House swap vs couch surfing – a frugal vacation!

by Mike on April 4, 2013

House Swap

With my lady and I heading away on a holiday in no less than five days now the Easter long weekend was something we wanted to take advantage of but we didn’t want to spend any serious money on. After all an international 3 week holiday versus a 3 day long weekend. Which one do you think should get the bigger percentage of our spending?

With this in mind when we were considering what to do for Easter my lady came up with a brilliant idea. She suggested talking to some of her friends who live away from the city at the beach to see if they would be interested in a house swap. We all have dogs and all wanted to save money so it could be a perfect plan to reduce out spending on the long weekend away!

Frugal vacations through a house swap

I don’t think house swapping is a new idea and certainly there are plenty of websites these days allowing people who don’t know one another to contact and swap their family homes with other families internationally. Try somewhere like Home Exchange for a house swap frugal vacationswhich I easily found with a three second search through Google. Using services like these come with some risks and problems of course with both security and peace of mind but when your swapping with friends or associates the risk is far smaller (I love talking about risk remember). When you know the people your about to House Swap with you have no problems with letting them into your home and you don’t need to hide valuables or worry about family pets.

So my lady and I organized to swap her two bedroom city apartment for a four bedroom house in a rainforest near the beach. We managed to take our own food and cook and eat quite cheaply. Same thing applies to alcohol, we just took our own which cut way back on the cost of a three day long weekend away. The accommodation alone (without the house swap) could have cost us $500-600 easily and that wouldn’t have had all the cooking and amenities our friends place provided us.

Couch surfing your way to a cheap holiday

Couch surfing A friend of mine traveled around Canada for a bit and told me about an established (but new to me ) trend called couch surfing. Similar thing in that you find a place to stay from a number of locations online or through the backpacking networks. Its just couch surfing is more aimed at people sharing a little bit of space in their homes for weary travelers (very little in some case). Most times this can be nothing more than a quiet space on a couch with a blanket. But as any backpacker can tell you sometimes a quiet, relatively secure space on a couch with a roof over your head can be heaven. This obviously doesn’t work as well as house swapping for families or couples (there are exceptions) but for those trying for those frugal vacations this is another method to save money and still get away from home and travel.

 Whats your way to a frugal vacation?

Everybody has different ideas and out of the box creative ways to save money when traveling or taking time off. I mentioned a couple of mine above and in the past one of my articles took the direction of talking about how you can be making money while you travel.

  • Whats some of your great ideas on saving money as you go?
  • Had adventures exploring the world on a budget that you would be happy to share?
  • Got some keen tips for a traveler to see the world and save money while doing it?

 

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