Introducing The Non-Simultaneous Home Exchange

Eight-year-old Caleb and his cousin, seven-year-old Drew, had a wonderful time during their family vacation in Larvik, Norway. Both agree that their favorite memory was playing with the children who lived next door to the home where their family did a home exchange arranged through Christian Home Exchange. These two boys from Florida did not speak Norwegian, and their new playmates did not speak English, but they had no problem communicating in the international language of soccer.

Each year, tens of thousands of families are discovering that a home swap makes for an affordable family holiday. The concept is simple, “You stay in my home while I stay in yours.” The result, amazing family memories, as families learn they can stay anywhere in the world for free.

Two non-simultaneous home exchanges made it possible for ten members of our extended family to enjoy a family vacation in Norway.

A non-simultaneous home exchange is two families staying at one another’s home at different times. In this respect, it is kind of like a time-share arrangement—the one difference being that those who swap the use of their homes handle the negotiation for the arrangement.

A typical example of a non-simultaneous home exchange involves someone using someone else’s second home (usually, a vacation home, a weekend home, an apartment where one goes on holiday, etc.).

Another example of a non-simultaneous home exchange takes advantage of independent vacation schedules. You stay in our home while we are visiting Grandpa and Grandma. We will stay in your home while you are sailing on a cruise ship.

Obviously, the major challenge is to find someone who is willing and available to swap homes with you at the time you set aside for your vacation.

Numerous online home exchange clubs (like ours, Christian Home Exchange) have emerged during the past 25 years to help families meet this challenge.

In fact, we have partnered with a large international home exchange network so members may select from 65,000 listings in 150 countries to find the home swap that best suits their vacationing needs.   This partnership provides a unique opportunity to travel as a family at minimal cost. Having a free place to stay helps to minimize vacation expenses for the home exchange traveler.

The privilege of staying in someone else’s home transforms the travel experience, providing vacationers the opportunity to live like a local in the community they are visiting.

(As an aside, increasingly, clergy use the Christian home exchange to plan an affordable clergy sabbatical that includes their family in their time away from pastoral responsibilities. We have a soft spot for these people, because we are a clergy family—and we think more pastors need to take their families along when they do a sabbatical.)

Photo: Young soccer players by Arild Finne Nybø is licensed under CC by 2.0.