Home and Away – Home Swapping and Renting

Alex and I are currently camping out at his parents house while they are away, as we are renting our place out via Airbnb again. This is the second week in a row that someone has rented our home and as much as I miss my creature comforts, it has meant that we can now afford a long awaited trip to Berlin in October. I’ve been dying to get there for years and can’t wait! I love to travel and without home swapping or renting our place out on occasion, we certainly wouldn’t be able to do it as much as we do. We’re pretty frugal when on holiday and it helps that we don’t like to take in the usual tourist attractions. We’re just happy to roam the streets sucking up free atmosphere!

This year, a few of our really good friends have chosen to get married over Christmas – One in India and the other Australia. With the peak season flight prices and increasing workloads around the festive season, we have had to pass and unfortunately can’t go to either. No amount of saving would have covered the costs and we couldn’t get any home swaps. Christmas is always a tricky time for those. Most long distance swappers like to swap for over three weeks and we only had a max of two. We really struggled to make the decision to turn down the invitations, but it just didn’t work for us. *sad face*
If all of my friends would move back to the UK, that would be much appreciated!

Anyway, mustn’t grumble. I’ve got more travel out of this year than I expected and have been a lot luckier than many that have never ventured outside of the UK. For those of you that are keen to know more about home swapping or renting someone’s pad below are a few links that you may find useful. There are hundreds of site out there, but these are the ones that have worked for me over the years. You do have to pay to register on the worthwhile sites, but if you search in Google, there are often promo codes or free site trials. Give it a go if you can and see more of the world than you might have done otherwise.

Home Swapping:
https://www.lovehomeswap.com
http://homeexchange.com
http://www.homeforexchange.com

Rentals:
https://www.airbnb.co.uk
http://www.flipkey.com
http://www.booking,com – Select apartments

Have you every considered home swapping or renting out when you can?

My favourite room in our home…

Home and Away - Home Swapping and Renting

Lounge2

 

 

 

 

Airbnb

Last night I received a Facebook message from a New York Times reporter asking if she could give me a call to chat about my use of the site Airbnb. Not one to turn down a bit of exposure I accepted and my comments should be in the paper in a few weeks – Fabulous!

For those of you that don’t already know, Airbnb is a pretty awesome site that allows you to post up your whole home, or simply a room in your home, for someone to rent out whenever it takes your fancy. Very soon after I posted our flat, towards the end of last year, I was offered the option of having a professional photographer come and take pictures for free…Yes FREE! I jumped at the chance, had a lovely morning cup of tea and a gossip about the site with Alex Oates  the photographer and the results were fabulous. I’m certain they have helped us grab a bit more attention and I have to say both the website and the iPhone app are very user-friendly and look pretty slick to boot.

Our Pics By Alex Oates – AirbnbOur listing here: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/53255

We’ve only had the time to rent our place out twice this year but both times have been pretty successful with a couple coming from as far as Australia. Having only a one bedroom flat means we can’t host whilst e are here –  Which I’m almost certain would not be not my thing anyway (I’m a bit of a loner who likes to sit in my pyjamas when I’m home). We simply leave the property with someone if it fits in with our diaries and tally ho, we set off for a change of scenery. Generally we use this time to take a trip ourselves using the money we make to fund our own travels. As a budget-conscious person this is an ideal way for me to follow my passion for travel without actually paying much out of my own pocket.

I’ll admit I was a little nervous for our first rental. We’ve only ever done house swaps in the past and you know that when you are swapping people they are trusting you in their own home, so its likely they take more care and I just somehow felt a bit more at ease about that whole scenario. My nerves were put at ease on our return though when everything was left pretty much spick and span.

There is no turning back for us now. If we can’t swap, we’ll be stuffing all our important bits into the garage, having a spring clean and listing the dates on Airbnb – A much better option than a hotel for longer periods of time. I’ve even found myself looking at flights and seeing if I can find a good place for us to rent out on the site before even thinking of booking!