Home Exchange Program Offers Affordable Vacation Options

casaversa-home-exchangeInstead of paying out the big bucks to stay in a hotel for your next vacation, while also needing to arrange for a house-sitter for your own home while you’re gone, you might want to consider a home exchange, which can take care of both of those concerns at the same time.

A home exchange program, also called house swapping, allows for a bit of collaborative consumption with something that doesn’t often get used when we’re on vacation, namely, our own home. Participants in home exchanges through CasaVersa can swap homes for the duration of their vacation, giving each of the parties low-cost (free) lodging for their stay, while also allowing for a more personal experience while traveling.

“Getting a house match on CasaVersa is more than a transaction. We help you create an insider experience with someone you otherwise would have never met. You will then more genuinely experience life in their corner of the world instead of spending a week in a hotel exposed only to the typical tourist experience.” – Yariv “Ajar” Gilad, Founder and CEO

By staying in a more ‘local’ environment such as a home, and connecting socially with the other home exchange partner, both before and during the stay, travelers can get a more authentic taste of the place they’re in, while also getting an entire house to use for their vacation. Instead of just the bedroom and bathroom of a hotel, home exchange vacationers also get the kitchen (to be able to prepare more of their own meals instead of dining out), and the yard, patio, or other outdoor space connected to the home (which can be used for relaxing or entertaining). In some cases, a car exchange for the stay may also be included.

There is no charge between parties for a home exchange, nor is there a yearly subscription fee to the site, but to take advantage of the features of the CasaVersa program, after the first free home swap, a small fee is charged for each exchange ($45, with the 4th swap free).

To participate in this sharing economy program, users can sign up at CasaVersa, list their own home, choose the travel dates and locations, browse the listings and find potential home exchange partners, and then connect with and propose an exchange to the people with the most fitting listing.

CasaVersa aims to help people to connect and communicate on the site, and by verifying personal and contact information and using social networking to determine the user’s authenticity, as well as providing a home exchange contract to participants, the process is as above-board as possible.

“CasaVersa is designed specifically to help you really get to know your partner prior to the actual exchange. By the time you are ready to make the exchange, you are not strangers anymore: you will have chatted via CasaVersa about all the aspects of your exchange, and received great local tips from each other about what to do on your vacation. You and your exchange partner are connected by the mutual desire to have a unique and successful vacation. Social networks have made the world smaller and opened a wealth of opportunities for connecting with people. We utilize social networks on CasaVersa. When you view another member’s profile, you get to see their Facebook verification as well as recommendations from their friends.”

Get more info about CasaVersa at the website.

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!
  • There are lots of other home exchange sites in addition to casaversa. Those considering joining one should check out my reviews and listings comparing the options at Share Traveler