House exchange is one of the most popular ways to plan a cost-effective vacation. The practice of house swapping has been around for years, but it gained much more attention during the first part of the 21st century. A house exchange vacation also has the benefit of providing individuals or families with the option to test out locations in which they may like to spend more time without the expenditures of full-fledged vacations.

House exchange vacations are designed to offer people the opportunity to visit another part of the country or another nation altogether. Two parties contact each other and agree to let each other use their houses during the tenure of the holiday.

Most travel agents believe that the concept of house swapping was first developed in the 1950s in areas of California. During the 1970s, with the rise of the American travel industry, it became a viable option for travel, especially for families.

According to the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, it is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of all American vacations now use the method of house exchange for vacations as of 2008. This figure is expected to rise through 2015.

House swapping can save a family of four an estimated 30 to 40 percent of a vacation’s cost. House exchange allows families all of the amenities of home like a kitchen, refrigerator and entertainment as well as the use of a vehicle.

House exchange is very prominent on vacations that take place in a country that suffers from high levels of violence. The concept allows people to find safe places to stay and brings tourism dollars to areas that otherwise would be avoided.