Roy Watts on home exchanging

There is a definite philosophy behind the culture of home exchanging that should be explained. Most of the participants are wealthy or comfortable middle aged citizens, many of whom are retired. To them this is a wonderful opportunity for adventure and exploration, and beats sitting around on the stoep all day.  Quite a few have second homes, which immediately eliminates one of the limiting factors of this concept, the need for a simultaneous exchange. Pivotal to all of this is a mutual respect for each other’s property and the collateral of being in each other’s homes tends to ensure against the abuse of trust.

To make the most of your holiday, and ensure a compatible match, a lot of thought should go into the compilation of your entry on the site. For starters, you should be quite explicit about where, when and for how long you want to go. Furthermore the scope of your entry gives you the opportunity of eliminating taboos from your home. Collectors of fine Chinaware might not be too keen on kids playing tag amongst the Ming collectibles, and non-smokers might not welcome cigarette addicts. South Africa occupies one of the smaller segments of the site, which is dominated by the USA, Britain, Europe and Australia. This serves to ensure a steady flow of propositions, particularly in the Cape where you should get an average of at least 15 offers a year.

So, before hitching the family caravan in despair, give a thought to expanding your horizons with a home exchange. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to be installed as the temporary Lord of an English Manor, or luckier still, wind up sharing a bough with an Amazon head-hunter. Chances are though; you’ll find yourselves surrounded by new best-friends in a comfortable home with reliable wheels in a far-off country that latterly, you couldn’t otherwise afford to visit.