I’m excited to be heading to Spain, and even more excited to be taking this trip without paying for lodging anywhere in the country. Here’s the basic outline of how we’re visiting 6 cities over a month in the country without spending any money on hotels.
Barcelona – 10 day house swap. Found a swapper on homeexchange.com who will be enjoying our home while we’re in his apartment.
Bilbao – 3 days in a hotel courtesy of the IGH credit card points.
Granada – 4 days in a flat we found on guesttoguest.com using points earned. The home owner will be there while we stay; I’ve met him on skype and he seems very nice.
Madrid – 2 days in hotels we got for free by signing up for the Melia hotels rewards program when they were running a new members special offering enough points for a free night.
This sounds complicated, and the truth is, it took me a fair amount of work to pull it all together. The Barcelona part was easy, and it was that house swap that framed the trip. I could have made this much simpler by just arranging one or two other simultaneous home exchanges with people who expressed interest in my home. But once we decided to go to Spain, I did some research and found that these were the places I wanted to visit. That meant I was searching for lodging with very specific dates and locations in mind. Home exchange is much more difficult the more specific your requirements get. But thanks to points swapping and the lovely people we’ve met through house swapping sites, we ended up with what I think will be a fabulous itinerary. Stay tuned!