Founded in 1953
€120/year (variable pricing by country)
30 day free trial
Originally a paper-based swap service founded by a man focused on swaps for teachers in the U.S. and a woman focused on swaps for armed service people in the UK.
12 languages with country-specific customer service for 27 countries
6970 listings, 70 countries
Listings by region:
- Europe: 4580
- North America: 1670
- Oceania: 690
These listing counts were provided to me by Homelink. The numbers have dropped this year, which they believe is due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, more than 1000 of those listings are currently hidden by members who continue to pay the fee. I count all paying members as active.
Homelink has a unique structure with independent country owners but a centralized website. You can read more about how this network operates in my interview with two of the Homelink country owners last year.
Searching: The search has all the essential features, with options to enter desired destination, number of travelers, and dates to travel. In addition, there are a lot of filters in the search options.
The resulting page displays on a map, alongside a list of homes with pictures and some basic information about the homes. On the map you can select a specific geographic area by clicking on the listings clustered there. Dynamic searching is also possible within the map.
Listings: Individual listings have extensive details about the homes, in a nicely displayed format. Listings feature the renewal date for the member. This is a really great feature from Homelink. It provides clear assurance that all listing are only from active members.
This network 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.
- hospitality exchange – this allows people with extra space in their house to host visitors in exchange for being hosted themselves at some other date.
- youth exchange – you send your child to stay with another family and in return you host their child
Site Design: Overall the site is easy to use and responsive. I’m not a member of this network so I don’t have much experience beyond playing around with the free searches.
Additional features: The network includes an email system for contacting other members.
HomeLink has personal customer service representatives in each country. And this year they launched new pages to enable staff around the world to share country-specific information with their local members. HomeLink explained: “For example, our US colleague, Katie, can share US-specific information with her US members. This has been particularly useful during Covid-19 where different countries have faced different issues and we’ve been able to provide support and advice specifically tailored to members in individual countries. We hope to build on these pages in the coming year to offer more local information and personal support to our members. To see these pages, go to the ‘News & Offers’ menu option on the home page.”
This is a popular site for experienced home exchangers. They have been around for a long time and have a very good reputation. I have found the country leaders to be passionate, helpful, and very honest. This is a great combination for folks running home exchange networks.
If you’re trying to figure out which one to join, check out my reviews of all the major home exchange networks.
Caroline from HomeLink UK here with a minor amendment to Dawn’s review above. Since it was published, we have changed the name of the link to the new country pages from ‘Your HomeLink’ to ‘News & Offers’. Just go to the homepage at http://www.homelink.org and you’ll see the link to the left of the logo.
Thanks Caroline. I fixed it in the post as well so people can find it easily.
I found your information very helpful especially as I am looking for alternative to home exchange after their merge with guest to guest. Their new platform is not why I was on home exchange for 10 years. It looks like Airbnb and is way too commercial and I dislike this idea of “the happiness team” trite