As Australians everywhere swap their swimmers for a suit and reluctantly head back to work, international home exchange website Love Home Swap has come up with a list of the top 12 must visit holiday destinations for 2012.
Home swapping is revolutionising the way Australians travel. With thousands of homes of all shapes and sizes available both across Australia and around the globe in some 70 countries in every corner of the globe, swappers save themselves up to $2,000 per exchange meaning they can holiday for longer and more often!
Debbie Wosskow, Founder of Love Home Swap says, “Home exchanges are a great way to see the world without spending a fortune. We have drawn up a list of locations that have been very popular search destinations by Australians on the Love Home Swap website.”
“With the London Olympics taking place in August, there has been a huge amount of interest from Australians looking to swap with Londoners. Other dreamy destinations such as Sri Lanka and Costa Rica are also sought after locations, proving what we already know, that Australians love an adventure and the chance to immerse themselves in a different culture. And with home swapping, they have that unique chance to experience their destination like a local, rather than a tourist,” said Debbie.
Love Home Swap’s list of must visit destinations include:
1. London – Offering everything from swanky apartments in central London to beautiful homes nestled away in the quieter city streets, forget over-priced and over-booked hotels and home swap for your chance to be a part of the 2012.
2. South Africa – Take yourself from the coastal beauty of Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay, to colonial properties nestled in the mountains. South Africa is becoming more and more popular as an adventure-packed home exchange destination.
3. Sri Lanka – Take the chance of a lifetime and experience the life of a tea farmer by exchanging your home for a colonial bungalow in Central Province located on a tea estate. Alternatively there are endless beach front villas in the Southern Province with amazing sea views available to swap.
4. Greece – Live like a local in Greece by staying in a luxury villa in Santorini or a hill top property on the Island of Mykonos with breathtaking views. You could also swap with a family and live in a fishing village in Aegina and really rub shoulders with the locals.
5. Ireland – Although many Australians love Dublin, country locations offer you the chance to immerse yourself in the rich Irish history. Home exchange options in Tipperary include stunning period properties with walled gardens and charming fireplaces. The town of Kerry f features Georgian houses available to swap with 18th century courtyards set across acres of woodland overlooking the river. The locals always recommend the trout and salmon fishing to those they swap with!
6. Spain – Live like a Spaniard in one of the many of the coastal villas, or swap with a farmer and live in a stunning hillside farmhouse nestled in the Pyrenees foothills. Did someone say tapas?
7. Switzerland – If you want to experience the charm of a small town in Switzerland, places such as Vaud have beautiful World Heritage houses with breathtaking lake views. There are also fabulous traditional ski chalets
available to swap in both winter and summer.
8. Canada – In summer, visit beautiful lakeside residences and log cabins in the mountains where wildlife call your front yard their home. Or plan your ski vacation around a home exchange in one of multiple amazing ski chalets available within walking distance to some of the best slopes in the world
9. Costa Rica – Known for its amazing beaches, Costa Rica also has amazing rainforests and wildlife. Properties available to swap in the dry rainforest area showcase a variety of wildlife including howler monkeys, iguanas, parrots, pelicans, frigate birds and hermit crabs. There are also many amazing resort style homes in Costa Rica's Central Pacific Highlands, oceanfront villas in Dominical as well as colonial villas on the pristine Southern Pacific Coast.
10. Tasmania - Although not recognised by many as a summer destination, Tasmania has some of the most beautiful sweeping beaches Australia has to offer. Properties available to swap in Spring Beach report frequent sightings of dolphins and occasionally whales, while bush animals such as wallabies, kangaroos and wombats are sited from the front door. Other locations such as Table Cape overlooking the Bass Strait offer a great location to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
11. NSW North Coast - There are many hidden jewels on the North Coast of Australia that offer the perfect weekend, week or month away! Swaps include an amazing 22 acre banana, mango and fruit farm in Korora and a rural riverfront retreat on a world heritage rainforest in the Thora Valley where you can enjoy the best that nature has to offer by bushwalking, doing a spot of freshwater fishing or canoeing down the river.
12. Western Australia – From the beautiful beaches, sweeping planes and amazing wineries, Western Australia has a plethora of amazing holiday options. Living like a local in Mandurah will see you sitting on your front deck overlooking the beach or taking a drive down to the beautiful wineries in the Margaret River region. If you are looking for a city escape, there are some gorgeous renovated cottages in Perth allowing you to relax and enjoy a west-side city break with easy access to delights like Rottnest Island and Perth’s pristine beaches.
So if you thought there wasn’t room in your budget for a mid-year holiday, think again. Joining www.lovehomeswap.com costs just $1 for a four week trial, after which annual membership costs $175 per year, allowing you to swap as many times as you like. For more information, visit www.lovehomeswap.com.