How did Holiday Swap begin?
Holiday Swap was founded by James Asquith, Guinness World Record Holder for being the youngest person to travel to every country in the world. James aimed to make travel more accessible and cheaper for everyone. Through his travels, he realized how much money people unnecessarily spend on accommodations when travelling. That’s when the idea of Holiday Swap was born. Holiday Swap allows users to securely swap their accommodations with like-minded travellers across the world for just $1 per day. Our users are now able to discover more destinations and more countries than they ever imagined, for less.
What is Holiday Swap?
Holiday Swap is a travel App created by seasoned travellers. Our team has been to every country in the world (many on several occasions) and while our global headquarters is located in London, much of our team travels extensively throughout the year. We know travel and have built our app with travellers’ needs in mind. Active in over 180 countries, Holiday Swap enables its users to swap accommodations when traveling (whether that be a private room, a studio apartment or a five-bedroom villa) for just $1 per night (per bedroom), all from their smartphone. Our innovative chat feature makes Holiday Swap the first truly global social media app for like-minded travellers and explorers. Holiday Swap’s innovative MyMap is a user-curated guide to the world, allowing users to discover new destinations based on activity or discover top activities at their upcoming destinations. Users are able to search a specific city or area but with the Bags Packed option enabled, you’re free to search the entire world for matches, expanding horizons and helping travellers discover new destinations
Why choose Holiday Swap?
With no download or subscription fees, we are revolutionizing the way people travel. Holiday Swap was designed by a team who have travelled to all 196 countries in the world. We know travel and use our experience to provide an app that truly makes travel more affordable. We work passionately to help more people experience the incredible effect that travel can have on one’s life.
How much does it cost?
Like we mentioned earlier, there are no download or subscription fees and swaps are $1 per night (per bedroom). These fees are administrative and allow you to swap a two-bedroom house for a week for just $14. Plus, there are no hidden fees.
Who will I swap with?
That’s completely up to you, and them of course! Search specific cities or areas or start building a global network of matches with like-minded travellers. Swaps don’t need to happen immediately so it’s nice to have some options when the possibility to travel arrives.
Can I swap a 1 bedroom studio for a 4 bedroom house?
Sure, as long as the other side agrees to it. Remember who you search for and swap with is completely up to you!
Do I have to swap a whole property?
No. What makes us unique is your ability to be flexible about what you swap. Sure, you can swap an entire house or apartment but you can just as easily swap a shared bedroom in a house (assuming acknowledgement of potential housemates and their permission). This allows much more flexibility and variation of what can be swapped, providing an experience tailored to your needs.
What is ‘Top Swapper’ and how does this work?
We want to make our community at Holiday Swap as safe and secure for you as possible. We have a ratings system designed to give you transparency as to who you’re swapping with, and after a user has completed two or more successful swaps with good satisfaction and no reported issues, then the user is given ‘Top Swapper’ status. This indicates a 100% success record without cancellation or damages. If an issue is raised to our resolution centre and it is deemed a genuine case that needs to be resolved after evidence is compiled, then Top Swapper status could be removed from the user at faults account and will not be able to be re-obtained for a period of 6 months.
Do you charge a deposit?
This is entirely up to you. For added security you may choose to advertise your property with an optional deposit for peace of mind and security. This will protect you against cancellation and any damages that may occur when someone is staying at your property. You can ask for a deposit up to a maximum of $500. Once the swap has finished the deposit will be released back into your bank account within 30 days assuming there are no issues. If the completion box isn’t ticked within 7 days of the swap ending it will be assumed there were no issues and funds will be released accordingly. In a situation where there is a dispute of damage, our resolution centre will assess the evidence and make a decision on the deposit amount accordingly. The hold period of the deposit will therefore be extended until a decision has been made, within 45 days of evidence being compiled. Deposit funds will only be used to directly compensate for losses, or cancellation, if this option is selected, and any decision made by Holiday Swap will be final. There will be a non-refundable 3.5% fee to be paid by the user requested to make a deposit, which is a card fee to allow for the return of this deposit on completion of the swap.
Is it safe and how am I protected?
Holiday Swap is a safe social community of like-minded travellers. Not only can you check out people’s ratings and leave reviews, but thanks to our optional deposit feature, you can rest assured you will be compensated if something is damaged or doesn’t work out as was promised. Holiday Swap will never keep any deposit funds in a dispute and will only use them solely to compensate the affected party, but with our trusty rating system, we’re guessing you’ll never need to use it.
Do you store my credit card details?
No. We do not store credit card details nor do we share financial details with any 3rd parties. We use a payment system called Stripe. Any deposit fees will incur an additional 3.5% non-refundable charge on this system to be paid by the user requested to make a deposit, to ensure all fees are paid on return of the deposit money after the swap has been completed.
Do I have to put pictures of my property on my profile?
Not necessarily. To be able to use the full features of the app (and swap) you will need to upload at least 3 pictures of your property. You are free to browse accommodation and use the chat social media functionality without uploading a picture, but we suggest you upload at least one picture which will encourage other users to engage with you. To propose a swap you are required to upload a minimum of 3 images of your property to be as transparent as possible. We recommend uploading as many clear images as you can, this is your chance to really sell it!
What if the property is not as described?
If the property is not as described, then you will need to dispute this within 7 days of the swap ending. You will be required to clearly show pictures and provide a detailed description that varies from the accommodation that was advertised and our resolution centre will consider the evidence and take any appropriate action if required in instances where there is only substantial variation in the advertised accommodation. If there is a dispute, both users must provide prompt and reasonable co-operation including provision of any information we request. Subject to such co-operation, we will endeavour to make a decision within 45 days of receiving all of the information we require but do not guarantee to meet this timescale. If there is a deposit, then this money may be used to compensate.
