Tourism is one of the most powerful industries in the world, but also one of the most destructive for the planet. At HomeExchange, we believe that as a business and a community, we are responsible to make better choices and promote more sustainable tourism.
Home exchanges are based on a philosophy of sustainable tourism with the use of existing resources, as well as respect for local customs and traditions. Exchanging a house is much more than traveling: it is partaking in a different way of life, integrating others’ habits and respecting other cultures and ways of life. HomeExchangers feel absolute passion for living their destination’s culture when they travel. Learn more about our members' sustainable practices here.
What is sustainable tourism?
Responsible tourism is a way of traveling to combat the effects of mass tourism. Also known as sustainable tourism, it is defined as "Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities,” by the World Tourism Organization.
Respectful of the planet and its inhabitants, it has three main objectives: to preserve the environment, support the local economy (preference for local rather than imported products), and promote total immersion in the local population (become familiar with their culture). It is tourism based on exchanging and sharing values that are important to us at HomeExchange.
At HomeExchange, we fight against mass tourism while making responsible tourism accessible to all.
Travel with a lower environmental impact
HomeExchange allows travelers to explore the world with a lower environmental impact. This "greener" way of travel preserves natural habitats by avoiding over-construction and tourism saturation in overcrowded places.
By definition, home swapping makes it possible to take advantage of homes during the holidays, and thus mitigates the negative impact on the environment that tourism may have. As home exchange is not financial, it does not promote the real estate bidding wars that price out inhabitants who can no longer afford to live in their own city.
By exchanging their homes, our members also exchange a way of life. Home swapping facilitates and encourages local tourism: members share tips, and hosts often provide their guests with detailed guides and suggestions of the local hang-out spots or the best restaurants to try out the local cuisine. This results in guests consuming locally and visiting less touristy places.
HomeExchange makes sustainable tourism accessible
39 million Americans — about 15% of the adult population — could not afford a summer vacation in 2019. Since 2011, HomeExchange has been fighting to make travel easier, safer and more accessible to everyone, enabling many families to go on vacation.
The cost of traditional accommodations represents the biggest part of the vacation budget at 30%, while the annual subscription on HomeExchange is only $175, making home exchange one of the only affordable ways to go on vacation, while enjoying the comfort of a house or an apartment.
At HomeExchange, we believe that responsible tourism should not be exclusive to the elite. Today's travelers are careful with their budget while respecting the environment and the authenticity of the places they visit. HomeExchange is one of the only solutions, at an affordable price, that allows people to go on vacation in a sustainable way.
HomeExchange cultivates a strong community of like-minded travelers
The HomeExchange community is supportive, united, and strong. We come together and offer assistance to members in need, and we stand up for what we believe in.
HomeExchange is a community of respectful travelers committed to providing a warm welcome to guests from around the world. We support social causes that we're passionate about, and our members open their homes to people in need.
There is no place for discrimination on our platform. HomeExchange is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in our community, based on trust and respect. Read more about our policy.
Eco-friendly home exchanges
If you're home exchanger, you already are taking an important step to travel in an environmentally friendly, sustainable way. These homes take it a step further, with each offering eco-friendly amenities that make them a "green" option.
In this Sri Lankan house swap, comfort and eco-friendly hospitality are thoughtfully combined. Hidden among a lush garden, the eco-apartment is equipped with solar-powered hot water, designed to meet bioclimatic standards. Yoga lovers will love practicing while overlooking the rice paddies as water buffalo and monkeys pass by.
This cottage in Quebec is a comfortable, peaceful, relaxing escape in nature. The home's two-foot-thick walls, insulated with straw bales, make it warm in the winter and cool during the summer. The building materials— straw, clay, lime, and wood— are recovered from a century-old barn in the area to minimize the ecological footprint.
This house swap in Tulum, Mexico, is solar-powered, uses dry toilets, and has no windows, just mosquito nets, keeping the whole house cool during the summer. The home is family-friendly, with a large garden and plenty of toys for kids.
This home is set on an island in the floodplain system in an ancient forest of the Okavango Delta. In this house swap, you will be surrounded by rural communities, wildlife and birds. The home is completely off the grid and you can even see elephants on the surrounding islands!
This eco-friendly home exchange has a grass roof, thermo-pane windows and optimal thermal insulation. You can enjoy the stream, organic orchard and greenhouse, trampoline, grass volleyball court and furnished terrace with panoramic views.