Now that staycations are all the rage thanks to Covid, here’s an idea for you. You can swap your house for someone else’s house and live with all the comforts of home while being somewhere new. 79-year-old Ingeborg tells us about her swapping escapades.
I have been a member of aussiehouseswap.com.au since 2014. As for my home, I live at Southbank, in Melbourne. I have swapped all over the place. I’ve been to the north of Queensland, I’ve been to Western Australia, and to Tasmania. Also, I have swapped around Victoria too, just for weekends away. But I have spent 15 years going mostly to North Queensland, because I don’t like Melbourne winters.
The longest swap I have ever done is three or four months. The other swappers came down here and stayed at my apartment at South Bank. They were free to do whatever they wanted to do here. They are retired as well, so we had a lot of time to enjoy the swap. I went to their place, in Townsville.
The house was fabulous. It was on a huge hill, just off the city. Anyone relatively fit could walk right into the CBD. The view was absolutely fantastic, and the people are lovely, and we’re still friends.
We also swapped cars. They had a manual car, which was a nightmare on that hill! I know Townsville well because my daughter lived there for six years. So, it was almost like visiting relatives.
I travel with my dog. He flew up with me in the same plane, although, he has to go in the hold, in a cage. Sometimes the dog’s plane ticket is more expensive than mine!
The other family knew I was bringing my dog, and they were okay with that. Sometimes, you can swap for months. I wouldn’t leave my puppy dog behind, lets face it. I wouldn’t have gone if I couldn’t have taken my dog. We did lots of good walks around Townsville. We did go to all sorts of places. I lived almost as if I was at home.
I had my son visit me in Townsville too. My son is autistic. He lives in a group home, in Melbourne. House swapping is better for him than a hotel, it’s much more comfortable for him in an established home and that has everything he needs
The people I swap with always have a reason to be in Melbourne. Sometimes it is people who are doing a trip around Australia, and they wanted to stay for a bit longer – usually only three or four weeks in Melbourne. They may have a relative here, or they just want to see Melbourne properly.
I did have more swaps planned, I was going to go to New South Wales for several months, right up until Christmas. But with Covid hanging around, that fell flat. Everything is uncertain right now. But hopefully, I will be swapping again very soon.
To register for a home swap holiday, log onto aussiehouseswap.com.au.
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Editor for Silver Magazine Gold Coast