“The world lies in the hands of those that have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams” — Paulo Coelho
HomeExchange Round-the-World Travel Toolbox
HomeExchange: How It Works
Tips for Safe and Happy Home Exchanging
Round the World Q&A
Tips for Long-Term Exchanges
How Does Car Swapping Work
How and Why to Exchange with the Suburbs
Search HomeExchange Homes
Need Help with HomeExchange?
For many, many decades, extended trips around the world were only possible by the independently wealthy and the rucksack-toting adventurers who earned passage on ocean freighters and covered costs through odd jobs.
A globe-spanning trip certainly wasn’t feasible — or even recommended! — for families (especially with young kids), grownups with jobs, or retirees on fixed incomes. Practical, responsible, earthbound folks tending to mortgages and college tuitions settled for picture-filled magazine articles, full-length travelogues, and documentaries.
Then things changed. Travel barriers were lifted and far horizons brought nearer than ever before. Today, global travel is possible even for middle-class dreamers. Not only is it possible, it’s highly recommended! Your greatest obstacles are your own self-imposed limitations.
There are other obstacles, of course — especially cost — but that’s where home exchanges can play a big role. HomeExchange is your readymade community with the global reach and guideposts that make round-the-world travel accessible. We cheer you on as you make your dreams a reality. Your adventures are why we are here.
So how can you make your round-the-world travel dreams come true through home exchanges? Learn from those who have gone before you! Read below about their journeys and check out our round-the-world toolbox for tips about setting up complex trips through HomeExchange.
A Down Under Odyssey! 5 months and 12 Home Exchanges “Down Under”
Who: Tom and Sheila
Where: Australia, New Zealand and Fiji
When: 5 months, from January to May 2017
How: 12 home exchanges
Their upcoming five month odyssey has evolved through luck, good timing, and taking advantage of the many tools available on homeexchange.com. It started with one random offer from Australia, then 3 more! As their dream of spending a month or two in AU became a real plan for 2017, they happily accepted those offers and decided to try to add Tasmania and New Zealand by sending out offers of our own. Success! Somehow the trip grew to 5 months. Adding Fiji was icing on our Oceanic cake. The trip will be a mix of simultaneous, non-simultaneous and hospitality exchanges – cities, suburbs, and rural settings. Most include a car. It will be a fantastic journey, and would not have come together without homeexchange.com
Challenge Accepted! Travel Around the World Only Using HomeExchange Homes
Who: Audrey, Fabien, Hugo, Raphaël, and Camille
Where: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, USA, Canada
When: 1 year, from July 2016 to August 2017
How: 15+ back-to-back home exchanges
Fabien and Audrey are teachers living in the French countryside near Nantes. Since September 2015, they’ve been planning the adventure of a lifetime: a year of travel around the world with their three children, staying only in HomeExchange homes! They are big fans of HomeExchange.com and have taken on the challenge of arranging accommodation only through the 65,000 active listings found on the site. Their itinerary is set, their flights are booked, and their budget estimates calculated. And, of course, they’ve already agreed on home exchanges in China, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia! Stay tuned to their brand new blog, which will chronicle all their world adventures!
A Collaborative Educational Project in Latin America
Who: Andrés, Ingrid, Nora, Cloe and Elsa
Where: Latin America
When: 1 year, from August 2016 to August 2017
How: 60+ back-to-back home exchanges
“We currently have about 60 homes that have agreed to welcome us during our trip. Most of them have been contacted through the HomeExchange.com website and we have specifically requested our desire to live with them, as in a hospitality exchange.”
Andrés and Ingrid are teachers from Seville, Spain, parents of three cheerful daughters and entrepreneurs ready to make the world a better place. They developed an educational, independent, and collaborative project in Latin America that is also an open and flexible family trip. They will be living with the locals in Latin America for a whole year! The main thrust of their adventure is its educational component, the target of which is children, including their three daughters, Nora, Cloe, and Elsa (8, 6, and 4). The project will be making its way through schools, where the family will be promoting games, autonomy, and sport to children.
Two Young Travelers Leaving on a Dream Trip
Who: Isabelle and Douglas
Where: Russia, China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, French Polynesia, Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil
When: 4 months
How: 7+ back-to-back home exchanges
“HomeExchange is our base for accommodation when we travel. We no longer look for hotels, we are now looking for exchange homes. All of our experiences have been rewarding and unique.”
Isabelle and Douglas, a couple of 20-somethings, have decided to pause everything and make a dream come true: travel around the world. They plan to stay at HomeExchange homes to save on accommodation costs and benefit from living like locals. They are preparing their itinerary and have started to look for exchanges. They will be launching a blog on which to post GoPro videos. Stay tuned!
A Retirement Dream Trip in the South Pacific
Who: Elspeth and James Stewart
Where: from a little town in Scotland to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Bali
When: 6 months, from November 2015 to May 2016
How: 19 back-to-back home exchanges
“We’ve met and been in touch with so many wonderful people and are very grateful to HomeExchange.com for making this incredible experience possible. We really have felt as though we’ve been actually living in the country while we’ve been here.”
Elspeth and James Stewart joined HomeExchange to see who would come to Forres, their little town in northeast Scotland. To their surprise, the exchange requests they sent to New Zealand were quickly accepted! So they added Australia, Fiji, and Bali to their dream list, and guess what!? They arranged 19 back-to-back exchanges for a six-month retirement dream trip! They’re enjoying their time away and keeping as active as possible by living and exploring like locals. They’ve gone to the Australian Open in Melbourne, climbed an active volcano, and even swum with dolphins! They keep an online diary where you can follow their adventures.
