Free Month of Lodging in Spain Through Home Exchange (mostly)

spainI’m excited to be heading to Spain, and even more excited to be taking this trip without paying for lodging anywhere in the country. Here’s the basic outline of how we’re visiting 6 cities over a month in the country without spending any money on hotels. 

Barcelona – 10 day house swap. Found a swapper on who will be enjoying our home while we’re in his apartment.

Bilbao – 3 days in a hotel courtesy of the IGH credit card points.

Sevilla – 5 days in the home of some friends we made through the swap site They will be hosting us.

Cadiz – 3 days in a house we found on using points we earned by letting some folks use our flat while we were out of town.

Granada – 4 days in a flat we found on using points earned. The home owner will be there while we stay; I’ve met him on skype and he seems very nice.

Madrid – 2 days in hotels we got for free by signing up for the Melia hotels rewards program when they were running a new members special offering enough points for a free night.

This sounds complicated, and the truth is, it took me a fair amount of work to pull it all together. The Barcelona part was easy, and it was that house swap that framed the trip. I could have made this much simpler by just arranging one or two other simultaneous home exchanges with people who expressed interest in my home. But once we decided to go to Spain, I did some research and found that these were the places I wanted to visit. That meant I was searching for lodging with very specific dates and locations in mind. Home exchange is much more difficult the more specific your requirements get. But thanks to points swapping and the lovely people we’ve met through house swapping sites, we ended up with what I think will be a fabulous itinerary. Stay tuned!


  1. Your experience makes me want to open a spreadsheet and start my own planning. Fantastic, you don’t need to be wealthy to travel the world, and even if you are there are good reasons to go the home exchange route.

    • dawnzerly

      September 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks Ron, that’s my conclusion exactly. It’s possible to travel very cheaply with a bit of work. Hopefully the info on this website helps people do just that.

  2. Dawn

    Sounds like a well planned trip! When staying in Bilbao if you have time try and squeeze in a visit to San Sebastian which is a lovely town. We haven’t been to Cadiz but the others are all great cities to explore and enjoy the free tapas in Grenada.

    • dawnzerly

      September 17, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Thanks Brian! Yes definitely hoping to visit San Sebastian if there’s time. And most looking forward to eating, everywhere.

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