Home swaps save a lot

If you want to visit another country or city and not pay a cent for a place to stay, try a home exchange.

More than 60,000 people did so last year.

Home exchanges eliminate hotel costs, defray meal costs, and if you trade cars, save on transportation.

You and your home-exchange partner can also swap insights about your homes, and point out the best restaurants and sites. You'll feel like a local, rather than a tourist.

By joining a home-exchange program ($30-$100 per year) and providing information on your home, you'll get updated listings of homes available to swap in cities all over the world.

Home-exchange companies assist you through the process and often have pictures of potential properties on their Web sites. You'll be responsible for arranging the swap, and responding to people interested in your home. Some home-exchange programs to consider:

*HomeLink

www.homelink.org 800-368-3841

*Vacation Homes Unlimited

www.vacation-homes.com 800-848-7927

*Home Exchange

www.homeexchange.com 805-898-9660

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