The History of Home Exchanges
Home exchange has become a favored alternative to the typical vacation stay at a hotel. The essence of a home exchange is very simple, two parties agree to exchange their homes for a given period of time. The origin of home exchanges dates to the early 1950's, when the Swiss and Dutch Teacher Unions conceived the idea so as to facilitate travel between the different countries. Since no money was exchanged between the parties this unique travel approach is considered the start of the exchange home movement that has revolutionized the travel industry today.
The advent and then popularity of the Internet in the late 1990's has allowed for an explosion of home exchange services. Today, anyone with access to the Internet can contact other home owners, around the world, to determine interest in exchanging a stay at their home for a stay at someone else's home.
Home exchanges today consist of every type of housing arrangement, from single family homes to townhouses to apartments and condominiums, and can even include boats and automobiles. Home owners can do simultaneous home exchanges whereby they each use the other's home at the same time or, if they own vacation homes, they can arrange a non-simultaneous exchange whereby each member uses the other home at a mutually convenient time, not necessarily the same time. And the length of the home exchange can be any time agreeable to both parties, for a weekend, a week or even longer.
Saving money is only one of the many benefits associated with home exchanges. Perhaps the single greatest reason for the success of home exchanges is that exchanging homes allows the guest to experience the area like a local rather than a tourist. Of course, it also helps that the guest has access to a washing machine, kitchen facilities and all the other comforts associated with staying at a home not a hotel. If you'd like to become part of the home exchange movement, please complete a Membership Application
and start enjoying lodging free vacations