House Swap Website Reviews

Cosmopolit Home Review: Points-Based Home Exchange

This review is out of date.

See my updated review of Nightswapping

(Cosmopolit Home’s new name)

Review date: November 2014

cosmopolithome.comCosmopolit Home

Founded in 2011

Free membership, $9.90 per swap

Founded in France, recently received $2.5M in funding

English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Netherlands

6000 listings in 54 countries

Summary: Cosmopolit Home offers a unique system of home exchange that combines hosted and unhosted points-based swaps. With the option to purchase nights instead of hosting guests, this website may meet the needs of people who don’t want to host strangers in their home, but do want to enjoy cheap lodging in the homes of locals while traveling.

Searching: Searches start with typing in a city and optionally adding check in and check out dates. It is not possible to search by broader geographic categories, which I think is a serious limitation.  Results can be filtered by number of travelers, whether it is the full home or a guest room offered, and the price of the property (in Cosmopolit Home swap points currency).

Listings: Search results return listings with overview information about the properties in an easy to read format, but Cosmopolit Home does not offer much detail on each property. Amenities such as availability of wifi, parking, and other features are not included. And there is no way to indicate dates that properties are available, so unless hosts are very flexible this system will require a lot of work to find a match between desired travel dates and availability. Perhaps the optional hosting-while-at-home system makes this easier. The “cost” of each property is indicated on a scale of 1 to 7 which is calculated based on the Cosmopolit Home algorithm using 5 criteria: “the type of the accommodation, the surface area, the level of comfort, the number of bedrooms available as well as the touristic attractiveness of your location.”

This site offers the following variations on house swapping:

  • Nightswapping – earn points by letting people stay in your home when you are away or home, redeem these points to stay anywhere you like. Some people will host visitors in a spare room (which costs fewer nightswap points) and some will make their entire home available.

Site design: Modern look and feel with good responsiveness but not enough features in the search and listings.

Additional features: Cosmopolit Home offers optional insurance for purchase to European travelers. In addition, if you have not earned enough “nights” to stay somewhere, you can purchase nights from Cosmopolit Home. The price of a night varies based on the luxury level of your chosen accommodation, with most properties in popular tourist destinations like San Francisco and Paris ranging from $25 to $48 per night. This is generally cheaper than rental properties and makes Cosmopolit Home an interesting option for people who don’t want to host guests but do want the experience of staying in local homes while traveling.

Check out reviews of other home exchange sites

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