Dad tours the world with wife and kids without paying for accommodation by swapping homes with people across the globe

October 05, 2023 06:00 AM AEDT | By PAMEDIA
Follow us on Google News:

An Irish dad of two has been touring the world for the past nine years with his family without paying for accommodation by swapping homes with people from across the globe and holidaying in countries including Canada, Hungary and Israel.

Vincent Miggels, 49, a self-employed IT consultant who lives in Galway, Ireland, has been swapping homes with other families from around the globe for the past nine years in order to travel to new countries with his family.

Since joining house-swapping website HomeExchange, Vincent has been to places including Montreal, Tel Aviv and Budapest, and has done a total of 35 home swaps, which costs him 150 euros a year for the membership.

The family are also planning to go to Barcelona later this year (Collect/PA Real Life)
The family are also planning to go to Barcelona later this year (Collect/PA Real Life)

The dad-of-two said he would prefer to stay in other people’s homes than hotels where there “have been hundreds of people sleeping in that bed” and hopes that more people will try his method of travel.

Vincent, who lives with his wife Ursula, 49, a teacher, and their children, Maeve, nine, and Saoirse, seven, told PA Real Life: “It’s not for everybody but I would like to see more people try it.

“We weren’t nervous about letting other people stay at our home as we’re not particular about our stuff but I know some people have real reservations about it.

The dad-of-two has especially been making the most of his home swaps this year, having visited Tel Aviv, Paris, Donegal, Achill Island and the south of France (Collect/PA Real Life)
The dad-of-two has especially been making the most of his home swaps this year, having visited Tel Aviv, Paris, Donegal, Achill Island and the south of France (Collect/PA Real Life)

“We have travelled to lots of places with our kids and, when we stay in another family home, they have everything you need already there to keep the kids entertained.

“We love travelling this way.”

In 2014, Vincent first signed up to HomeExchange, a house swapping website where you pay a membership for access to swap homes with other people around the world.

Vincent checks reviews on people's profiles to make sure there are all positive, saying that it helps to build 'a network of trust' (Collect/PA Real Life)
Vincent checks reviews on people’s profiles to make sure there are all positive, saying that it helps to build ‘a network of trust’ (Collect/PA Real Life)

He said: “I would have heard of home exchange as a concept as a child, so a really long ago, but I didn’t know anyone who did it, I’d just heard it was a thing that some people do so I didn’t really think much about it until about 10 years ago.”

For his first few trips, Vincent did a direct swap with another family, letting them stay in his home in Galway while his family travelled to their home.

Vincent said: “It just seemed like a nice additional method of travelling, an alternative to hotels. It’s nice to be in a house and have a bit more space around you.”

Vincent has done a total of 35 home swaps with his family (Collect/PA Real Life)
Vincent has done a total of 35 home swaps with his family (Collect/PA Real Life)

The family’s first trip was to Budapest, Hungary, in 2014, shortly before going to Montreal, Canada, for two weeks.

Vincent added: “For our first few swaps, we actually Skyped the other family and showed each other our homes. It was a mutual thing like, ‘we’re going to be good in your place, you’re going to be good in ours.’

“We also tried to get to know each other and had several video calls before agreeing on stuff.”

For his first few trips, Vincent did a direct swap with another family (Collect/PA Real Life)
For his first few trips, Vincent did a direct swap with another family (Collect/PA Real Life)

Now, Vincent checks reviews on people’s profiles to make sure there are all positive, saying that it helps to build “a network of trust”.

The dad-of-two has especially been making the most of his home swaps this year, having visited Tel Aviv, Paris, Donegal, Achill Island and the south of France.

The family are also planning to go to Barcelona later this year.

While the home exchanges have been a money saver for the family, Vincent said his motivation for his method of travel was to experience new places “as a local”.

Vincent is a huge advocate for home swapping as a way to travel despite him saying that 'it's not for everybody' (Collect/PA Real Life)
Vincent is a huge advocate for home swapping as a way to travel despite him saying that ‘it’s not for everybody’ (Collect/PA Real Life)

Vincent said: “People who live in the house we stay in will give us tips for local restaurants to try and other recommendations, so we dip into the local knowledge a little bit and are able to immerse ourselves into the local culture.

“We went on as many trips as possible once we started doing home swaps and we’re still roughly doing the same thing.

“I think, especially when you have younger kids, and you arrange an exchange with people who also have younger kids, the whole setup is really there when you arrive. You don’t need to bring much for them at all in terms of things like baby chairs and play areas.

In 2014, Vincent first signed up to HomeExchange, a house swapping website where you pay a membership for access to swap homes with other people around the world (Collect/PA Real Life)
In 2014, Vincent first signed up to HomeExchange, a house swapping website where you pay a membership for access to swap homes with other people around the world (Collect/PA Real Life)

“Our kids are getting older now so they don’t necessarily need things like that but there might be a trampoline in the garden and stuff like that.”

Now, Vincent is a huge advocate for home swapping as a way to travel despite him saying that “it’s not for everybody”.

He added: “We weren’t really nervous about trying home swapping, we’re not that particular about our stuff but there’s a lot of people that have real reservations against it, my own brother would never have a stranger stay in his home.

The family's first trip was to Budapest, Hungary, in 2014, shortly before going to Montreal, Canada, for two weeks (Collect/PA Real Life)
The family’s first trip was to Budapest, Hungary, in 2014, shortly before going to Montreal, Canada, for two weeks (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I would like more people to start doing it. I think there’s a certain kind of emotional objection or reservation against it, like, ‘imagine that somebody slept in your bed’. Some people really don’t like that idea, but they’re happy to go to a hotel, where over that year there have been hundreds of people sleeping in that bed.

“I think it’s a great way to travel. I think it’s a community of trust and I think the people in it are like minded and tend to get on.”


Disclaimer

The content, including but not limited to any articles, news, quotes, information, data, text, reports, ratings, opinions, images, photos, graphics, graphs, charts, animations and video (Content) is a service of Kalkine Media Pty Ltd (Kalkine Media, we or us), ACN 629 651 672 and is available for personal and non-commercial use only. The principal purpose of the Content is to educate and inform. The Content does not contain or imply any recommendation or opinion intended to influence your financial decisions and must not be relied upon by you as such. Some of the Content on this website may be sponsored/non-sponsored, as applicable, but is NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold the stocks of the company(s) or engage in any investment activity under discussion. Kalkine Media is neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice through this platform. Users should make their own enquiries about any investments and Kalkine Media strongly suggests the users to seek advice from a financial adviser, stockbroker or other professional (including taxation and legal advice), as necessary. Kalkine Media hereby disclaims any and all the liabilities to any user for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising from any use of the Content on this website, which is provided without warranties. The views expressed in the Content by the guests, if any, are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Kalkine Media. Some of the images/music that may be used on this website are copyright to their respective owner(s). Kalkine Media does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed/music used on this website unless stated otherwise. The images/music that may be used on this website are taken from various sources on the internet, including paid subscriptions or are believed to be in public domain. We have used reasonable efforts to accredit the source wherever it was indicated as or found to be necessary.



Top ASX Listed Companies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK