Carole has experienced both sides of the Love Home Swap Swap Points system, so we picked her brain about how to use it and why it works so well for her.
"Our first experience came from a request for a Points swap within a month of listing our 2 properties. We originally joined as a swapper only, but through this request, we investigated the system further and realised it actually suited our needs better than traditional swapping" Carole told us.
Carole, who's based in Australia, uses Love Home Swap to visit family in the northern hemisphere during the summer, which happens to be the Australian winter, which she notes makes classic swaps a little more difficult to arrange also observing that 'our requests for swaps with people in UK and Europe, often resulted in a "too far" and "too expensive" response, which is understandable when you have a family of 5 and airfares are prohibitively expensive'.
With Points, not only do Love Home Swappers avoid the need to match dates - they don't even need to match destinations. "Our first Points request was from Rupert in Somerset," Carole told us, "He has a family of 5, and whilst they would have loved to visit Australia, their budget did not stretch to 5 airfares. However, they used the Points we gave them to book a holiday in France. A win-win all round - we definitely would have been unable to achieve [these trips] without the Points system"
The flexibility of the Points system isn't the only perk as far as Carole is concerned either, "You can 'buy' additional points for such a great price - £10* per night. Compare that to the price of a hotel room!" she says.
On the benefits of swapping more generally, Carole is all about the homely feel and the creature comforts saying 'The freedom to come and go as you please. Much more space than a hotel or resort. Creature comforts. Being able to stay in a really comfortable home, yet being very close to family members, with whom we could visit every day, but get back to the peace and privacy of our own home"
And then of course there's that ubiquitous cost-saving involved when we talk home swapping - in Carole's case around $6000 AUD so far, with an intention to keep the cost savings coming in, with trips planned back to the UK every year, with holidays to France and Spain in the pipeline too.
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