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Our super swappers Marie and her partner Lee have been Love Home Swap members since January 2014, and have been on an incredible 27 swaps with us so far – as well as hosting 30 fellow swappers at their own beautiful Victorian garden flat in London. Having never been a fan of hotels due to the feeling of just being a number, Love Home Swap was the perfect solution to experience a bit of luxury whilst still being able to travel regularly. Being able to do simple things like cook your own breakfast in a kitchen is one of the perks of home swapping that the couple enjoy. 

‘I’ve never been a fan of hotels as I always feel you are just a number in a big hotel, and everyone knows your comings and goings in a small one. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a bit of luxury but I still feel you can get this on some Love Home Swap trips.’

Home swapping opened up new travel destinations for the couple, and their 27 trips have taken them to different places all over the world including Spain, Australia, Germany, the US, the UAE and many more…

‘When I joined up I never imagined going to some of the places that I’ve been. I hadn’t even heard of a few of them. I have totally embraced the sharing community of this world.’ 

However, the couple have to admit that hosting for the first time did make them slightly nervous…

‘I was really nervous when our first house guests arrived. Worried our place wouldn’t be clean & tidy enough (it’s the cleanest and tidiest times of the year when swappers are arriving!) I was worried that they would trash the place, but will all our swaps everything has been fine and I can totally relax when I’m enjoying some other generous swappers place. It makes the stresses melt away. It’s a no brainer really. It makes holidays so much cheaper and in turn we are holidaying more. Not only us but our family and friends too, who often come along for the ride!’

Recently, the couple along with four of their friends stayed at Becky’s beautiful home in Solana Beach, California. 

‘You know you’ve walked into a good home when you instantly feel peaceful and at home within the first ten minutes. Becky’s house in Solana Beach did just that. It’s a relief to arrive and realise that yet again home swapping seems too good to be true. They had a beautiful relaxing house that was just the thing that me and my friends needed after an epic road trip from the Coachella Music Festival’

Whilst staying at Becky’s home, the group explored the neighbourhoods in San Diego, and had a beach day to celebrate Marie’s friend’s birthday where they saw a seal up close. 

‘We loved wandering around at Balboa Park, the architecture and art just blew us away. We headed for the famed Sunset of Ocean Beach only to stumble upon their famer’s market. Unlike those normally in a school playground in London, this one had live bands. I love these little things that make travelling so worthwhile. So the best big moments for us were actually the small ones.’

‘We went to Little Italy in San Diego for a Mexican night out, the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday evening with live bands and a hippy/rocker feel at Ocean Beach, North Park for the micro breweries and funky shops. We just ran out of time to do everything.’ 

Due to the GBP being at an all time low, the trip to California was expensive, however ‘not having to pay for accommodation was not only great for us, but my friends who travelled with us got a freebie too! Always a bonus! It meant that our next stop in LA could be splurged on fancy restaurants’.

In the future, Marie and Lee are looking for travel to New York again, and have a country house lined up for December to spend time again with their friends.

‘I know it seems far off now, but its always good to take up an offer when its put to you!’

If you’re interested in swapping with Marie and Lee, take a look at their home here and get in touch. 

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