By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We heard about home exchanges with another family and would like to know more about it. Do you know where we could find out about this?

A: Families, couples and retirees are doing it. They are swapping their homes with likeminded souls who wish to travel in far flung places with many of them traveling in Europe. You’ll find these house swap programs are mostly membership based so once you register, you’ll be receiving all things related to the society from newsletters, to destination descriptions to housing particulars.

Things like “there’s a cat at home so you’ll have to feed him” or “please water my cactus once a month.” One membership driven organization I came across is Homelink International. Established in 1953, this society attracts around 13,500 home swappers drawn from 69 countries around the world including Canada.

For Canadians, you’ll find the web site is chockfull of information and makes a great resource for those interested in house swapping. The kicker here is Homelink International boasts, “Our members don't pay to stay so they can afford to take more or longer holidays, or even pay for indulgences that turn good holidays into great ones.” For membership information and listings visit

Other home swapping organizations include InterVac of Calgary (, which has 8,000 to 10,000 members in 30 countries; Global Home Exchange (; Home Exchange ( and International Home Exchange Network (


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