Autumn might be here but don't pack away your swimmers and sarong just yet. Love Home Swap (www.lovehomeswap.com), the world's largest and most stylish home exchange network, presents its top Australian swap suggestions for that one last 'summer" holiday. Whether it's a weekend away or a full-blown travel adventure, Australians can rejoice with the news that an affordable last minute getaway is still within reach thanks to the fast-growing home swapping trend.
'With the warm weather continuing all the way through March, Australian homes are in hot demand this time of year," said Love Home Swap founder and mother of two, Debbie Wosskow. 'Whether you're looking to travel as a single, a couple or a family, you can save thousands on accommodation simply by swapping your humble home with someone else's," added Debbie, whose site offers more than 62,000 desirable homes to choose from across 160 countries.
Wosskow, who grew tired of spending up to 90 percent of her family's vacation budget on accommodation and established the site in 2011, said that Australian Love Home Swap members save an average of $3,813 per trip.
In addition to facilitating simultaneous swaps (where two swappers match dates to swap homes directly with each other), Love Home Swap offers a unique Swap Points system which means members simply make available time in their property in exchange for points - and then use those points at a later date to stay in stylish homes of their choice, for free, anywhere in the world.
'Aside from the extraordinary savings, our site offers the largest number of Australian swap properties on the market," said Debbie. "So our members can visit their old favourite holiday spots, or get off the beaten track and uncover somewhere new before winter sets in."
Here, Debbie shares her top picks for a unique Aussie last minute summer getaway with Love Home Swap:
This stunning rural retreat is a two storey, three bedroom home nestled in the forest and just a short drive to beautiful pristine beaches. Combining the country with the coast, this gorgeous home is situated on over an acre, with a mix of terraced lawns and gorgeous native Australian gardens, located just three kilometers from the charming township of Denmark.
Explore Western Australia's extraordinary Wilderness Coast region, offering some of the state's most dramatic coastlines and stunning forests, idyllic golden beaches, turquoise waters, lush green forests and farmlands and award winning wineries and restaurants. This property also comes with two kayaks, two adult bicycles and a dual-cab utility vehicle fitted with roof racks so you can load up your gear and get amongst the great outdoors.
Grab nine of your mates and swap into this amazing absolute beachfront home, just steps from the sand on South Australia's pristine Kangaroo Island. Located on the sunny protected north shore of the island, known as 'Millionaire's Row", enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean and say g'day to Wallabies and other wild life at your door step. While a car is included to explore the island, you'll be hard pressed to leave this stunning property.
The Bright Barn Retreat comprises one sprawling home on 17 acres with an adjoining guest house and studio, located in Victoria's magnificent Alpine region. With six bedrooms and comfortably sleeping up to 15, you'll enjoy stunning views over the Alpine Valley from every window, and the chance to breathe fresh mountain air before the snow sets in for Winter.
Seamlessly blending country rustic with fine contemporary living, you can enjoy fabulous food and wine in the town of Bright and take part in adventure walking, cycling, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking and rafting, should it tickle your fancy.
This brand new home overlooking a valley is just five minutes from some of the best beaches on the New South Wales mid north coast – including Bluey's and Boomerang Beach. With a 13 meter swimming pool, yoga studio, designer kitchen, spa bath, cable TV and more than three acres to roam, this stunning property is well set up for both adults and kids.
Backing onto 100 acres of conservation forest, this swap destination is just 10 minutes from the quaint beachside town of Pacific Palms, but feels a world away from anywhere. Help yourselves to produce from the organic vegetable garden or lemon, mango and orange trees, and watch the sun come up over the coast from the wrap-around veranda before heading out for a surf or swim.
Forget Hamilton and Hayman, swap your way to pristine Keswick Island in the Whitsundays. One of the first houses built on this underdeveloped, unspoiled island, you'll enjoy luxurious surrounds on what feels like your own private island. (Only 10 people live locally.)
Open planned and run on 100 percent solar power and rainwater, this gorgeous home sleeps six and includes four whale watching decks and stunning vistas at every turn. Enjoy amazing snorkeling, diving and swimming off deserted beaches and look out for breeding turtles. Be sure to BYO supplies or have them ferried in as there is only one general store on the island, or better yet, do as the locals do and catch your own coral trout for dinner!
A free 14 day trial is available on Love Home Swap, after which membership starts at the equivalent of just $22 per month, including unlimited swaps for a year. For more information visit www.lovehomeswap.com