House swapping isn’t for the faint of heart — you’ll send keys to complete strangers and leave them alone in your house for days at a time! — but thousands of independent travelers are slowly discovering the joys of this inexpensive (and slightly voyeuristic) way to travel.
House swapping is simple: instead of staying in a hotel, you switch houses or apartments with someone in a far off land. The easiest way to check out the options is by visiting craigslist.org, navigating to your city, and clicking on house swapping. See who wants to stay in your town, check out the offerings, and start to dream. Getting used to the idea is half the battle, though in all fairness, it’s definitely the uphill part. Once you’re used to the idea, house swapping is a fantastic and economic way to travel.
Once you get into house swapping, check out some members-only sites, like digsville.com (homes are rated), intervacus.com (emphasis on homes abroad), homeexchange.com (satisfaction guarantee), and homelink-usa.com (all listings are current). Your membership fee will be paid off in just one foregone hotel night, and a big, wide world of travel will be opened to you. Who knows, your home-away-from home may just be floating around in the online ether right now.