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‘Home swapping has changed our way of holidaying completely’
Meet the Members

‘Home swapping has changed our way of holidaying completely’

Lydia Altman
By Lydia Altman - 6 minute read

Ger­man-based mem­ber Clau­dia has been a mem­ber of Love Home Swap for more than sev­en years. Reg­u­lar­ly invit­ing our friend­ly mem­bers to stay in her stun­ning vaca­tion apart­ment in Aus­tria, she has enjoyed a num­ber of mon­ey-can’t-buy swaps in coun­tries such as Ice­land and Cana­da! We had a chat with Clau­dia to find out why she thinks stay­ing in a real home far out­strips a hotel expe­ri­ence – and she shared her top tips on secur­ing even more swaps. 

What inspired you to start home swapping?

I first start­ed home swap­ping in 2015. I had unpaid leave from work to look after my one-year-old grand­child in Dublin, Ire­land so that I could sup­port my daugh­ter who was study­ing. As I would­n’t receive a salary for three months, I start­ed to research how to trav­el Ire­land com­fort­ably, while being lim­it­ed finan­cial­ly. Luck­i­ly, I stum­bled across Love Home Swap and imme­di­ate­ly found a very nice swap fam­i­ly in Clon­akilty, one of the top places in Ire­land. There were per­fect sandy beach­es by the door front, so it was ide­al­ly suit­ed for my baby vaca­tion’! To this day, we still have very good con­nec­tions with the fam­i­ly, as they vis­it­ed us in Aus­tria and we’ve had the chance of going back to their home sev­er­al times. Our love for home swap­ping was born!”

You swap your holiday home which is in Bad Kleinkirchheim, in Carinthia, Austria. What kind of home swappers have been interested in your place?

Carinthia is a well-known ski­ing resort and moun­tain area in a bios­phere park, which offers lots of fun out­door and indoor activ­i­ties. We most­ly receive requests from cou­ples and fam­i­lies who want to come for their win­ter or sum­mer vaca­tions. We’ve also observed a slight increase in remote-work­ing stays. Our swap part­ners come from all over the world includ­ing the USA, Mex­i­co, South Africa, Aus­tralia, and many Euro­pean countries.”

Our members love to share what’s so special about their homes and their surroundings. What do you think people like the most about your home?

I think peo­ple love the vari­ety of activ­i­ties that can be done in this area as well as the loca­tion of our apart­ment. Our apartment’s right in the town cen­tre and with­in walk­ing dis­tance of the ski lifts, cross-coun­try ski­ing, ther­mal bath and spa. Recent­ly, our town has con­struct­ed Europe’s longest flow trail, which is an excit­ing and chal­leng­ing expe­ri­ence for moun­tain bik­ers. There’s also a ther­mal bath and spa just across the road from our apart­ment which offers a relax­ing well­ness expe­ri­ence after a day out in the snow, or in sum­mer, you can cool off in one of Carinthi­a’s 200 lakes. It’s the per­fect way to fin­ish off a day of hik­ing or cul­tur­al activities!”

Meet the member Claudia Maron Ireland

Clau­di­a’s fam­i­ly on one of their many swaps to Ireland

Where have you home swapped to?

Our swap des­ti­na­tions are more the north­ern coun­tries in Europe, plus the US and Cana­da. This year we spent four weeks in Ice­land, while our home’ des­ti­na­tion has become Ire­land. We have won­der­ful swap part­ners whom we would like to thank very much for their hospitality.”

How much have you saved through home swapping?

Our main rea­son for using LHS is not for sav­ings, but for what we gain through it. Through­out the years, we have met and host­ed so many nice peo­ple and fam­i­lies. When­ev­er pos­si­ble we offer to meet our swap part­ners and invite them for a meet-and-greet, which always turns out to be a high­light. If we can­not arrange a meet­ing (as it is our vaca­tion apart­ment), we always have a wel­come pack­age pre­pared. Sim­i­lar­ly, we expe­ri­ence the same hos­pi­tal­i­ty and wel­com­ing atmos­phere on our trips. The val­ue of stay­ing in a per­son­al home, mak­ing new con­tacts and friends can­not be com­pared to hotels or any oth­er form of rent­ing. It can change your way of doing hol­i­days completely.”

What would be your top tips for someone who is new to, or thinking about home swapping?

  • Home swap­ping needs a cer­tain mind-set. You should be open to oth­er peo­ple com­ing to your home. We’ve always had very good expe­ri­ences, as peo­ple who exchange homes will treat your home with the same respect as they want oth­ers to treat theirs. 
  • Offer great hos­pi­tal­i­ty and be gen­er­ous when­ev­er you go to oth­er places. To give more than you take is always of great val­ue to a community. 
  • Be open to dis­cus­sion and ideas. This will help you find matches. 
  • Be respon­sive and answer quick­ly. This shows that you appre­ci­ate your swap partner. 
  • Try to col­lect Points as well. The Points sys­tem gives you a lot more free­dom to find an appro­pri­ate exchange. 
  • Do not get dis­cour­aged if you are not accept­ed on your first try. For our vaca­tion in the USA, I had to send at least twen­ty swap requests until two final­ly worked out. 
Meet the member Claudia Maron Austria

We love to trav­el and host as a fam­i­ly, here in our own vaca­tion apart­ment in Aus­tria — this is us snow shoe walking”

If you’d like to share your swap sto­ry (and pro­mote your home and swap knowl­edge in the process!) then get in touch with us. We love to hear your trav­el sto­ries about the best vaca­tions – and help oth­er home swap­pers iden­ti­fy some great hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions for their future trav­el buck­et lists! Alter­na­tive­ly, share your swap snaps on our social media chan­nels using #welove­home­swap so that we can like your pics.