Daniel and his wife Clair have been members of Love Home Swap for over eight years. In that time, they’ve enjoyed over 60 swaps in more than 16 countries – but unlike other members who use home swapping just for their vacations, the Prince family used the site to make a new life for themselves and their four children. Over two-and-a half years, they travelled around the world, living and swapping in over eleven different countries! We caught up with Daniel to discuss their adventures, why he loves the freedom of home swapping and his plans for a post-pandemic, long-term trip.
“We gave up the 9-5 to travel the world with our children!”
Daniel and his wife Clair have been members of Love Home Swap for over eight years. In that time, they’ve enjoyed over 60 swaps in more than 16 countries – but unlike other members who use home swapping just for their vacations, the Prince family used the site to make a new life for themselves and their four children. Over two-and-a half years, they travelled around the world, living and swapping in over eleven different countries!
We caught up with Daniel to discuss their adventures, why he loves the freedom of home swapping and his plans for a post-pandemic, long-term trip.
Daniel and his family on their swapping adventure in Perth, Australia
Tell us about travelling the world with your family
“We travelled exclusively through Love Home Swap for two-and-a-half years, and over that time, I think we made about sixty different swaps. When we first started doing this, our older kids were aged eight and six, and the twins were three years old. We lived in Singapore for years and had our family there, and we also had a property in Koh Samui, Thailand which we decided to put on the site. When we got a lot of interest for our property, we decided we could probably swap for a longer time, so my wife and I quit our careers. We home-schooled our kids along the way! It was amazing because we were able to experience all of these different things together.”
Tell us about your route around the world
“We started in Sydney, Australia, staying at another family’s place, while they stayed in our Koh Samui home. It was a ridiculously big house in the centre of Sydney. From there, we started building an itinerary. We’d go onto Love Home Swap, filter Australia, as we knew we wanted to see more of Australia while we were there, and approached as many people as possible. Then in quick succession we travelled to Perth, Melbourne and other parts of Australia for around two months.”
“Next we decided that since we were on that side of the world, that we would visit New Zealand. So again, we just accessed the site and bang, we were in New Zealand! After that we ended up in San Francisco, USA where we house-sat for some friends of ours. Shortly afterwards, we did Lake Tahoe, Seattle and Canada. We never really knew what was coming next, and that was the beauty of it. Sometimes we were down to three or four days before we needed to leave, and something always worked out.”
“We spent a month in Canada, then we went across to New York and Virginia. Eventually we ended up in Europe where we home swapped in France, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland, Holland and England. In fact, we did many swaps in England, as we hadn’t lived in England for a very long time, so we could see family and also get to be tourists. Since our kids hadn’t been born there, we showed them as much as we could. We eventually settled down in France, where we’re still living now.”
Out of all the places you visited, could you pinpoint which was your favourite?
“When I think about all of the different experiences we had, every single one is a favourite. We all really loved Croatia because it was one of those swaps that just came out of nowhere. I think other members should really stay open to these kind of swaps, as they might be to a place that you have maybe never even considered – but these are the swaps that end up really blowing you away. We found the people there to be so wonderful, the island and the culture was amazing. Even the food was unbelievable.”
Did you manage to swap during the pandemic?
“We did! We managed to get a swap in August 2020. This last year has been a pain as we love to travel so much. So when restrictions started lifting a little bit, I started looking on Love Home Swap. I took all expectations off the table, and approached as many people as possible! We were meant to be going to the Provence region of France, but this had to be cancelled due to the restrictions. However, this is what I love so much about the community on Love Home Swap, as the host even called me to apologise, when there was nothing she could have done. The mindset of this community is so brilliant. There is such a sense of kinship that you can become lifelong friends in some instances. Instead, we found a property in Switzerland that we drove to. They showed us around the house, and we had a wonderful week-long swap there using the Points system.”
What are your home swapping plans for the future?
“We have already started hatching our plans for our post-pandemic getaways. We will definitely do a UK trip. We hope to look at one in Essex or Suffolk so I can see my family. We never touched Central or South America, so I would love to do a year in the US hopefully in the middle of 2021, then into Mexico and Southern America. I’d love to do it a lot slower than before, maybe two months at a time in a place. Hopefully we will soon be on our next big adventure with the backing of Love Home Swap and the great members that are on the site.”
The Prince family washing the elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand