Home-sharing is a fantastic way for seniors to save money on travel. We reviewed five leading home-sharing sites to determine which ones were the best. Each one has its perks and drawbacks. Some services allow you to rent a house or rent out your home to vacationers and others provide home-sharing services where you swap houses with another property owner.
Seniors can use Airbnb, Flipkey, and VRBO/HomeAway. All allow seniors to rent a home, condo, or apartment in virtually any country in the world for an affordable fee. There is a property rental to fit almost every budget. Love Home Swap and Home Exchange let a swap their home in exchange for a stay in another home. You can also be a guest or you can welcome others into your home to build friendships. This is an extremely affordable way to travel because you pay virtually nothing for lodging. Overall, both types of services provide budget-friendly options for travel.
Many seniors dream of traveling, but the high cost of hotels puts the vacation out of their budget. However, with home-sharing services, they can travel around the world using free or affordable accommodations.
Benefits of Home Sharing:
- A comfortable stay in a real house
- Can cook meals at the home to save money
- Live like the locals to truly absorb the culture in the area
- Make lifelong friends with hosts and neighbors
Home sharing is a wonderful service for seniors who are dreaming of traveling on a budget. In addition, a home swap offers almost cost-free travel around the world. A senior must pick which service is best for them. Also, seniors might want to consider using a second home that they own for home sharing to bring in additional income.
- Age: Seniors who are in acceptable shape can easily choose a home-sharing service to find affordable lodging. Ultimately, age does not matter.
- Health: Seniors should be in acceptable health to travel.
- Mobility: For seniors with mobility issues, look only for homes that are a single level. If you choose a condo or apartment, then make sure there is an elevator for easy access.
Home-sharing services usually provide a service fee for their services. If you are looking at a home swap site, then be prepared to pay a monthly or annual monetary amount to list your home and peruse the sites other listings. Seniors should seek out stable fees that are upfront and avoid any hidden charges by reading the fine print.
Fees for the top five home-sharing/swapping services are as follows:
Airbnb: Home shares range from $70 - $5,000 per night. Airbnb charges 3% from homeowners and 6%-12% from guests. Seniors who want to be hosts can make a considerable amount of money by offering their house for home-sharing which is a great way for them to supplement their income.
HomeAway and VRBO: Home sharing runs $50 - $5,000 per night. A service fee of 4% to 9% formulated on a sliding fee scale.
Flipkey: $70 - $5,000 per night. Guests pay a booking fee of anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of the total rental cost. Hosts pay 3 percent per rental.
Home Exchange: Membership fees per year start out at $150. You can also pay per night at $15 if you are traveling as a guest.
Love Home Swap: They are currently offering discounted pricing but there is no time frame established for when the deal might run out. Take a free two-week membership or subscribe to their standard plan for $13 per month or their platinum plan for $15 per month
Home-sharing/swapping is an affordable way for seniors to travel. They can either pay a low price to stay in a home, condo, or apartment or they can choose to swap their home to guests for a stay at their guest’s house. Also, if a senior has a second home, they can always list the residence for home sharing to bring in additional income.
- Price: The price of home-sharing is the real allure. Most retirees live on a very fixed income. One of the main hindrances to travel is the expense of lodging. However, with home-sharing, a senior can rent a home, condo, or apartment for two days to several months for a modest amount of money. Also, home swapping services let a senior stay in a home halfway around the world for virtually free in exchange for hosting the residence’s owners at their home.
- Social: Home sharing and swapping are both very social functions. Seniors can help people in their homes and vice versa. Great friendships have been formed through home swapping and sharing services. Many seniors feel isolated when they reach retirement so having guests is a fantastic social event.
- Global Travel: Seniors can travel the globe using home-sharing/swapping services. Also, most seniors are not on a timetable so when they fly a long distance, they can stay for an extended time period to truly learn the area and see all the sites.
- Comforts of Home: Sometimes staying in a sterile hotel has its benefits but home swapping/sharing lets you stay in a real home with a kitchen. Some even have balconies or gardens. With the kitchen, a senior can cook meals and save on the food bill.
- Culture: Imagine staying in a foreign country and having the opportunity to learn about the culture of the area. Living in a home within the country for an extended time period affords you such a luxury. Most seniors have the time to truly spend in a location to enjoy the area.
- Earn Extra Income or Travel for Free: A senior with a home or a second property can host guests on certain sites to earn extra income while getting to know new people. You can also offer up your current home in exchange for staying virtually free in someone else's house.
Reaching retirement age is one of the biggest events in a person’s life. Most hope that they will be able to finally have the time to travel and see the world. However, the expensive traveling, such as lodging, is often too much for a senior to overcome on their fixed budget. However, with home-sharing and swapping services, a senior can travel on a fraction of the cost. With home sharing, the rental of the home is very affordable for every budget. Also, seniors can save money by cooking themselves. Home swapping can be such a successful option that a senior can swap their home several times a year to travel to innumerable places with virtually no lodging expense.