Celebrity holiday on a family budget

We have just had 3 weeks in Barbados living life like a celebrity – sun, sea, sand, watersports, amazing food and drinking cocktails from a coconut!  Although it sounds like it cost a fortune, especially with four kids and The Dane (my husband) in tow, it actually cost no more than a fortnight Eurocamping in France!

How?  We home swap!

The view from our house swap - a beautiful Barbados rainbow!

The view from our house swap – a beautiful Barbados rainbow!

Basically, we go and live in someone else’s house whilst they come and stay in yours.  We use a website run by my friend Debbie called lovehomeswap.com and also homeexchangecom (the biggest site in the world) and we have total faith in how it all works. Once you swap, you just won’t stop – ha ha!

We cashed in some of the airmiles we’ve saved from spending on a credit card and shaved several hundred pounds off each ticket! And we even swapped cars this time at no extra cost AND they looked after our bunnies.

Beach life on Barbados

Beach life on Barbados

Loads of people ask me about letting strangers live in their home, people sleeping in your bed etc. Don’t forget you’re in their home too – usually at the same time!  We let our insurance company know, lock away any personal papers, sentimental stuff and valuables and away we go!

With 4 kids we need SO much ‘stuff’, but the beauty of home swapping is that we swap with other families.  There’s a ready made princess room, pirate room, trampoline in the garden and loads of toys.  And most important is that it’s CHILD FRIENDLY so I’m not stressing.

The kids!

The kids!

We always do our research;  looking at Google Maps and checking out the property, the area and the owners and we use Skype to chat with the family we are swapping with. Your instincts can tell you a lot.  Of course there’s an element of trust but 5 swaps later and we’re still going, we’ve made some great friends and met some wonderful people.

I’ve managed to persuade lots of friends to do it with great success with all types of houses all over the country.    What do you think? Would you consider a homeswap as your next holiday option?

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