Home Exchange Hawaii | Kaanapali Beach Maui

Home Exchange Saves on Hawaii Hotels

As the cost of Hawaii hotels and Hawaii car rentals escalates, a home exchange may be the way to go and save money on your Hawaii vacation. We recently created a profile on Home Exchange to see both how it works and if we can significantly cut costs on long distance getaways. From our own personal experience so far, we have come up with the following:

Top Ten Tips to Get Started on Home Exchange.

1). Look at your local competition. The first thing we did is search for profiles here in Hawaii (where we live) to see what others were up to. Do the same type of search for your locale to find the homes you are competing against.

2). Photos sell. Take time to photograph both the interior and exterior of your home. For best results, use Photoshop to bring out the colors. Have good lighting and tidy your rooms before taking any pictures. Make sure most rooms are featured and include a photo of your street and neighborhood.

3). Create a comprehensive listing. Include where you want to travel and if you are also open to any destination other than Hawaii. Are you okay with taking care of pets? If not, mention that on your profile. Do you have specific travel dates or are you flexible? The more specific you are the better. What type of home are looking for? Would you consider something smaller if it had a good location? How fussy are you about the interior look and amenities? Do you want use of the owner’s car to save more money?

4). Rejection is part of the game. You may need to develop a thick skin because not everyone will want what you have or travel dates may be incompatible. With that in mind, send out multiple inquiries to prospects.

5). Say something personal. Show that you’ve read the other person’s profile and description before contacting them instead of developing a canned introduction. Maybe you have a common interest or there is something about their home that caught your attention.

6). Less flexibility may mean less chance to exchange. For example, we might prefer Manhattan but would consider Brooklyn. If you are looking for a Hawaii exchange, think about how flexible you are on the island and location.

7). Opposites don’t always attract. Look for exchanges that are comparable to yours for a better match in terms of size, design, location and overall value. You may want to keep that in mind before contacting someone.

8). Respond to inquiries. Every time someone contacts us, we write a personal note back. Their questions have also helped us to write an even better description about our likes and preferences.

9). Read descriptions and profiles before making contact. It’s easy to make decisions based on photos and location. Take time to read the description too for best fit. For example, maybe you have a cat that needs to be cared for and the home you want has a note from the owner that he/she is allergic to them.

10). Learn about different types of Home Exchanges. A Hospitality exchange means you will let guests stay with you while you are at home and they will reciprocate at a later time. Simultaneous (most popular) is for when both parties are exchanging at the same time. I’ll go to your place and you’ll come to mine. Non-Simultaneous is just that. If you have a second home to go to, you can let someone have your place and then go to theirs at a more convenient time. Three-Way is more challenging. When I told someone we only wanted New York City, they mentioned they had a week saved from another exchange and would give it to us for use of our home. It didn’t work out but was an interesting concept.

Home Exchange Details: You’ll pay $150 a year. If this is your first time and you do not get an exchange in your first 12 months, the second year is free. There are 65,000 listings on Home Exchange in 150 countries. Some also include a car exchange.

Stay tuned for more: If we’re lucky enough to find a New York City apartment to exchange with our home on Kauai, we’ll write a second installment.

Have you done Home Exchange? We would love to hear your experience.

5 thoughts on “Home Exchange Saves on Hawaii Hotels”

  1. This is my favorite article you have published yet! I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to join a home exchange site for months. You have given me the courage to list my Big Island home. I hope to have wonderful adventures in the near future! Mahalo.

  2. Hi! So glad you did a post on this! We have thought about joining, but haven’t taken the plunge!
    Are all of the exchanges for short periods? We are thinking of exchanging for a year. Is that offered on Home Exchange?


    1. Hi Nicole,

      As far as we know the exchange durations are just about to you and those you are exchanging with.

      Have fun!


  3. I have done home exchanges for over 30 years, even before the internet! I used to place ads in the newspapers where I wanted to go – and we’d exchange photos by snail mail. I have never had any problems. I live in a non-executive home on Maui, walking distance to beach, and have traveled all over the world – last year 2 exchanges in Australia, this year 3 in Europe (French Riviera, Italian Riviera and a villa on an island in Croatia). There are other websites besides HomeExchange.com but this is the main one. It is a FABULOUS way to travel – I save up my airline miles for free flights, and get a free home and car. I highly encourage everyone to try it! Aloha, Sharon

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top