By John Ensor •
Published: 25 Aug 2023 • 10:25
Stock photo of Torrox, Malaga.
The idea of swapping homes with a stranger is an intriguing proposition. However, it’s an idea that is gaining traction in Malaga, where already a hundred homes have registered on a platform offering this unique vacation experience.
Born out of the steep prices of holiday rentals, which deter many from taking breaks, home swapping offers a cost-effective alternative. For an annual fee of €160, members can engage in limitless exchanges across 130 countries. HomeExchange, a pioneer in this sector, was established in the mid-1990s in the US and has seen consistent growth, writes Opinion de Malaga
In Malaga, the platform boasts over 100 homes, with more than 30 in the city centre, welcoming travellers globally. This year, 14,000 individuals opted for this over traditional hotels to explore the Costa del Sol. Andalucia, as per the platform’s recent report, has seen 37,623 exchanges, making it one of the most popular regions for this trend.
The concept is straightforward: two parties agree to swap homes for a specified duration, allowing them to experience a new location without the typical accommodation expenses. ‘In recent years, home exchange has been growing steadily. More and more people are practising this tourist formula for all its benefits,’ states Pilar Manrique, HomeExchange‘s Spanish spokesperson.
The platform’s operation is simple. A user offers their home to a traveller, and in return, another member offers theirs, either immediately or at a future date. This can be done through two methods: a mutual exchange or using Guestpoints.
In a mutual exchange, both parties swap homes on agreed dates. With Guestpoints, if a member finds an available home but the owner isn’t interested in theirs, they can offer Guestpoints for a future stay elsewhere. Members earn Guestpoints upon registration and when hosting others.
HomeExchange prioritises its members’ security. Each exchange comes with a bond of €460 for potential minor damages during the swap. For more significant damages, the platform offers coverage up to $1 Million (€921,170).
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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