Holiday Swap launched a new home exchange network late last year. Focused on connecting travelers for either exchanged or hosted lodging, holiday swap charges just $1 per bed per night. So if you agree to a week long swap with someone who offers you a two bedroom waterfront villa in Thailand, you’ll pay $14 for your lodging. This administrative fee model means you only pay if you are successful in using the network to find lodging.
The company was founded by James Asquith who currently holds the world record as youngest person to travel to every country in the world. With Asquith at the helm it’s safe to assume the Holiday Swap team knows travel. It remains to be seen if they can leverage this knowledge to build a successful home exchange network.
Holiday Swap is entirely app based. I prefer to arrange my travel on a computer so that’s not my favorite feature, but I understand it’s a faster development cycle to just maintain mobile apps. However, my first attempt to use the app on my iPhone stalled at the account creation when the app refused to move past the second screen. My request for support both via their website contact form and via twitter were never answered.
They claim to have members in 50 countries (perhaps all on android?) but I can’t confirm that yet. The Holiday Swap app includes the traditional home exchange features like a basic description of your home (number of bedrooms and bathrooms). And you can deploy custom filters to restrict your swap partners based on these descriptions. The app includes built in chat for conversations with swap partners, and the option to require a deposit as insurance for your property.
Overall Holiday Swap sounds like a traditional home exchange network with a younger face. They encourage people to offer less than a full house if that’s all you have. This might bring in more folks with only a spare bed in their home, or who can only offer a room in a shared apartment. Perhaps this will pull more youth into home exchanging. We’ve seen a few other attempts at similar business models come up and fail over the past few years (NightSwapping, Trampolinn). Hopefully Holiday Swap will figure out how to do this more successfully.