It’s time to explore the concept of home exchanges again.
I’d been a member of www.homeexchange.com for two years a few years ago. I put out a number of requests over that time, mostly to places in France and Italy. Unfortunately no one was interested in coming to Toronto, Canada at the same time that we were interested in travelling. I did receive a number of requests from people in Florida wanting to exchange in July or August, but that wasn’t where I wanted to be.
Home Exchange.com is one of the largest sites with over 40,000 listings in 144 countries and costs $119.50 for an annual membership or $47.85 for a three month membership. They guarantee that if you do not get an exchange in the first year, your second year is free. Although I didn’t find anything the first time around, I may try this site again.
Other Home exchange sites include www.homeforexchange.com (annual fee $57.00), www.homeforswap.com (annual fee $75.00), www.homelink.org (annual fee $150, established in 1953), www.ihen.com (annual fee $39.95).
I registered on www.exchangeaway.com . It is free to list your house, however there is a cost of 20.34 GBP to be able to contact other exchangers. I posted my house on this site and received a response from Australia. Unfortunately, I need to pay the fee in order to read the request and reply back.
I also registered on www.exchangezones.com . Registration is free and includes not only home exchanges but also rentals, B&B, Homestays, Hostels and real estate for sale.
Through Exchange Zones, I contacted seven different owners in New York City and three owners around Charleston, South Carolina. Within hours I received two replies from NYC; one friendly refusal and another one saying that the dates didn’t work for his family but to keep in touch because something may work out in the future. No other responses came in from the eight other properties.
I haven’t given up on home exchanges, however for this summer I may need to look at alternative accommodation options.
I'll keep you posted.