There are people all over the world who want to vacation in your home—and yes—that means you get to vacation in their home. For free.
I recently discovered a tantalizing way to find a home exchange. It’s called reverse search. If you try it, just be sure to have tissue ready. You will salivate.
With most home exchange organizations the member usually types in a destination city, like London or Florence. My family has home exchanged 12 times in 12 years and this is how we’ve always searched for our next home swap. But with reverse search, you type in the name of your city to find out who wants to visit you.
Not all home exchange companies offer this service. One that does is: www.homeexchange.com.
Here’s how I did it:
- First, I clicked the link on the homeexchange.com website that says “Advanced.”
- I went to a box that says “Listings who want to exchange to:” I typed in United States.
- From a dropdown menu of all 50 states, I clicked California
- A box appeared that said “City:” and I typed San Diego.
- Elsewhere on the site, I did not complete the box that requested “Preferred Dates.” I also didn’t fill in the number of bedrooms or bathrooms because I just wanted to know how many people registered with this home swap company want to visit my city.
- Then I clicked Search. The Reverse Search procedure took less than 60 seconds.
In my head, a drumroll tapped.
76 members! They all want to visit San Diego! I laughed. Out loud.
The first time I did a Reverse Search I called out to my husband, Stan, “Come ‘ere!”
I heard his newspaper crunch closed and his footsteps move towards my office.
“Look,” I cried. “All these people want to come here!” I pointed to the computer monitor, just in case he didn’t know what I was talking about.
He stood behind me and peered over my shoulder.
“How’d you do that?” he asked.
He hates it when I figure out some new way to do something on the computer. Actually, he loves it. What he hates is that he didn’t figure it out first.
Together we perused the list of 76 exciting prospects: Canada, France, Italy, U.S., England, Australia, Holland, Ireland, Norway. Page after page of glorious home photos: thatched cottages, seaside homes, modern flats. It was like gazing into a candy counter. We couldn’t decide which one we wanted.
Stan departed to feed our dog Shadow, who always lets us know when it’s dinnertime by making pathetic hunger noises. (Shadow does this, not Stan.)
And I returned to the home page on my monitor to narrow my search by inserting additional information: we needed a minimum of 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, accommodations for 4 people. Oh, I also clicked the Non-smokers box. Then I clicked Search again.
The number dropped from 76 down to 54. But, hey, I’m totally good with 54.
Then I thought about you, the people who would be reading this. I wondered what city you live in and what you’d like to know. So here are a few tasty morsels for you to chew on:
- 850 people want to home swap in London.
- 331 members want to home exchange in Colorado; one is on the Florida Intracoastal Waterway.
- 133 families hope to exchange with someone in Oregon, how about a 3-bedroom Swiss chalet replete with red geraniums and green shutters? (Yes, in Switzerland.)
- 75 travelers hope to home swap in Madrid.
- 68 folks have listed Wyoming as an exchange location; a family in Paris wants to visit your home.
- 67 want to home exchange in Texas, I spotted a fully-staffed colonial home in Mexico
- 42 members want an exchange vacation in Connecticut, one member with a 2-bedroom/2-bath in Hawaii.
- 13 members noted Tennessee as a destination; one is a 3/1 in New York City
I hope I’ve whet your appetite for a home exchange vacation. If I didn’t mention your state or country, ask me on my comments box. I’ll let you know.
Now I’ve got to go look over my 54 prospects and start e-mailing these folks. I think a holiday home swap is in order.