Most people look for home exchanges on home swap networks. These networks are pretty straightforward. You create an account, sometimes paid sometimes free, and then you can search for other members who match your swap desires. But there’s a whole other world of home exchanging out there. An informal world where people use social media networks like Craigslist and Facebook to find home exchanges.
Social Media for Home Exchange Options
General Facebook Home Exchange groups: There are Facebook groups where people chat about home exchange. Some of these allow group members to post about swaps they want. For the most part, these folks belong to home exchange networks. They’re looking for someone who not only matches their desired destination and dates but who is also on the same network. The advantage is getting the attention of people who are actively engaged in home exchanging.
Network Member Facebook Groups: Another option is joining the Facebook group run by your home exchange network. These are for members only. And again they tend to be used by folks who are active and engaged in house swapping. Posting your swap request in these groups can increase your odds of finding a match. And in this case you’re certain the folks reading your post are with your network.
Facebook House Swap Networks: There are also groups on Facebook that operate as independent home exchange networks. They exist only on Facebook and generally have less structure and support than traditional home exchange networks. For instance, Room Exchange Europe was created in August of 2019 and has over 1300 members. It’s free to join. Here’s the description:
“The idea is simple, post the dates you’re looking to exchange as well as your location and destination. If it works out you swap your room with someone and basically just enjoy some time in the other persons city, no need to pay for accommodation or find someone to stay in your room. No money changing hands. Add your friends and get posting!”
Craigslist Home Exchanges: I know people who have found home swaps on Craigslist. I still see some ads on there. For instance, I found this one in Hawaii:
2br – House Swap: Santa Cruz Ca. For West/South Side Kauai (Santa Cruz)
Our 2 bedroom, 1 bath home. Two blocks from the beach. Opal Cliffs area. For home on Kauai. South side to west side..Dates flexible. Looking at two or more weeks at a time. Not months or years.
I think with Craigslist you need to search in the place you want to visit. The Kauai listing above I found in the Hawaii Craigslist. People use Craigslist to connect with potential swap partners and then chat directly to determine if it’s a good match and to work out the details.
Why Use Social Media?
What’s the point of posting on social media when you can just send inquiries directly on home exchange networks? Well if you’re open to traveling anywhere, you get the attention of some of the most active and engaged home swappers. These are folks who are more likely to jump on opportunities. In this situation, where you have some dates free and just want a swap, I think this can be a great way to find a match.
But I’ve had too much experience with Craigslist flakes and scammers using that platform for other purposes, so I wouldn’t be comfortable meeting an exchange partner on there. However, I’ve met folks who’ve had great who have never joined a formal home exchange network but have done lots of successful swaps found through these social networks.
Have you found home exchanges through informal social networks? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.