For many Love Home Swap members, a blog attraction is our flexible and unique points system, which allows you to capitalise on your empty home and travel anywhere, any time, without the need to match dates. We spoke to some of our members to find out how they've used points to change the way they travel.
The Firmani family
"Two of our trips are swaps and one is for points. The points trip was a complete surprise and what a wonderful new friend we have met! Our host is already spoiling us with offers to pick us up, give us great MUST DO lists and hang out for a lovely dinner! What hotel does that and for free?"
Half of Amy's trips through Love Home Swap have been completed thanks to the points system.
The Prince family
"First and foremost and before you ask... No! We are not getting paid by Love Home Swap to promote this system, it's just a great scheme! It gives you so much more flexibility and puts your home to work if you are not using it. We have benefited greatly from the scheme so far and are always more than happy to accept points from members who are interested in our property"
The Prince family are some of our super swappers, with more than 20 swaps under their collective belt - many of which have been using our points system
Gillian & Paul
"I lived in Australia for 25 years, and have sons and grandchildren there, also many friends. I remarried last year, and want to take my husband to Sydney at Christmas. However it soon became apparent that getting a simultaneous swap was going to be almost impossible, as no-one wanted to swap Christmas/New Year in Sydney for winter in the UK. So we decided to go for non-simultaneous and points, which gave us more flexibility"
Gillian has completed seven trips with Love Home Swap, five using points, which she's earned hosting three swappers.
The Cobb family
"Since April 2015, we have travelled through Spain and Portugal, and enjoyed Paris through home-swapping and right now (well you can tell from the picture) we are in Amsterdam," says Pam. "We are travelling around the world while home schooling and having fun. In August we will visit the Arctic Circle, travelling to Troms, Norway then we drive up a bit further north"
Pam and her family have conducted 10 trips - two of which have been using their points, which she's gained by hosting eight swapper in their homes in Fulham, London and Malta.
Marie & Lee
"[Joseph] made organising this Points trip easy and even accommodated my dates in the busy summer season. The house was such a special space for my family to create the best holiday memories. The energy of the house was warm and welcoming from the moment you entered. There was a very impressive folder (it puts mine to shame) with itemized notes and photos detailing anything that may come up technically in the house. It also had lots or recommendations of things to do in the surrounding area. We really didn't want to leave. It was bliss"
More than half of Marie's 16 Love Home Swap trips have been completed using points.
The Remsburg family
"I signed up in December 2013 whilst looking for hotels in Dubai. It sounded like the perfect way to reduce the high costs of travelling with four children. We abandoned the Dubai idea and 10 days later flew to France for a house swap in a French ski chalet, using our USA house to gain swap points. We probably saved $300 - $400 per night when we went to France. It gives you the freedom to do so much more if you are not paying for the accommodation."
All the Remsburg's current trips have been completed using points.
The Chapman family
"Love Home Swap has generated a lot of interest for our properties. You can get innovative with the swap points, which opens up more opportunities. You see different places without having to pay for accommodation. Home swapping seemed like a great way to leverage our property. Although we could rent our property out for a lot, swapping saves us the hassle of moving all our stuff out. It's also great financially - you don't have the tax implications of renting your property out, plus I reckon we have saved between £1000 and £4000 per swap. The Swap Points Scheme is a flexible and excellent expansion of the home swap system, especially as more people join the scheme"
Out of 13 trips Jill has travelled using points once but has hosted five points swappers.
"I use points as much as I can. Points made all the sense in the world and I started getting into it from get go. [we're] a community of people with similarly luxurious properties, all frequent travellers - and are usually all willing to accept points if others are for swaps. Most could stay in a hotel but why when you have access to beautiful homes and you can build these great relationships?"
Bill has completed 13 Love Home Swap trips, 5 of which were made possible by using points. He's also hosted three points swappers in his two boats in San Diego and Chicago.
The McClean family
"I had been part of an exchange group for some years prior to joining LHS but it didn't offer the flexibility of a points system"
Brendan has already hosted three swappers so far in his holiday home in Thailand, with a further three classic swaps arranged.