I first learned about home sharing when I saw a 2006 movie called "The Holiday" starring Cameron Dias, Kate Winslet and Jude Law. Both of the women are having man problems and decide to swap homes in each other's country, where they ultimately fall in love.
When I watched the movie, I immediately thought that I would not want to home share. The thought of staying in a stranger's home and even worse, having a stranger stay in my home did not sit well with me. However, since 2006 home swapping has become all the rage.
Sites like HomeExchange.com and RoofSwap.com allow you to search for properties in the travel destination that you'd like to visit. You enter the desired destination, dates, whether you are looking to "exchange only" (your home with the person whose home you are swapping), desire a "rental" which means that you are requesting a straight rental, or "any arrangement" which means that you are open to some combination of options.
The wonderful thing about home sharing is that you typically save a lot of money. This is especially true if you home share with someone who wants to stay at your home. In this case you each stay in the other's home for FREE! In addition you will save money on dining out, cars and hotels. This can translate into more money that you can use to truly explore and enjoy your destination.
Some people exchange cars with each other when they home share. One person traded their home for a stay on a 40 foot yacht. Another person might want to use your RV while you are in their home. There are all kinds of arrangements.
Membership in home swapping programs typically range from $9.95 a month to $500 a year. If you're curious about home sharing go online and check it out. You may find that that trip to South America, Africa or Europe is well within reach!
[Goddess Simmons Drew is an avid traveler and Travel Agent who along with her business partner Sharon Buckner owns Goddess Travel. Check out Goddess's travel website at: http://www.ytbtravel.com/goddess. Subscribe to Goddess's travel blog at: www.ytbtravel.com/goddesstravelbiz.]