What is a housing swap?
You basically trade where you live with someone else in another city/country. It's a great way to save some money if you have faith in your fellow man that they will respect your space and not steal from you. Some people might think it's nuts, but I don't! Maybe that's the eternal optimist in me. I would be perfectly willing to swap housing with someone in order to save money on hotel costs.
The reason I'm considering this?
I have five more weeks of vacation time scheduled off between now and the end of the year. I won't have five weeks of vacation time accrued (maybe about three weeks), so I'm going to have to take a couple weeks of it off without pay. I, for one, am all about creative ways to save some money so I don't feel it in my savings account.
Here's what I did:
I posted a couple ads on Craigslist. One in the Chattanooga area because I'll be there for a week in July and one in the Paris area because I'll be there for a week in October. I'm hoping to get in touch with people who will be willing to trade housing for the same time periods. The Paris swap could be unequal because I'll also be going to Germany after Paris, so they could stay at my apartment for two weeks while I just stay at theirs for one.
The results so far?
I received an email from a woman in Chattanooga who might be interested in coming out this way. I replied with some points she may want to consider and hopefully I'll hear back from her soon!
If I can actually swap with her, I'd be able to save about $375 for the week I'm Chattanooga because I won't have to pay for a hotel room! That $375 is the cost of half of a hotel room since I'm planning on sharing while I'm there. That will certainly make it easier to take the time off without pay. I'm guessing that the savings for Paris could be even greater. I haven't started looking into the cost of hotels and such, but I'm guessing it's far more pricy than Chattanooga!
I hope to get more interest in the swap for Paris later in the year. We'll see!