*Not quite. You will have to purchase transportation, food and your travel-reading of choice.
Long before Airbnb (and before we all grew weary of the term “sharing economy”), thrifty, adventurous travelers saved money on vacations by participating in home swaps–my NYC apartment for your Cape Cod bungalow, my Catskills cabin for your South Beach condo. Swappers find each other via listings in the back of travel magazines, or by going through a swapping service. Or, for the internet savvy, I highly recommend using the Housing Swap listings on Craigslist. With three successful swaps under my belt, I’m here to tell you it’s an easy alternative to the potential legal headaches involved with Airbnb.
If you read the recent New York Times story about house swapping, you may have thought, “neat concept, but I don’t have a Manhattan townhouse or a 4,000-square-foot loft, or a pied-à-terre overlooking the Seine to trade.” Trust me, great swaps are possible with normal New York apartments. Indeed, the whole concept may have you thinking, “Ohmygod strangers in my house and they’ll rob me blind and hold orgies in my breakfast nook and eeeeew my mattress and my Xbox and that is just crazy.” (more…)
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