Home-swapping holidays for skiers
Do you own a property in a ski resort and fancy a change? The UK’s first ski holiday home swapping service now has nearly 50 members and is reporting encouraging feedback.
Snow Swappers was founded in August 2011 by Tessa and Jo Regan. Membership is open to anyone who lives in or near to a ski resort, anywhere in the world, and Snow Swappers currently has 45 members with properties in France, Switzerland, USA, Canada and Scotland, covering the ski areas/ resorts of Chamonix, Verbier and Whistler.
“As sisters, we had often looked for an opportunity to work together and when Tessa was talking about having to spend a lot of money renting an apartment for her annual ski trip to Tignes while her own apartment near Chamonix sat empty, the idea of bringing house swapping to the ski community was born,” explains Jo.
Home-owners add details of their house to the site, along with up to six photographs. They are then free to swap with other members as many times as they wish — with the idea of that you save on accommodation costs, continue to get use out of your own home and explore a new resort at the same time.
Jo explained: “Tessa and her husband once spent a great ski holiday in New Zealand staying with friends of friends who in return enjoyed a holiday in their apartment near Chamonix - a fantastic opportunity for both parties to ski somewhere completely new with no accommodation costs and also to benefit from local knowledge regarding all the best places to ski.”
The popularity of house-swap holidays has soared since the recession hit worldwide. Second homes in the French and Swiss Alps have been doubly hit in recent years due to changes in taxation laws and second home ownership.
“House swapping is a very established concept/practice, particularly in some countries, but most sites are very generic. Focusing exclusively on ski resorts and providing the information that skiers want has been very well received,” said Jo. “Feedback from fellow skiers and home-owners has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Membership to the site is currently free, though annual membership will eventually cost £39. Visit snowswappers.com