Home Exchange

2021 Travel: Fantasy or Reality?

2021 travel

I’m not sad to see the end of 2020, but I think it’s a bit early to celebrate. What will happen with 2021 travel is still very uncertain. The pandemic, which is closing in on 2 million deaths world wide, is far from over. It’s great news that vaccine distribution has begun. But it will take many months before a significant portion of most countries are vaccinated. And so travel is still a risky proposition. Even for young, healthy folks, it’s a risk to everyone they encounter. If you decide to disregard the public health implications of travel, your options are still limited. Many countries continue to isolate from the disease spreaders or implement challenging quarantine policies.

So what’s going to happen to travel in 2021? Well, I for one have started to plan some things for later in the year. I have one domestic trip booked for July. And I’m starting to work on plans for the fall and winter. But I won’t book anything that I can’t  cancel easily. I think there’s a 50/50 chance the July trip will work out. I give better odds on fall and winter travel.

With all this hedging, I’m not (yet) looking for home exchanges beyond driving distance from my home. I don’t want to put another family in a difficult position. What if I decide to cancel but they still want to travel? Maybe they are coming from a country with a better public health infrastructure, where the vaccine is distributed more quickly. Or maybe they have a higher risk tolerance than me. I feel pretty comfortable with home swaps within driving distance. But beyond that, I’m waiting for the vaccine. And at the current distribution rate in the United States, I’m not super confident about when it’ll finally get to me.

I expect that in a month or two the vaccination timeline will be clearer and I might start looking for home exchanges for the winter. I really hope that’s possible!




  • I have huge hopes for travel later in the year but I think “local” is the near-term guide for home exchange. Things are just too volatile. In Australia, all our borders had reopened only to close again with the most recent outbreak.

    Local home exchanges are underrated. While it may not be as exciting as heading overseas, it’s a great way to get started with home exchange. Better, you can usually get to meet your fellow exchangers and maybe make a friend close-by.

    All that said, I look forward to getting the vaccine and travelling further afield as soon as we can!

    • Hi Drew, I hope you’re fine. Yes your right for local exchanges, and for what I could read and see on the platforms, local exchanges seems to be really different in every country culture. For example in France, even when there was no covid, more than 50% of people (and home exchangers too) stay in France. And for 30%, they stay in the nearby countries (UK, Spain, Italy etc). Only 20% go overseas. But in some countries, like Germany, the main part of tourists go to other countries and are not used to do holidays in their own country. Canadians members told the same thing on the facebook groups, they’re not used to travel inside Canada, they mainly go abroad. Maybe it’s linked to the geography of countries too, like big countries like you or Canada where people have to take a plane to see a change of scenery cause distances are important (and if you take a plane, well at least it changes more to go abroad of course), I don’t know.
      Anyway I hope you’re safe and take care.