Asia isn’t the easiest part of the world to find home exchanges. While house swapping is very popular in other parts of the world, Asian countries are slower to adopt this free travel lodging system. I’m not sure if this is cultural or just a lack of marketing. A quick glance through my house swap website reviews shows just how disproportionate membership is by continent. Here are the percentage of listings in Asia for some of the largest home exchange networks:
- HomeExchange.com: 0.62%
- Guest to Guest: 2.7%
- Homelink 0.24%
- Intervac 0.2%
- LoveHomeSwap: 4.6%
A few of the smaller ones have a greater proportion of homes in Asia. But their numbers are so much smaller that doesn’t necessarily give more options.
When I started planning my trip to Bangkok I wasn’t optimistic that I’d be able to find an exchange. But I’m a member of LoveHomeSwap, and I had noticed that a lot of members seem to have vacation homes in exotic destinations. So I guessed that this might be my best option for finding an exchange in Bangkok. Now I see that there was actually some science behind this guess.
The nice thing about vacation homes on swap networks is that they usually have a lot more availability. If your trip doesn’t coincide with the host’s vacation, you have a good shot it will be available. Of course many people with vacation homes also rent those out on Airbnb or similar networks. But I find that booking a four or five months in advance is sufficient to beat the majority of the Airbnb requests.
There are only 15 homes available for exchange in Bangkok on LoveHomeSwap. That made my job of sending out inquiries quite easy. And within an hour I had someone accept my request.