Why did we start a Holiday Swap, Private Rental, and House Sitting site?

We didn't. We just started as a holiday swapping site.

The inkling of an idea came about when our family chartered a bareboat in the Aegean Sea and sailed from the island of Samos to Athens. Two weeks was not enough. But it was too expensive to charter the boat for much longer, and too inconvenient to sail our boat there. A Boat Swap or a Private Rental would have been ideal.

Also when we spoke with the owner of the boat, who actually met us on his boat and gave us the briefing about it and the area in which we would be cruising, he told us that TWO charter companies had gotten commissions, and that if we had gone through him alone by telephone or his website, we would have gotten the charter much cheaper, and he would have actually made some money.

Some years later, while holidaying in Thailand, we were shown a timeshare opportunity. But we already owned a holiday apartment on Queensland's Sunshine Coast here in Australia, and a forty foot sailing yacht that had originally been a chartered bareboat in the Whitsunday Islands.

We did not want to outlay more capital. We just wanted to be able to do a Holiday Apartment Swap, a Boat Swap, or a Private Vacation Rental with people in similar situations. A Boat Swap with someone who had their boat in a charter fleet would have been ideal, or a Private Charter.

Our holiday apartment building at Alexandra Headland

Hence, So Simple Holiday Swaps.

When the site was designed we had never heard of 'Home Swapping', or thought of an on-line, owner's holiday property rental site. The swap site was simply a reaction to the above, and the rental option came about because a new work collegue told me that he and his partner regularly travelled for months at a time, with a laptop, and made private rental bookings as they went.

House Sitting just seemed like a natural extension of swapping.

Here's how the site works:

Once you have selected a property, vehicle, van, boat, or tour that takes your fancy, members simply contact the owner or agent by email, telephone, fax, or snail mail, and make your own arrangements. You can do this as many times as you wish.

Now we have listings by people who wish to privately rent their property, or have sitters, this will allow travellers greater access to accommodation of a type they choose when there is nothing available to swap.

You should make contact even if they have not listed your location as a place they wish to visit. You may be pleasantly surprised. You may live in the UK and want to go to the US. Your preferred swap in the US might want to go to Australia. There may be someone in Australia who wants to swap with you.

By using some organising skills, a successful outcome may be achieved for all.

This site is a database list only. So Simple Holiday Swaps cannot guarantee the integrity of any listing, but the type of people who would utilise this site probably have a similar life attitude as yourself. Check the member's profile.

Most insurance companies and police departments actually prefer properties to be occupied. It is unlikely that your known guest will steal from you, or damage your property, but many burglaries occur when places are unoccupied.


We would suggest that both parties complete a documented agreement for each property, and an example is provided for Real Estate, and Vehicles & Boats. These were drafted by a lawyer, but are not copyright, and may be downloaded or printed, and modified as you wish.


We do not make any travel bookings, but we can recommend HotelsCombined.com

If your property is not your only home, you do not have to exchange at the same time! This can be handy if you are unsure of having strangers in your property, especially if it is a boat. You can be available full time or part time, whatever is agreeable, to assist your guests. It also allows you to time your holiday better to suit your circumstances, and the weather at your chosen destination.

If your property is a Bed & Breakfast, an Inn, Pub, Motel, Resort, or a Tour, treat your guests to your service. A Hospitality Swap!

Even if you are happy to have guests in your home, you can have a Hospitality Swap!

Anything can be accomplished with a little negotiation.


Do not be put off if you believe your place is too modest for anyone else's tastes. There are many reasons why someone else may choose your place:

They may wish to visit friends or relatives who live in the district, but whose home is unsuitable for visitors.

There may be a business function, festival, or sporting competition they wish to attend, or landmarks of interest in your district they wish to see, or they may wish to use your place as a base to tour the district at large.


Go and search the internet for “Interesting Golf Courses of the World”, “Theme Parks”, “Great Dive Sites”, or your favourite hobby, and then check our site for a possible Holiday Exchange, Private Vacation Rental, or House Sitting opportunity.







Remember.....nothing ventured - nothing gained!






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