With the rising cost of fuel and the continuing economic stagnation, more and more families are beginning to revise their ideas of what constitutes the ideal family vacation. In the past, families would spend tens of thousands on fancy lake-side cabins or stay at beach resorts. Today, many are choosing to cut the costs of traveling by taking part in the growing trend of the house swap.In a house swap, two parties agree to switch homes on a permanent or temporary basis. Typically, the house swap is used as a means of cutting vacation expenses while learning about a new culture, but a house swap may also involve a complete change in home ownership. Historians believe that the practice first showed up in the 1950s, although it did not truly rise to prominence until the late 1970s. Since then, the house swap has grown more and more popular with each year that goes by. In fact, some estimates point to a 15 percent increase in house swapping every single year.
Recent trends in house swapping have been spurred, in part, by the housing slump. Given the increased time houses now spend on the market, it makes sense that homeowners looking to move would look for alternative solutions. The prevalence of the house swap has also grown alongside the internet. House swap websites and social networks make it easy for homeowners to connect with other homeowners all around the world. At house swapping websites, all the user needs to do is fill out a little information on his or her home and when it might be available for a house swap. Users can also browse for other swappers in order to find the ideal vacation home. Many house swap websites include services such as background checks so that users will feel safe at all times.
Tough economic times call for a whole new level of ingenuity. Instead of eliminating vacations altogether, struggling families can make the best of their resources and swap their house for a new one in a different locale. It’s a win-win situation that will only increase in popularity in coming years.