Apartment swap: enjoy free accommodation in Barcelona
Ever considered an apartment swap for your holiday? It's cheap, comfortable and fascinating and we think you might like it!
In recent years, unusual, authentic and cheap ways to travel have gained a lot of popularity. And apartment swapping is no exception.
How does apartment swapping work?
Apartment (or house) swapping has become very easy thanks to this website. You simply have to create a profile with a description of yourself and your home, view the offers that interest you and then start a discussion with the members you want to swap with.
On each person’s profile you will see what language(s) they speak.
If you get along, you can agree an exchange. And then all you have to do is go on holidays!
The advantages of swapping apartments
Needless to say if you are doing a house swap you will not pay for accommodation during your holidays. Which will allow you to stay for longer, visit more often, or simply devote your budget to things like tours and restaurants…a top tip!
Discover the city like a local
When you swap your house you exchange much more than accommodation. It’s a very human experience that allows you to learn the local habits, the best local places and the recommendations of the person you swap with.
It is useful to prepare a notebook with ideas for things to see in your local area, restaurant/bar advice and top tips for your guests. It’s also a very friendly touch!
Enjoy comfortable accommodation
Spending your holidays in a house or apartment that is lived in does not compare to staying in a tourist apartment. As the place is occupied all year long it tends to be much better equipped with electrical appliances, board games, books, CDs and DVDs.
Car swapping and pet sitting…
This is totally optional but it is possible to make your car available to your guests. You can then use theirs in Barcelona.
You can also agree to entrust them with your pet or watering your plants…
Not leaving your home empty
The fact that your house or apartment is occupied during your holidays significantly reduces the risk of burglary, which is really useful.
How can you feel sure about your exchange?
Apartment swapping is scary at first. However homeexchange.com does everything to put your mind at ease.
A community based on respect, trust and reciprocity
True, you are leaving your keys to strangers, but they too are leaving their apartment in your hands. The homeexchange.com community is based on values of respect and trust.
If a person makes a bad impression, you are free to not continue with them. The site messaging service is secure and your personal details (name, exact address) are not revealed until the moment you decide.
Exchange contract and getting assistance
To avoid disagreements or misunderstandings you can download the exchange contract. You can then read it, make adjustments and have it signed by both parties.
If you have any doubts or questions, you can contact a member of the trocmaison.com team by email, chat or phone.
Stories from site members
In the end it’s probably the stories from members of the site (you can read them in member stories) who have already exchanged their apartments, that will convince you to take the leap: they all say that once you have done it once it’s hard to imagine another way of traveling, they enjoyed the experience so much.
Don’t forget to check out the comments left on the profiles of people offering their house or apartment to get a clearer idea of the owners.
Our advice for a successful exchange
- Be honest: Avoid disappointing people who are interested in your apartment!
- Establish clear rules in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Exchange with similar profiles: if you have children, exchange with someone who does too, as their home is likely to be more suitable
- Put away your valuables and leave with your mind at ease
- Check the terms of your home insurance (and your car insurance if applicable)
- Let a neighbour or friend know that you have guests and stay in touch with them while you are away.
- Prepare a summary of how the various appliances work, emergency numbers (fire brigade, doctor, contact person…) and w little guide to your town and region.
- Create a “guest” account on your computer so your guests can go online with accessing your personal files.
More info on homeexchange.com
The world leader in apartment exchanges
is the best known site for home exchanges in France and a subsidiary of homeexchange.com, a market world leader. More than 40,000 offers are available in 150 countries. In Barcelona the site currently has 500 listings.
- You can view the offers on the site for free to get an idea of the types of ads being published.
- If you want to contact a member, you will need to sign up to the site. The price is less than €100 per year and allows you to do as many exchanges as you like. Or to look at it another way, for the price of one night in a comfortable hotel you can get several weeks of holidays.
- You can get a free trial on join now of the site for 2 weeks and have access to the same features as members.
- Warning: if, after the trial period, you decide not to go ahead with your subscription, remember to de-register. Otherwise payment is taken automatically.
- If you don’t exchange during your first years’ subscription you get a year’s subscription free.
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About the author
Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?