My Experience With Doing A House Swap | LIFESTYLE


When I say "house swap" we all think of the movie The Holiday right? Well that's exactly what I did. My family swapped houses and car with a couple in England and this is how it all worked out.
The experience
This was the first time my family and I had done proper traveling outside of Australia. We were all eager to visit the UK and Europe particularly. My dad had six months of annual leave accumulated, my brothers could get university off for the semester, and I had just completed grade 12 so all the stars aligned and it was the perfect opportunity to travel!

We did three house swaps: one in Hampshire, one in Hurst, and one in the South of France. I will focus on the first house mainly as we spent the most time there.

After our exhausting 24hr flight we arrived in snowy zero degree England which was a stark contrast from the thirty-five degree day we departed on. We caught a taxi to our new home for the next few months and were blown away at how beautiful and picturesque it was. It was the early hours of the morning and snow glistened under the first rays of light. We wheeled our suitcases through the snow with our noses turning a light shade of pink and steam appearing upon each exhalation. We entered the house and instantly felt the warmth from the central heating and aga. The kitchen, pictured below, was so warm and cozy that I never wanted to leave. Waking up in the mornings was never a hassle as I would get up, put the kettle on the stove, place a croissant in the aga to crisp up, and watch the snow fall whilst waiting for the kettle to whistle.

My bedroom was one of the best. I had a queen size bed, a walk in wardrobe, an en suite, and plenty of windows displaying the beautiful winter wonderland outside. The whole house was a dream though. It had six large bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a massive garden. We were there for a total of 2 1/2 months and would frequently catch the hour-long train journey into London. We also explored places such as Brighton, Guildford, Oxford, Winchester, Alton and many more. Our lifestyle here is the one I miss the most. It was just pure freedom and bliss, no responsibilities..just getting to explore new places and become a local for a short time. The couple who we swapped with were a retired couple who wanted to visit Australia so it worked out perfectly.
 The Benefits of House Swapping
  • Is perfect for long-term travels where you want to base yourself at a location
  • More authentic experience - when you stay in hotels it's hard not to feel like a traveler. If you want to feel and live like a local it's a lot better when living in a house
  • Is good respite - traveling is exhausting so it's nice to have a place where you can completely relax and even take a few days just to rest.
  • Is cheaper - The best house swap websites do cost money but it works out to be so much more economical, particularly if you swap cars too. It will save you a lot more money, meaning you can spend more on experiences rather than accommodation. 
  • More comfortable - I feel so much more at ease when I am living in a house rather than staying in a hotel. 
The Disadvantages of House Swapping
  • Strangers will be living in your house - this thought may put someone off house swapping all together. In my opinion I felt okay with this as we were staying in their house so there was this level of trust established. 
  • Miscommunication between people wanting to swap houses
  • The dates may not line up with when you are able to go away/return
  • There is always a risk that you may be getting scammed. It's about being smart and thoroughly doing your research before committing to anything. 
What Website Did You Use?
We used Homelink. We did three house swaps and all three turned out perfectly without a problem. It costs $250 for a one year membership. It may sound a little pricey but it works out cheaper in the long run and there would be a smaller chance of being scammed. 

So Would You Recommend It?
Absolutely! If you are someone who wants to stay somewhere for a longer time and live like a local then this is an excellent experience. I can't wait to do one again in the future when I can. 

Has anyone else done a house swap before? 

Holly x

You Might Also Like


  1. This is so interesting, it actually is just like The Holiday as well, so glad it worked out for you though and nothing dodgy happened!

    Lauren Ashleigh xx

    1. Oh absolutely! There's so much room for dodgy things to happen but it was all peachy! x

  2. This sounds like so much fun!! I would love to do one of these someday :)

    Renee | Life After Lux

  3. Ok, this post was amazing. I can't believe you actually swapped houses and everything worked fine! Now, I wanna do it too, it sounds like so much fun! hahaha

    1. Would definitely recommend it, it was SUCH an amazing experience!! x

  4. I loved reading this, it really is just like The Holiday which is my favourite film! I love your writing style too, it's like reading a book! Xx

  5. This looks so cool!!! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself!!!!

  6. Wow looks amazing!! Just like the movie the holiday, looks like an amazing experience! Such pretty photos too xx

  7. I didn't know that house swapping was a thing, but this sounds like a great experience!
    Aleeha xXx

  8. This is amazing, just like The Holiday! Sounds like you had a great time!
    Hannah xx