Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Home Vacation ‘We’ve been on 32 holidays and spent just £519 on accommodation’

‘We’ve been on 32 holidays and spent just £519 on accommodation’

by Staff

Cian and his partner Katie have been members of HomeExchange for three years and have used the platform to jet across the world to places including Fiji, Australia and California for relatively little money

Katie and Cian travel the world through HomeExchange (Supplied)

A couple have saved tens of thousands of pounds and explored parts of the world they could otherwise never afford by welcoming strangers into their home.

Cian and his partner Katie have been members of HomeExchange for three years and have been on 32 home swaps during that time. Some of the places they’ve been to are real bucket list destinations including Hawaii, Australia and Fiji.

A friend of theirs recommended the website in 2021 when Cian was looking at how his family could make extra cash out of his parents’ seaside summer home. The scheme works by giving users points each time they let someone stay in their home, in addition to an introductory points gift. Those points can then be used to secure a stay in someone else’s home.

“We spend a lot of money going away anyway. Initially we thought we could use our house to build up points, but I didn’t expect to use it as much as I have,” Cian told the Mirror.

The couple have been to locations they would’ve otherwise never been able to afford(Supplied)
They’ve managed to tick off some bucket list destinations(Supplied)

“The website has an algorithm based on the location and size of your house, as well as amenities. We have 155 points on our house. To stay at a 4/5 bedroom house in the city centre, that could be 300 points. You get 200 free points first when you join, and then the website encourages you to finish your profile with extra points. We ended up with 1,250 points without doing anything.”

HomeExchange users pay a £173 yearly fee for the service, so the couple have only paid £519 so far. However they reckon they’ve more than made up for the initial spend in savings; Cian estimates he has saved more than £10,000 on accommodation in three years.

The couple’s first trip away through HomeExchange was a weekend in Wicklowe after which they welcomed in four groups to their home, earning 2,000 points in the process. This allowed Katie and Cian to plot a big trip.

“The first really big one was California and Hawaii back in September, 2022. I started looking quite early. If you give six to nine months to look for a swap you’re more likely to get something good. I was looking anywhere that was far away. I messaged 10 people, two got back saying ‘yeah’,” Cian explained.

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