Swapping mates may have
seemed the way to go in the swinging seventies, but
several decades and a few kids later, many couples are
looking to apartment swaps as a better way to get a
break—together. A home exchange (when you stay
in someone else’s apartment while they stay in
yours) enables you to bunker down in a fully equipped
home—often in the best part of town—at a
fraction of the cost of staying at a hotel. It’s
a great option for those traveling with young children,
who want the conveniences of a kitchen and multiple
bedrooms. These days most families look to the Internet
to swap pictures, answer questions, and make a deal.
Here, a few reliable sites where you can arrange your
Specify the type of accommodations you’re looking
for (location, number of bedrooms, smoking or non-,
pet-friendly) and detail the apartment you have to offer.
When a match is made, D2D will send each party the other’s
e-mail, and you are free to negotiate your own deal
(a one-time fee of $25 applies).
This home-exchange club charges an annual fee of $49.95
and allows you to search categories such as activities
(beach, golf, museums), lifestyles (smoke-free, alternative,
educators), and destinations (Miami, London, Vancouver)
in order to find the perfect home away from home.
This site offers deluxe homes and apartments in about
a dozen countries around the world, from Mexico to Australia.
It’s also a great source for local weekend exchanges,
like, say, a Hamptons beach house or a cottage in the
Catskills. A one-year membership costs $49.95—just
sign up, post a picture with your listing, and the e-mail
responses are sent directly to you.
For $50, you can submit your own listing and have access
to a growing database of exchange opportunities (around
2,000 houses and apartments in more than 40 countries).
The site is best for families looking for a swap in
the U.S., England, or France. The annual renewal fee
With more than 10,000 members, this is a great place
to list your offer (a one-year membership costs $37).
Recent listings include a villa on the Côte d’Azur
and a three-bedroom oceanview home on Maui’s North
Shore—both in exchange for New York City digs.
The site’s home-exchange service is free, allowing
you to list your own apartment or search for other exchanges
throughout the world (though it’s most useful
for U.S. trades).