The trend of hotel alternatives continues as home-swapping and the vacation rentals continue to grow. Many services cropped up to meet demand. TradetoTravel is one luxury vacation home exchange service with a portfolio of 400 vacation properties valued between $1 million and $20 million. Uniquely, they meet any preferences in houses, designs or themes.
There’s a new home-swapping service on the block, aimed squarely at the upper echelon of homes. Luxe Home Swap allows people with high-end dwellings to swap accommodation with others all over the world. “Luxe” homes don’t necessarily have to be luxurious, UK-based Luxe Home Swap stresses; rather, they simply need an attractive location and home feel. Examples currently on the site include a 5-bedroom, 5-bath home in Sri Lanka, for example, as well as a 2-bedroom apartment in Gothenburg, Sweden.
To use the service, homeowners simply pay an annual membership fee and begin browsing the homes listed on the site. Once they find one they’d like to swap with, they contact the owner to discuss the details via secure messaging and sign a digital contract. Members can make as many swaps as they’d like over the course of a year.
What’s the appeal of hotel alternatives? Tuned-in travelers want authentic experiences, the chance to interact in local neighborhoods, by living, eating and paying local, non-tourist prices. “Localism” is the new moniker. Baby boomers, in particular, have the time, savings and desire for intercultural pursuits, such as shopping at local markets for groceries, having a coffee at the neighborhood café, or practicing their foreign language skills at the dry cleaner. They want neighborhoods with mom and pop stores, with nary a tourist around.