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‘I love the trust aspect of home swapping’
Meet the Members

‘I love the trust aspect of home swapping’

Lydia Altman
By Lydia Altman - 5 minute read

Lin­da and her part­ner signed up with Home for Exchange before becom­ing mem­bers of Love Home Swap*. Swap­ping their beau­ti­ful home near Nantes in France (which boasts a huge, mod­ern, open space that’s per­fect for kids) for a wide range of inter­na­tion­al prop­er­ties, they’ve embarked on some won­der­ful swaps to dream des­ti­na­tions such as Scot­land. Lin­da reveals why she’s such a keen advo­cate of the home swap­ping lifestyle. 

*Home for Exchange was acquired by Love Home Swap, and the two sites were merged in June 2020

Why did you start home swapping?

We start­ed home swap­ping a few years back because our neigh­bours were doing it. We were refur­bish­ing our house and we had young kids, so we couldn’t real­ly afford to go on hol­i­day the tra­di­tion­al way. So we thought, why not try home swap­ping? Our neigh­bours loved it and I liked the idea of exchang­ing homes, so we signed up too. It’s a good way to go on hol­i­day when you can’t afford as much.” 

What’s your favourite part of home swapping?

When we start­ed, the mon­ey aspect of home swap­ping was the main rea­son. But now, the rea­son we con­tin­ue to home swap is not just because we can save mon­ey. Since we fin­ished the refur­bish­ment of the house, we are a bit more com­fort­able mon­ey-wise, but we still try to do 1 – 2 swaps a year. If I had to pin­point why it’s so great to me, I think one of my favourite parts would be that you are trust­ing peo­ple that you don’t know. It’s so rare in this day and age to be able to do that, and it’s real­ly impor­tant for me to raise my chil­dren in this kind of spir­it. We try to meet the mem­bers we swap with, or we speak with them on the phone and it’s always so friend­ly. It’s so much cosier and eas­i­er to feel at home in someone’s actu­al house, which I don’t feel at a hotel or an Airbnb. The com­mu­ni­ty is real­ly love­ly and we always build nice rela­tion­ships with peo­ple. Every­one is real­ly friend­ly and kind.” 

Linda Gaboriau HFE Member Scotland

Lin­da and her fam­i­ly explor­ing a cas­tle dur­ing their home swap to Scotland

Do you think you would have travelled as extensively if you hadn’t home swapped?

Of course not! For exam­ple, we spent three weeks in Ire­land a few years ago and we just spent three weeks in Scot­land. Because of home swap­ping, instead of going on hol­i­day once a year, we now go at least three times a year, because it’s essen­tial­ly free. I’ve even been able to take my par­ents away for three weeks with my hus­band and our two kids, and we just wouldn’t be able to afford pay­ing for such a big group with­out home swap­ping. We would prob­a­bly have just stayed in France!” 

How much money have you saved by home swapping?

Well, we recent­ly spent two weeks in Scot­land and one week in Eng­land. I rent­ed six nights for part of it instead of home swap­ping, and that cost me 1,400 euros. So I would say just this sum­mer I have saved around 3,000 euros.” 

Would you encourage other people to join Love Home Swap?

We always try to sell the idea of home swap­ping to peo­ple we know. We tell them how many times they could go on hol­i­day and how friend­ly the com­mu­ni­ty is. We know peo­ple are scared to leave their house, but for us it has been a real change in our lives, and we real­ly believe in this way of travelling.”

Linda Gaboriau HFE Member Rotterdam

Lin­da’s fam­i­ly enjoy­ing their swap in Rotterdam

What has been your favourite home swap so far?

I loved going to Rot­ter­dam for two weeks in the sum­mer, because the house was real­ly nice and the peo­ple were love­ly. There was also loads of things to do. We love muse­ums so we went to a lot of them and vis­it­ed Ams­ter­dam for a day. We also real­ly enjoyed get­ting to use pub­lic trans­port to get around, so we went on the pub­lic bus every day. At home, we live in the coun­try­side and have to dri­ve every­where, so this was a real­ly nice change for us.”

If you’re a for­mer Home for Exchange mem­ber and you’d like a lit­tle sup­port on get­ting the most out of our site, we can help. We know many of our new­er mem­bers are still get­ting used to the con­cept of Points, so sim­ply download our help­ful guide to Points. Alter­na­tive­ly, take a look at our guide to send­ing great mes­sages, or even our guide to tak­ing amaz­ing pho­tos of your home. What­ev­er you need to get up and run­ning, we’re here to sup­port you! 

And don’t forget that if you’d like to share your swap sto­ry (and pro­mote your home and swap knowl­edge in the process!) then we’d love to hear from you.