Arranging long-term home exchanges is a dream for many, and it's becoming more possible than ever thanks to more flexible remote work and school policies.
Flexible work and school arrangements mean it is possible to live for several months, or even more, in another person's home, fully immersing yourself in their culture. Meanwhile, a family can stay in your home, ensuring it is completely taken care of, your plants are watered, and your garden fully appreciated.
The longest HomeExchange so far lasted 336 days and was between a family in France and one in British Columbia. HomeExchangers love embracing the opportunity to live like a local for a longer period of time than a typical vacation. You can become a regular at local shops, get to know the neighbors, and work remotely if necessary.
There are 41,153 members in the long-term exchangers group on HomeExchange, so if you're interested in an exchange that lasts more than a month, join the group and start searching!
Meet HomeExchangers who planned long-term exchanges
Here are some stories from exchangers who have found success planning long-term exchanges. To read more stories and potentially find a long-term exchange partner, head over to our Facebook groups and continue the conversation.
"Through long term exchanges, we have made good friends with many people. Extraordinarily, on our last visit, we discovered a distant relative among the local population who had connections with my home town. You never know where home exchange will take you.” —Gary
"In 2017 we exchanged our home for 6 months with a couple from Colorado. Our children went to American public schools (middle school and high school). Unforgettable experience especially for our children! It is necessary to have total trust between the 2 families but we exchanged a lot beforehand." —Veronique
"In 2019 we did a 3 month exchange in Paddington, in London. We have tried to do long exchanges in London every year for the last 15 years and have never managed more than 6 weeks. Long exchanges allow you to base yourself somewhere, make trips away for days or a week, join local groups and have friends come to visit. Setting up a long exchange takes work and luck: finding someone who wants your destination, then wants long exchanges, then has a suitable home, then wants the same dates as you. That’s a lot of stars to come into alignment. In your listing state exactly what you want in words, not just in your calendar. Give yourself a long lead time (2 years is not unusual) and be persistent. We’ve made over 110 exchanges." —Dorothy
"We have had 2 HomeExchange families live in our house for a year. They put their kids in local French village school and everything and we are still in touch. We could not exchange specifically but allowed them to use our house (they just paid on water/electric & a contribution to maintenance/tax). Fabulous experience for all involved. Both families are now back in US or Canada and keep the French going." —Jules
"I so recommend long term exchanges. I've done two - in city centre Vancouver and in Granada in southern Spain. Both gave fantastic opportunities to explore not only local area but to take trains, boats & planes further afield - Alaska, Portland, Whistler, Cadiz, Seville & Malaga." —Geraldine
"We stayed in one house in New Zealand for three months, and then another house for the next 3 months. We rented our home to a family member, used points to get started, and paid rent for the remainder of time in the two houses. Everything worked out well for us!" —Heather
"We are currently on a 5-month exchange and have another month+ lined up in our next Country. We long-term exchange so that we can immerse in the local culture and send our kids to a local school (worldschooling)" —Katie