House swap

I’ve always loved to travel, but I have a limited income. So I was thrilled this year to discovered the genius of housing swaps. In Paris, my mom and I swapped apartments for a pretty apartment in the fourteenth. For our Berlin trip, Alex and I are swapping with the lovely apartment pictured here. (Check it out!!!)

Some friends say they’d be nervous about people messing up their stuff, but I feel like you can get a good sense of people through their emails. Now when we travel, I feel like more of an insider in the foreign city. Plus, we can spend the money we saved on fabulous dinners, museum tickets and boutique shopping. I would highly recommend it…

  1. Brit Harris says...

    Joanna…is this apartment in Berlin now on Airbnb!?! Or do you have a recommendation for where to stay in berlin? My husband and I are going in January! Xo, Brittany

  2. Home swap not only saves money, it also makes us to feel free to enjoy all places like locals.

    home swap london

  3. it’s very nice is actually a good post………

  4. Really nice! We do vacation rentals but might try to this instead.
    Which sites do you recommend?

  5. Thanks for the offer, but I’m still in the early planning stages — with my class schedule I should probably wait until late 2008 to start hassling homeowners in earnest.

  6. i actually looked on — i posted my house and got responses. if you email me — — i can give you the name of the people we stayed with in paris, in case they are interested or know anyone who is.

    xo joanna

  7. I’ve been thinking that a housing swap would be the perfect way to experience London and Paris for the second time around, but I’m having troubles finding a good website to join. I’ve checked the one listed above, but may I ask where you found the housing swaps in your post?


  8. Wow.. this apartment is just lovely.. I can imagine you sipping coffee and sitting on the bed reading lots of those books and just really not wanting to go out at all! Make sure you go out.. it would be funny if you didn’t though! Thanks for your nice blog.. I love the street-style shots… have you seen – they have really cute street style shots over there you might like! xx pip

  9. Very cool concept! Now I need to get my own, cool place to make it a fair trade!

  10. wow, how great!! that apartment looks beautiful. and I love that a system like this shows that there’s still a little trust left in our cynical world. Have a great trip!!

  11. Freaking brilliant, wow, I love that idea so much, hmmm, it gives me so many ideas!

  12. thank you so much, ursula! we will definitely join — i checked out the site and it looks totally amazing. that home in france and villa in tuscany look incredible.

    thanks so much — joanna

  13. Joanna,
    Looks like you picked a very romantic spot for your Berlin trip! I am always happy when people discover Home Exchange. In my book, there is nothing that compares when it comes to traveling. It’s like eating your cake and having it, two.
    This summer, my family and I traded our home for a mediaval tower in Tuscany, more on

    I am also the founder of – worldwide home exchange network. I would like to invite you and your readers to join our growing number of members. Membership is still free, no strings attached.
    Have a great trip to Berlin!

  14. This has always appealed to me, however I fear that there is not one soul that would swap where they live to stay where I live! ugh, dang this ol’ desert!

  15. That apartment is too cute. I want my apartment to look like that! How fun to swap. Great idea.

  16. Anonymous says...

    If anyone would like to swap a nice little apartment near Naples, Florida on the Gulf of Mexico for an apartment in Europe, please contact Joanna’s mom…. I hope the as is ok… Love, Mom

  17. jmg says...

    The apartment looks amazing!!!! I hope you and Alex have a great time.

  18. Anonymous says...

    Jo, I hope you both have a great time in Berlin. We all look forward to hearing/seeing your impressions. My favorite sights/sites are the Fuji building and the Norman Foster rework of the Reichstag. Don’t read Fatherland before you go. Ha.