When we go away together as a family, there are occasions when hotels aren’t suitable for our needs. Sometimes it can be more relaxing to stay in self-catering accommodation – there’s more freedom, you don’t have to share your space and more often than not, hotel expenses soon mount up.
So when I recently discovered Home Exchange and their huge network of 65,000+ homes in over 150 countries, I was instantly impressed with their concept. Quite simply, instead of paying charges to stay in a property, you swap your home – allowing you to travel anywhere, live like a local and stay for free.

Of course, the idea of swapping your home with a complete stranger may seem a little daunting at first, but Home Exchange is a community of like-minded travellers. A community which is based on trust, goodwill and respect. There are stringent checks from detailed profiles, honest reviews and account verifications and everyone who participates will want their homes to be respected at all times.

You don’t even have to swap homes at the same time. For instance, if your exchange partner is away in Spring, you can go then – and then they can come when you are away in the Summer. Alternatively, you can also host your exchange partners as guests. It’s completely up to you.

To give you a little taster of the properties on offer – here are my top picks of Home Exchange’s family-friendly homes.

Montpellier, France

This four bedroom/two bathroom home is centrally located and has a lovely garden, pool, and barbecue as well.Cook up a storm in their modern kitchen, while the kids play with the diverse toys and games. You’re walking distance to shops and restaurants and a short tram trip to Montpellier city. In the city, you’ll be dazzled by the medieval quarter along with the aquarium, planetarium and museums.

Montpellier

Freiburg, Switzerland

Stay at the Jutta family home, and you’re only minutes from La Berra, Freiburg, and Lake Murten. Nestled in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, this three bedroom/one bathroom home give you a chance to hike, fish and bike through nature’s wonders. While resting between adventures, you can enjoy cooking out on the barbeque, beautiful views of the Alps, WiFi, and their lovely garden. This is a great home for the adventure-seekers and nature lovers.family-home-switzerland

Heusden, The Netherlands

Within minutes, you could walk to picturesque Bastion, Heusden from the Bastiaanssen’s home. This beautiful house easily accommodates up to eight people. From the spacious patio, enjoy the lush, green landscape (and a few cows) and their glorious garden. Go for a bike ride on one of the cycling routes that pass the house (there are 7 bikes waiting), stay in and play games on the PlayStation, or cook outside using the barbeque. The house is within minutes by train to the center of Den Bosch or 20 minutes from Efteling. A great escape and many adventures await you at the Bastiaanssen’s home.netherlands-family-home

Istanbul, Turkey

For cooks and bakers out there, Maurice’s huge kitchen is waiting for you. Make an espresso while the children play. Stroll through the gardens that surround the house. Relax in the hot tub. With four floors, there’s plenty of room for the entire family to stretch out. Maurice’s home is situated amongst 50 villas in Buyukdere, Sariyer at the Bhosphorus, which is an old fishing village. You could do a bit fishing, hiking, or boating. You can also check out the local farmer’s market as well as the fine dining restaurants.istanbul-family-home

Spongano, Italy

This four bedroom/four bathroom XVIII century Masseria vacation home is exquisite. Corrado’s family stays here during July and August and offer it for exchange the rest of the year. They recommend visiting during May and June when you can spend all your time outdoors. Check out the views of their splendid patio. You’re just 10 minutes from the Castro Sea (the best sea according to Corrado) and near the main town square.family-home-italy

If you fancy becoming a part of the Home Exchange community and listing your own home, I’m pleased to be able to give you a chance to win one year’s free membership worth £100, which allows you to exchange as many times as you want. All you have to do is complete the below and I’ll announce the winner next week. Best of luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This was a collaborative post