Paris-Based Digital Nomads Take to the Australian Beaches
Who: Magalie and Rodolphe
When: 3 months, from February 2016 to April 2016
How: 4 back-to-back home exchanges
“We have met and visited with the friends and neighbors of our exchange partners and they told us we can call them in case we need help or tourist advice. They have even invited us to have a drink together one day. Australian people are cool!”
Magalie and Rodolphe have embarked on a three-month exploration of the southeast of Australia. And this is Magalie’s very first home exchange experience! Imagine what she’ll do her second time. As digital nomads, the couple can work remotely from anywhere in the world, so they decided to spend three months in Australia, swapping their usual Parisian office for beaches, parks, cafes, and living rooms. Check out her blog where you’ll find word of her home exchange experiences, as well as some tips on how to become a digital nomad.
A French Family, Inspired by Sharing, Hits the Road for a Year
Who: Carine and Family
Where: US, Canada, Tahiti, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, and Bali
When: 1 year, from June 2015 to June 2016
How: 12 back-to-back home exchanges
“HomeExchange is why we’re here today. It made all of this possible. It not only saved us money, it changed our life. It added more trust, more fun and more love into our lives. It made us better people.”
It all started in 2009, when Carine and her family decided to reside for five months in San Diego, California, all without spending a single night or a single penny in a hotel! Those five months changed this family’s life for the better. Carine got a job from one of her home exchange partners and the family was completely hooked on traveling the world through HomeExchange. Could it get any better than this? Well, six years later they have embarked again on a big HomeExchange adventure. This time, they’re headed around the world for a year!
Using a Second Home to Make Long-Term Travel Possible, Especially with a Pet
Who: Alain and Brigitte
Where: South Carolina and Florida, USA
When: 3 months
How: 7 back-to-back home exchanges
“Sleeping three months in hotels and eating out in restaurants 270 times wouldn’t have been feasible for us. Also, dogs were not allowed in the restaurants or many hotels in the USA, so it would have been much more complicated without HomeExchange.”
Alain and Brigitte Saunders signed up to HomeExchange in February 2013. In the space of only 2-3 weeks they had arranged a trip that included six exchanges in South Carolina and Florida. This first home exchange adventure could hardly have begun in a better way! And they took their dog Roxy with them too, made just that much easier through home exchanges! Alain and Brigitte are Home Exchange rockstars, leveraging a second home to create the flexibility needed to set up exchange dates and easily arrange non-simultaneous swaps.
A Family Finds Balance on a Trip Around the World
Who: Sarah, Alain and children
Where: USA, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia
When: 1 year, from July 2014 to July 2015
How: 9 home exchanges
“Don’t be afraid to exchange your home. In one year we had no damage. It’s a mutual respect of exchanged homes. You really understand this concept when you do your first exchange.”
When Sarah, Alain and their two teenage kids planned on a sabbatical year to go around the world, they decided to try home exchanges in order to live like locals and avoid the costs of accommodation. They followed the advice of a friend who was a member of HomeExchange.com and had recommended they join the community! After their trip, here is what they said: “The greatest discovery was our family going together, the four of us, for adventures out of the ordinary. We found a balance that we didn’t know before the departure. We enjoyed taking the time to live, to discover, to meet people.” Read more about them on the French HomeExchange blog.
A Round-the-World Honeymoon Becomes a Reality
Who: Roser and Arnau
Where: USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand
When: 4 months, from August to December 2013
How: 5 back-to-back home exchanges
“Even though organizing a multi-city exchange can seem a bit overwhelming at first, it’s really not too much different from setting up a regular home exchange.”
Roser and Arnau are digital nomads who work from home. This gave them an idea: if they could work from their home in Barcelona, they could also do some home exchange and work from their HomeExchange homes in New York, Melbourne, or anywhere else in the world. With this in mind and inspired by Hannah & Chris’s adventure, they planned a four-month honeymoon during which they would live like locals and continue to work from their newly exchanged homes along the way. Check out their travel blog and read their tips about how to successfully organize long-term exchanges.
Taking the Round-The-World in Home Exchanges Challenge
Who: Hannah and Chris
Where: USA, Mexico, French Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand
When: 8 months, from June 2012 to June 2013)
How: 22 back-to-back home exchanges
“We spent 8 months traveling around the world staying in nothing but home exchange properties. We had all the comforts of home, but somewhere completely new every few weeks.”
Hannah and Chris are a British couple who had been home exchanging for about three years while running an online business. While on an exchange that took them to Oregon, they got an offer from Mexico and happily accepted it. Then they had a ‘light bulb’ moment that changed their lives for the next several months: “What if we don’t head back home after that? How about we just keep going?” And this is how their Round-The-World in Home Exchanges Challenge started! They travelled around the world, staying only in HomeExchange homes. They even got to exchange with an RV in Australia that allowed them to explore the country! Read the stories they shared on the HomeExchange blog during their trip: http://blog.homeexchange.com/round-the-world-in-home-exchange/.
Home Exchange Provides a Break from the Grind of Long-Term Travel
Who: Sylvie & Family
Where: Canada, USA, Australia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand
When: 7 months in 2010
How: 7 home exchanges
“A trip like ours didn’t allow for luxurious accommodations. We slept mostly in hostels and guesthouses. Finding the comforts of a HomeExchange home was a real treat! A bedroom for each child, a washing machine, meals at home, fridge…”
In 2010, Sylvie and her family embarked on a round-the-world trip for seven months. For 15 years they had participated in home exchanges to travel throughout the world, but this was an expanded opportunity for them. Her two teenage kids (12 and 16 years old at that time) continued their school work remotely. A long journey is certainly very rewarding, but also exhausting! HomeExchange gave them a break from the grind, a chance to rest, enjoy a leisurely pace and live like a local. Read their Tips to go round the world with HomeExchange (in French).