5 Good, sane reasons to exchange your home in 2016

Cape Town - The romantic comedy "The Holiday" is a favourite amongst most travellers. 

But many of us don't think exchanging a cottage in the British countryside for a villa in Beverly Hills is quite as easy (or possible) as it looks in the movies.   

Well, it is. And if you don't believe us, you're missing out.

In 2015 alone, on one home exchange site, 65 000 members made over 130 000 home swaps across more than 150 countries. 

Yeah, it's pretty big. And pretty easy too. 

Here are 5 Good, sane reasons to make home exchange part of your travel plans this year: 

1. It saves money - without taking away from the experience 

For family holiday, which would you prefer: a typical all-in-one hotel room or family home with a separate bedroom for each kid, a fully equipped kitchen, a cozy living room, and bicycles in the garage for family rides?

Exchanging homes makes it possible to fit a full family into a full house, says HomeExchange.com. For a single and affordable annual fee on their site, members of home-exchange networks can occupy whole homes, usually as many times as can be arranged. 

A photo posted by Tamara (@tamarabes) on

          




2. It's taking over the world!
The exchange concept – one long considered a special privilege of a lucky and happy few – has now become mainstream. Well-established in North America and Europe, the idea of exchanging homes has taken root in China, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, and South Africa,yet it has boomed in Australia and New Zealand.  

In SA alone, there are 285 homes listed on HomeExchange.com, This means the owners of these residencies can get free accommodation, similar to what they're used to in South Africa, anywhere abroad, whenever they can arrange it. 

A photo posted by Behomm Community (@behomm) on





3. You don't have to own a mansion to be listed
Anything someone can sleep in can be listed: boats, RVs, tree houses, primary and second homes, beach cabins, condos, mountain chalets, penthouses, houseboats, pagodas, and chateaux. Even a house on the beach in SA that's called the Sandcastle and really looks like one!






4. It's Tax-Free
Since there are no financial transactions between exchange partners, they are exempt from accommodation and tourism taxes. When you settle into your exchange partner's home, you do so as an invited guest, not a paying customer. Instead of two homes sitting empty while their owners/renters are away, someone waters your plants while you take care of his swimming pool.





5. An Ecosystem Based on Trust and Friendliness
Through verified profiles and secure messaging systems, exchange partners get to know each other well enough to use first names. As no money changes hands and both parties are equally hosts and guests, the relationship is balanced and free of customer-client concerns. Your future exchange partners are the lifelong friends you have yet to meet.

A photo posted by Tamara (@tamarabes) on





BONUS REASON - You won't find a better 'local's perspective'



Share your travel footage and photos with us at info@traveller24.com or post them on our FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 3232 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3021 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 327 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.33
(-0.4)
GBP/ZAR
19.92
(-0.3)
EUR/ZAR
17.22
(-0.2)
AUD/ZAR
11.10
(-0.3)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-0.4)
Gold
1,795.09
(+0.5)
Silver
26.74
(+0.9)
Platinum
1,234.00
(+0.3)
Brent Crude
68.96
(+0.1)
Palladium
2,992.00
(+0.5)
All Share
67,443
(+0.1)
Top 40
61,602
(+0.1)
Financial 15
12,393
(+0.3)
Industrial 25
85,371
(-0.3)
Resource 10
70,772
(+0.6)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo