Pricing Updated: February 2016
Review date: April 2014
Founded in 2011
Specialty: Families with children
Pricing: $29/year for the first year
Owned by a family in Spain. In 2013 this site raised €500 from private investors.
English, Italian, Spanish, French and Dutch
30,000 listings in 159 countries (per their press interviews)
It’s not possible to search the listings on this site without paying to join so there are no breakouts of listings I can offer at this time. Instead a general comment about Knok. Earlier this year when I was researching home exchange sites to pick one to join I signed up for a trial membership with Knok. I think it was a free 30 day trial, and I know that at that time Knok was not focused on families with children. They had about 30,000 listings and were appealing to a general audience so they were in the mix for sites I might join long term. They also had a pricing model more comparable to the other general swap sites with an annual membership of less than $200. And they offered “knok days”, a concept similar to swap points which I discuss on my overview of the swap sites. There was no indication that Knok was planning this big change, but for a variety of reasons I didn’t like them as much as the other sites and so I decided not to join. And I’m glad I did since I don’t have children and don’t like their new pricing model. But now that I can’t evaluate if they have changed the things I didn’t like, it’s hard to say much more about the current site and business model except that for me it’s hard to justify the high price tag on this site. If you are traveling with children and want a super high touch experience, this might be a good choice. I’d welcome input from anyone who has used Knok since they converted into this family focus.
Searching: Searching is not possible without membership.
Listings: Membership is required to view listings.
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. In this case each party picks different dates for the swap.
Site design: The public pages seem slick and up to date, though they have activated an infinite scroll function which makes it impossible to get to the help menus at the bottom of the screen because it just keeps loading more and more houses Knok wants you to know about.
Additional features: Knok is a high end house swap service (as can be guessed from the price). They offer identity verification of all members, travel insurance, and professional photos all free with membership. In addition, for no charge anyone can join their “Friends Travel Network” which allows you to use the site as a social network with friends around the world and arrange house swaps with these friends. They also offer travel guides, specifically geared towards families, focusing on the most popular places to visit.