Home exchanging is not a new idea; in fact, it’s been a popular practice in Europe for decades. Today the popularity of this money saving practice is moving across the Atlantic and catching on in North America. The good news is that home exchanging is the ideal solution for people who need accessible holiday accommodations. In fact, it kills two birds with one stone, as home exchanging is an accessible and affordable holiday option.
The principles behind home exchanging are pretty simple. The idea is to find somebody with a lifestyle similar to yours, in another part of the country or world. Then the two of you exchange homes; you both live in each other’s house while you are on holiday. It’s an even exchange, so both exchangees pocket the money they would have spent on other lodging arrangements.
The benefits of home exchanging are obvious. If you have made some accessibility modifications to your own home, then it just makes sense to find another person like you, who has made similar modifications to their home. So, where do you look for a home exchange partner? The internet is a good place to start, as it offers many accessible home exchange resources.
Vacation Home Swap Bulletin Board
This free resource contains accessible vacation home exchange listings from around the world. Visitors can browse through the listings, do a keyword search or add their own home to the growing collection. This excellent resource is maintained by the Institute on Independent Living in Stockholm, Sweden.
This listing service devotes an entire section to accessible homes. Although this new section is small, it’s growing in popularity! You can view all the listings for free, but there is a charge to list your home on this site.
This listing service publishes an on-line vacation home exchange directory. To search for accessible homes, click on “detailed search” and then select “disabled access.” This is a fee-based service, however you can browse the listings for free (without contact info). There is a charge to view the whole directory, or to have your listing included in the directory.
This company publishes on-line and hard copy vacation home exchange directories. Accessible homes are clearly listed. There is a fee for the directory.
Consider a home exchange for your next holiday. This tried and true European idea offers big monetary savings, plus the comfort and freedom of real accessibility.
A recognized expert on accessible travel, Candy is the editor of Emerging Horizons and the author of Barrier-Free Travel; A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers. She also shares insights, information and industry updates about accessible travel on her Barrier Free Travels blog. Candy can be contacted at Candy at EmergingHorizons dot com.