By the formula "barter" or "exchange" of house, we of course mean a temporary exchange - an interesting housing solution for holidays, in France or abroad or even for an extended stay, within the framework of studies by example (expatriation semester...).
This system, which came from the United States, initially experienced a certain reluctance on the part of the French, who always find it difficult to let go of their little habits and their "old stones"! But, crisis obliges, this time is over.
It's official, offers on home exchange sites are booming:the concept is attracting more and more French people, because it allows you to leave without housing costs. Moreover, France is one of the most requested destinations on these platforms, especially by Americans who are more inclined than us to mobility and tourism!
Popularized in the 90s, this mode of vacation was originally done through classified ads; needless to say that the development of the web has set fire to the powder in recent years. France has become the second requesting country on exchange sites, behind the United States. Only fools don't change their mind! I haven't personally tried it yet, but the project is at the top of my checklist.
In terms of operation, all you have to do is register on one of the platforms dedicated to house swapping:it's completely free, and the use of the sites is rather simple. In the form of a search (by city, region or country) and sometimes with additional criteria (exchange of car for example) users can find proposals corresponding to their expectations.
By clicking on the offer, you can access the details which include a description, photos and the list of equipment (garden, household appliances, etc.). Some ads also include a brief topo on the neighborhood, as well as the shops and possible activities in the surrounding area:cafes, stores, cinemas, parks, etc. Some subscribers even offer their recommendations for a particular restaurant or outing.
By exchanging your house or apartment, the financial aspect is obviously the most attractive:this formula eliminates the costs linked to housing and food - no need to eat in a hotel or restaurant, you can cook at home. house.
House swapping is also attractive in its human aspect, far from the tourist crowd; I think it is really appreciable, a bit like when you take a vacation rental in a small isolated town, but with zero costs! From my point of view, living within the "walls" of a native also brings charm to the trip:it's a way of testing real life in the country, instead of remaining a simple tourist who moves between his hotel, the beach and the museums... In short, a much more authentic opportunity for discovery.