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Your Place or Mine? House Swapping Thrives as Crunch Continues


House swapping is the latest trend for struggling consumers determined not to let the credit crunch spoil their holiday plans.

This summer has seen more people than ever save money on holiday accommodation by swapping homes with families abroad.

Holiday home rentals website,, facilitates house swaps by using Web 2.0 technology, which allows homeowners to liaise with each other directly and organise the swaps.

The creators of the website say that the current economic climate has meant that people are now choosing to follow the lead of celebrities like the Beckhams and Elton John, who regularly use one another’s holiday homes.

Andrew Gibson, managing director of, said: "House swapping is a really practical way of saving money on holiday whilst enjoying all the comforts of home.

"We introduced technology on the site to facilitate this as we predicted that this trend would increase as people began to tighten their belts during the downturn.

“House swaps provide a real insight into what life is like in another country and are very family friendly. We’ve received great feedback from users who house swapped for their holiday for the first time this year and can’t wait to repeat the experience next year.”

The Potter family from Greatham in Hartlepool swapped homes with the Hitchens from Florida this summer and spent two weeks in the Ginn Resort Reunion, just five minutes away from the Walt Disney World Resort.

Kate, 36, and Dennis Potter, 43, wanted to take their children Olivia, 14, and 10-year-old William to Florida on holiday but couldn’t find suitable accommodation within their budget.

Whilst they were on holiday in Florida, Irene, 50, and Mike Hitchen, 53, moved into the Potter’s family home in Hartlepool for their holiday in the UK, giving them the opportunity to explore the north east of the country and visit relatives in the region.

It was an experience both families would recommend. Kate Potter said:
“At first we were slightly reluctant to home swap, but we didn’t want to miss out on a holiday this year and saving on the accommodation meant we were able to have a fantastic time with the children at Disney World.”

“It was great to be able to stay in somebody’s home instead of your average hotel which often has no character at all. It has meant that we’ve also made new friends in the Hitchen family too and we will definitely be returning to their home in Florida in the future.”

Mike Hitchen, who stayed at the Potter’s family home in Hartlepool with his wife Irene, said: "Over in the US, our finances have also been hit hard and we were looking for a way to be able to enjoy a holiday without breaking the bank.

"When we spotted the Hitchen’s home on we got in touch straight away, as we’d been hoping to visit the UK for a holiday.

“We had a fantastic time and enjoyed being able to stay in somebody’s home, which was very comfortable and provided the perfect base for our break.”

To find out more about renting your property or house swapping, visit for more information.

Please contact Siobhan McGrogan for a case study photo.


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