Review date: 4 April 2014
Founded in 1999
Owneed by Helen Coyle Bergstein, her blog has no updates since 2006 (http://www.homeexchangevacations.blogspot.com/)
3266 listings in 55 countries
Listings by continent:
- Africa: 27
- Asia: 25
- North America: 2384
- Europe: 500
- Australia & South Pacific: 195
- South & Central America: 37
- Caribbean: 34
Searching: There is only very broad search by map functionality (at the country or continent level). The geography searches require you to select from drop down menus of continent, country and state/province. a
Listings: The search results display a list that has very little detail about each listing: how many it sleeps and whether it’s a home swap or vacation rental. Within each listing the results are readable with simple links to contact the member or favorite the property. However there is no map displayed in the results.
This site offers the following variations on house swapping:
- simultaneous or non-simultaneous house swap – this is the traditional model where two parties swap houses for an agreed upon set of dates. Non-simultaneous works best with second homes, but is also useful for people going on vacation and leaving their home empty. Each party picks different dates for the swap.
- vacation rental – the usual rental system applies here, though it’s not clear from reading through the website if owners collect fees via digsville or if they must arrange for this themselves.
- hospitality exchange – this allows people with extra space in their house to host visitors in exchange for being hosted themselves at some other date.
Site design: The display of Digsville is less than ideal. It uses odd and rather small fonts in an older-looking layout. Further there are some special characters displaying incorrectly within text on the FAQ and about us pages. Overall the Digsville site it a bit dated and it looks like there is not a lot of effort going in to updates.
Additional features: The site includes the ability to rate the homes you stay in and has an email system for contact between members. The last press release was in 2008 and press quotes are from 2005 and older.