibe of the house was just mag­i­cal, and my host made sure I had every­thing I need­ed dur­ing my stay.” 

Meet the members Habiba

Habi­ba explor­ing on one of her solo swaps

How much money have you saved through home swapping?

I do more than 10 swaps every year. If I rent­ed a place or chose to stay in a decent hotel (with my pref­er­ences for it to be cen­tral, cosy, big enough, well-fur­nished etc), I would have had to spend around €100 to €150 per night. I usu­al­ly stay around a week to 10 days, some­times more, so doing a rough cal­cu­la­tion, I would say I’ve eas­i­ly saved around €5,000 to €10,000 per year! When I think about plan­ning a trip, I nev­er have to set aside a bud­get for accommodation.” 

As a fre­quent trav­eller, I have lots of places on my buck­et list, and I trav­el for dif­fer­ent rea­sons: some­times for hol­i­day, but many oth­er times for a work­ca­tion, or on a busi­ness trip. With­out home swap­ping I couldn’t have been able to trav­el as much, and with such great flex­i­bil­i­ty and comfort.” 

Tell us about one more of your favourite home swaps so far.

A wood­en cab­in in The High­lands of Scot­land. The hosts were very kind and accom­mo­dat­ing, the place was ful­ly fur­nished, plus it had every­thing I need­ed (espe­cial­ly in a remote loca­tion like the moun­tains). I chose the loca­tion as a cen­tral point to do a road trip through The High­lands. There were also a few days where I stayed at home and enjoyed that love­ly Scot­tish cot­tage. I had a great time and enjoyed the cosy fire­place while look­ing at the sheep and the deer from the window!”

Do you home swap alone? Or do you home swap with your fam­i­ly, friends or part­ner? What­ev­er your swap sto­ry is, we’d love to hear it! If you’d like to share your trav­el expe­ri­ences and knowl­edge with the Love Home Swap com­mu­ni­ty, get in touch with us. And don’t for­get to share your swap snaps on our social media chan­nels using #welove­home­swap.