One motivation for swapping your house is to attend a special event, such as the London Olympics. One reason I haven’t yet attended the Olympics is the expense. Hotels and other lodging alternatives make sure they get top dollar for marquee events such as the Olympics. Entrepreneurial folks have been known to move out of their homes and offer them for rent during the games.
My sixteen year old daughter asked me several months ago if we could do a home exchange during the London Olympics. Since I love my daughter and claim to be a house swapping expert I had to say yes. The opening ceremony is on July 27, 2012 and the closing ceremony on August 12, 2012. I don’t think we would have to be there for the entire games; one week at the beginning or end would satisfy my curiosity. The games coincide with summer holidays for school children in England which should make finding an exchange easier.
The heart of the action will be the Olympic Park, located next to the Stratford rail station, in the north east of greater London. Even if you don’t have tickets you can hang out in the park, listen to the noise at the nearby stadium or aquatics center and watch events live on big screen TVs. Many competitions including volleyball, cycling, archery, equestrian events, etc. will take place in other locations in and around London. Sailing will be near Weymouth and soccer will be played in London, Coventry, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, and Newcastle.
You won’t need a house in London to enjoy the spectacle. The British rail system is extensive; you can be in London in less than an hour from Cambridge or Oxford, less than two hours from Birmingham, Nottingham, or Bristol. There will be special bus and train services from around the country to Olympic venues.
You can even consider a home exchange in another country for the London Olympics. Discount airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet fly from hundreds of places in Europe and Africa to Luton and Stansted Airports, both of which are less than 30 minutes by fast train from London. Their prices can be really low if you travel late at night or early in the morning without checked luggage.
Our friends at KnowYourTrade.com have a handy chart showing home exchange listings by country. This chart shows there are eight agencies with more than 1,000 listings in the UK. Four of these agencies work together as the 1st Home Exchange Alliance, they share the same exchange listing database. The advantage of using them is that almost half of their members are in the UK. They are Home Base Holidays, Green Theme International Home Exchange, Invented City, and Guardian Home Exchange. Home Base Holidays is currently offering 25% off their membership fee if you type in the promotional code homeexchange. This might be the best deal going for the 2012 Olympic Games.