As one of the most attractive cities worldwide Berlin offers an great variety of accommodations. For short time visitors
one of the numerous hotels or B&Bs is certainly the best choice. It would be best, however, to get to know Berlin without
too much time pressure. Those, who can afford it, should take some weeks or even months for a stay in Berlin and surrounding.
It will definitely not become boring! There is so much to see and experience.
For us the most attractive form of accommodation for a longer stay is without any doubt to rent a holiday flat or – even more interesting and quite state of the art – find a flat through homeswopping, a particularly individual and at the same time rather cheap alternative.
What is it, and why Berlin ?
How does home exchange work and why homeswopping in Berlin?
The idea to offer one´s own flat – and of course one´s own house – to guests and – in exchange – use the flat or house of the guest oneself, was probably conceived some 25 years ago in the United States. The idea to let like-minded people one´s own home and use their´s at times when one does not need is so obvious that one wonders why it took almost 25 years before it became a widespread international movement and a serious alternative to traditional accommodation.
„Offer a two-room-flat in Berlin in exchange of a small flat in New York“ - such private classified ads can often be found in the web or in international newspapers.
In the meantime, however, the idea of private and temporary home exchange has become a strong international movement. Today more and more open-minded people use one of the numerous international organisations for swopping their own place for a limited period of time. Organisations like www.homeexchange.com, www.lovehomeswap.com, www.stay4free.com in the US, www.homeswapper.co.uk, www.houseexchange.org.uk, www.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk in Britain, www.homeswapping.de, www.haustausch.de, www.haustauschferien.com, www.tauschdeinhaus.de in Germany or www.aussiehomeswap.com in Australia offer their members a great number and variety of flats and homes worldwide in exchange for their own. www.homeexchange.com in the US alone is said to have more than 46,000 members in 154 countries.
It was the University of Bergamo in Italy who first analysed the growing trend of swapping homes as a perfect form of holidaying or spending a longer time abroad by scientific means (Press releases of www.haustauschferien.com)) Their large-scale-study of the year 2013 revealed that most participants of this innovative and international trend come from the United States, France, Spain, Canada and Italy.
The study came to the following, most interesting conclusion: „Home exchange is one of the greatest opportunities of modern tourism as it combines the dynamics which stand for the future of tourism: The growing desire for several travels a year – even with a limited financial budget – the need to organize trips, which are as individual as possible and the aim to make these travels an authentic event. The main desire of modern tourists is not only to get to know a country by visiting the main attractions but to immerse into a new culture.
That means that the motivation for the wordwide trend to swap houses is not only the financial aspect. It is the experience of staying in a private home, the opportunity to spend some time just like staying with friends and to let one´s own home to like-minded strangers for a limited time while using their homes for one´s own holidays, which makes home swapping so attractive to so many people.“
The fact that Berlin is the most sought after city in Germany for home swoppers both on the national and also on the international scale does not come as a surprise. The reason for that is undoubtedly the attractiveness of the city but also the open-mindedness and the hospitality of the Berliners.