You can book a number of luxury vacations for free – with a house swap

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Vacationers looking for a summer vacation have a big challenge this year, but there are a number of luxury vacations you can book for free – with a home swap

Vacationers looking for a summer break face a major challenge this year. Foreign travel restrictions due to Covid have messed up plans and accommodations in the UK are filling up fast.

But for those looking for a cheap getaway with Covid restrictions lifted from tomorrow, a home swap could be the answer. Such an arrangement allows you to live with someone else for free while they stay with you for the same period.

The concept is based on trust: you take care of your home as if it were your own and you know they will do it for yours too.

Save: Simon and Jane Perkin (pictured) – trade their homes in the Midlands for stays in Bath, Edinburgh and the Brecon Beacons

IT’S MORE FUN THAN A HOTEL, SAYS THE FAMILY WHO PLANNING FOUR JOURNEYS

Simon and Jane Perkin have planned four vacations this year – thanks to an apartment swap.

They trade in their four-bedroom Warwickshire home for a vacation in the Brecon Beacons, Peak District, Bath and Edinburgh.

Simon, Jane and their son Ed have enjoyed home swaps through HomeLink UK for more than a decade.

Simon, a business and wellness consultant, says, “It has opened up a wonderful world of luxury vacations and fabulous short city breaks – saving us thousands of pounds. We find that it is often more relaxing and entertaining than staying in an impersonal hotel. ”

He adds that home swapping has a few hidden advantages. “Having someone in your house can deter burglars, and guests can sometimes help water the garden and even feed pets,” he says.

You don’t have to live in a fancy mansion or penthouse to do an home swap. In fact, after months of restrictions, so many are looking for a change of scenery that we’re just glad to be somewhere – somewhere – different.

One of the main attractions of the home swap is that it doesn’t have to be the same. A humble country retreat could be just the thing for someone who lives in a property close to many amenities – and vice versa.

To find a home swap, first ask family and friends if they would consider a week or two in your home in exchange for the same amount of time with them.

If nothing fits, you can use a specialized website like HomeLink UK, Love Home Swap or HomeExchange.

These require an annual subscription to share details among thousands of like-minded people looking for a swap.

No money changes hands. You both agree to use each other’s electricity and internet, as well as some extras, such as access to bikes and games.

Home and contents insurance should cover any accidental breakages or damage.

However, to be extra safe, it may be worth considering additional coverage with a specialist insurer like Guardhog, where you typically pay from £ 1.50 per day to protect against guest harm and liability.

Caroline Connolly, Director at HomeLink UK, says home swapping is based on friendship and trust, so it can be a much happier arrangement than paying for accommodation. “There is no dreaded critical customer mentality on Tripadvisor, because both sides want nothing more than to be a good guest,” she says.

HomeLink UK registered twice as many homeowners this year. Cornwall and the coastal regions of North Yorkshire, Norfolk and southern England are some of the most sought-after travel destinations.

However, a humble change of scenery is also in demand, meaning you don’t have to live in a palace to enjoy trading venues with a like-minded family.

Subscription fees for a company like HomeLink with 8,000 items on the books are typically £ 115 per year.

This year HomeLink UK is offering a special £ 50 discount for new members who are just taking a break in the UK and want to limit themselves to a selection of 700 homes. HomeExchange costs $ 150 per year (£ 110) and Love Home Swap starts at £ 96 per year.

While you don’t have to live in a show home to swap, it’s important to keep it clean, comfortable, and inviting.

Due to the pandemic, it is imperative to clean all work surfaces and have disinfectants available everywhere.

It also helps to be flexible during these challenging times. “It’s been wonderful to see how understanding people have been over the past few months,” says Connolly. “But because of the pandemic, it may be necessary to cancel or reorganize it at short notice.”

Some simple ground rules should also be established to avoid confusion or problems.

When arranging an exchange of homes, be sure to sign a contract in which you have rules and a clear idea of ​​what to do if there is a problem, such as: You may also want to exchange references through an home exchange agency.

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