Traveling can generate a lot of trash. With carry out, to-go drinks, and meals, everything is throw-away. Home swapping is the most sustainable way to travel. By trading houses, we’re using the resources that we already have – our houses – and sharing. Systems are set up already for recycling, composting, and reusing.
Traveling and especially trading houses can be life changing. How has home swap travel changed my life? It’s opened my eyes to living differently, more efficiently, and sustainably. With every trip, we return with green ideas that have been easily implemented at our home. Living (and eating) like a local while on a vacation is what home swapping is all about!
6 Reasons Home Swapping is Sustainable
- Laundry line in the the basement :: After experiencing a home exchange without a dryer and using our home swap partner’s clothes drying routine, I realized how easy it was to dry laundry without a clothes dryer. We strung plastic coated lines in our basement and hang our laundry year round. Most clothing takes a 10-minute spin in the dryer and then gets hung. It’s easier on the clothing and dare I say looks like clothes have been ironed even when they’ve not!
- Growing vegetables in small spaces :: Another home exchange taught me that lettuces and greens can be grown in any spot that has dirt. While hanging laundry on the line outside, I noticed all of the salad lettuce and greens at the base of the pole. This normally unused space was growing our dinner for that night. This tucking and planting of edibles in pots and growing vegetables in small spaces has made me rethink our little yard – and maximize the growing space!
- Keeping chickens in our backyard :: While backyard chickens weren’t on our to-do list, after a home exchange to the Netherlands, we realized how tasty the eggs were and how easy the chickens were. My kids had never touched a chicken before in their lives and they were thrilled with the experience. Yes, we went home and promptly built a chicken coop. We fell in love with backyard chickens – and there’s nothing like the fresh eggs that come from healthy, free-to-roam chickens.
- Sight seeing by bike :: Forget the rental car and being cooped up inside – when bikes are part of the home swap deal, it opens up all sorts of activities. With trails and maps specifically designed for bikes, experiencing a new locale on bike can be completely different than driving. Skip the traffic and forget feeding the parking meters when you’re biking. Plus, it’s an easy way to get exercise while vacationing.
- Picnicking and packing food/drinks :: While meals out are usually part of our vacation plan, eating out for three meals a day is too much. Having breakfast at home and packing a picnic lunch or dinner with real food means less cost and more health. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle, too. No need to buy plastic throw-away bottles when you can refill at home and wash out your water bottle if needed.
- Easier on the wallet :: Once you register with a home exchange website, you can arrange as many home exchanges as you’d like during your registration period – usually a year. Travel more often for free? Yes, please! While I like the idea of AirBnB, you still have to pay to stay. With home swapping, there’s no money exchanging hands because it’s a trade.
Traveling can be life changing and home swapping is sustainable – easier on the earth and our travel budget. Living like a local in another home, city, state, or country has allowed us to truly experience life as others do. It’s my favorite way to travel!
Are you ready to try home swapping? Are your bags ready to go like mine?
Go Gingham related links:
“6 Essential Items for Air Travel” including how to limit drooling on your neighbor!
Home swapping and how to prepare your home for one and planning meals while on a trip
vacation meal planning
When traveling, I love to home exchange because it’s frugal and fun!
More related links:
I recommend registering and arranging a home exchange through a reputable website. Try out one of these:
- Homeexchange.com – we’ve not used them but they have over 60,000 homes listed
- Homelink.com – we’ve not used them but they have a second year guarantee if you don’t find an exchange the first year.
- Intervac.com – we’ve used them for nearly all of our exchanges
- Knok.com – we’ve used them – and they give us an annual membership