Summer – us Brits love it! Well, we love it when we actually get to enjoy glorious sunshine on a beautiful summer’s day. With the warm weather fast approaching, AshleyPark Financial Solutions have decided to give you a few tips for ways to find a cheap holiday.
Over the last few years you could easily confuse our summer wardrobe with our winter one – big coats, wellies and umbrellas – the weather has certainly not been on our side.
Although the British tourist board fought valiantly to endorse holidaying on our own fair isle, the sun worshipers that we are headed for the nearest cheapest deal for a dose of sun, sea and sangria!
However, what happens when funds are low and we can’t afford to get away to exotic destination?
Well, house swapping has been around for decades but, until recently, it was a niche market. The economic climate has changed all of that, forcing many families to reconsider their options in order to have a holiday without breaking the bank.
The scheme involves allowing a stranger to stay in your home for a weekend, week or fortnight and in return, you stay in their home during the same period. There is no cost involved – other than the plane tickets – and both parties agree in advance what will be included in the price. For example, you may negotiate to borrow each other's cars, but if you are uncomfortable with that arrangement, you simply have to specify what is excluded.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, you might be wondering how you get started and no, you don't have to find random strangers yourself to swap homes with! There are several agencies who offer the service, the majority of which charge a membership to join. However, in many cases, the fee is just nominal and charities such as the National Childbirth Trust even have a house swap scheme, which has been running since 1976.
To register your home on the site, you need to take photos so any prospective guest will know exactly what your property looks like and where it is. If successful, you will need to be prepared to clear some of your personal belongings away temporarily, to make space for your guests' stuff when they arrive.
UK home insurers as a general rule are very supportive of the initiative, as it prevents properties being left unoccupied during the holiday season, but the majority will ask to be kept informed.
This could be a totally new holidaying experience for you – you could end up somewhere you ordinarily wouldn’t have chosen as a holiday destination and love it!
The best idea is to stick with affordable destinations if you’re desperate to get away – just make sure that you can really afford it.