What if there is damage when I return?
If your property is damaged on return, then you will need to dispute this within 7 days of the swap ending. You will be required to clearly show pictures and provide a detailed description of any major damage and our resolution centre will consider the evidence and take any appropriate action regarding necessary compensation if any optional deposit has been exchanged, and in instances where there is only substantial damage to your accommodation. If there is any damage over $300 you will need to submit and send a police report. Wear and tear on any accommodation is inevitable over time, as are accidents, so please attempt to resolve any minor issues with the opposing party, as raising issues to the resolution centre for minor issues will only result in delays to the release of any deposit if this option has been selected. If there is a dispute, both users must provide prompt and reasonable co-operation including provision of any information we request. Subject to such co-operation we will endeavour to make a decision within 45 days of receiving all of the information we require but do not guarantee to meet this timescale.
Can I use a free swap code more than once?
That entirely depends on what the code is, or what promotion we may be running. The initial free sign up code will only allow single time usage for each unique account, but the good news is that after that our fees are so low it will only cost $1 a bedroom per night regardless. You may well of course see promotions with various codes that allow further free swaps. Holiday Swap reserves the right to remove any promotion without notice at any time.
What do I get if I invite a friend to join and swap?
That depends on the promotion being offered by Holiday Swap at the time. If you invite a new user to sign up the app they will receive a code for their first swap free. Keep an eye out for our ongoing promotional offers where you will also get free swaps each time your friends use their free swap code. The more friends you invite, the more free swaps you will accumulate.
Can I host additional guests?
However many beds are advertised in the swap, is the number or people that are permitted in the swap. Under the terms of the contracts you agree when you swap, even if both parties agree after on chat to host additional guests, you should be aware that you are breaking the terms of your contract through Holiday Swap and therefore any protection you may receive post swap if there are any issues.
How do I gain access to the property?
That is entirely up to the respective parties to decide between themselves once a swap is agreed upon. It is however your responsibility to ensure the other party can gain access to the property. Our preferred method, to prevent any potential issues regarding entry to the property on the day, when the other side may be travelling and out of contact would be to ensure that the key is physically present with both parties in advance of the swap commencing. We recommend using our preferred shipping choice DHL for this. We also have an agreement in place with KeyCafe, if they are present in your destination location, where Holiday Swap members can get an exclusive free credit code to use when signing up to KeyCafe. Alternatively, other methods for exchanging keys include a link to a physical drop box or leaving instructions on where a key is located. Whether that be in a secure location or with a neighbour or someone in your building, it is your responsibility to ensure the other party can collect the key in the easiest and most secure location possible, and without delay on arrival. Both parties involved in the swap should then ideally leave the key in the respective place on departure, but please ensure that there are also spare keys (ideally with a neighbour whose contact details should be provided for emergencies) in case of any issues during the swap.
What if I can’t enter the property?
We first recommend that you try all possible methods of communication on arrival including the chat function and calling the opposite party (please exchange numbers as an emergency communication method). If you still cannot gain entry to the property, you should contact the resolution team as soon as possible and notify them that you cannot gain access to the property. If the optional deposit option is selected, we may put a hold on the funds from the other side as a possible form of compensation post swap should the situation be deemed by our resolution centre to have unfairly and negatively affected you. You should then find suitable alternative accommodation in the location and keep receipts so that we can take a decision regarding compensation from the other party. We do however highly recommend you have the key prior to arrival to prevent this situation from happening. We also advise that there is an emergency contact at or near the property with a spare key in case of any issues arising during the swap.
What happens if I don’t tick the completion box after the swap?
The swap will be assumed to have completed successfully if the box is left un-ticked 7 days after the swap ends. If there were issues regarding the swap or damage, then please contact the resolution centre as early as possible with detailed evidence and pictures to raise your concern. If no issues are raised and the completion box isn’t ticked, then any optional deposit (if selected) will be released, in accordance with our terms and conditions. If there is a dispute, both Users must provide prompt and reasonable co-operation including provision of any information we request. Subject to such co-operation we will endeavour to make a decision within 45 days of receiving all of the information we require but do not guarantee to meet this timescale.
What amount will be charged as a deposit on agreeing a swap?
You are free to select an amount up to $500 to be held as a deposit from the other party. This amount will be paid through our online payment provider Stripe, and securely held until it is released once the swap is completed. There will be a 3.5% charge on the deposit on swapping to be paid by the user paying a deposit, that will allow for the transfer back of the deposit post swap.
What happens to my optional deposit in a dispute?
If a user raises issue and provides evidence relating to damage/deception of property or lack of access, then they must raise this within 7 days of the swap ending. There will then be an extended holding period for the deposit (if this option has been selected), whilst our resolution centre assesses and reviews the evidence of any situation that may have arisen. Subject to co-operation we will endeavour to make a decision within 45 days of receiving all of the information we require but do not guarantee to meet this timescale. This decision will then decide if any party needs to be compensated from deposited funds, and Holiday Swap’s decision will be final.
Someone has chatted with me and asked for my address and to swap without going through the app, should I?
We highly recommend against it. Holiday Swap is a community-based app, and although we encourage you to chat with people and make connections for the future, swapping through the app offers you protection with regards to rating, damage and cancellation. By using our platform, you are entering into a contract with the opposing party and it offers you both protection should anything go wrong.
How long will it take to hear back from customer service?
We strive to reply to you within 5 business days. In the case of urgent issues, you should first contact the other party. For example, if you cannot enter a property, you should first contact the person you are swapping with. Be sure to exchange contact details prior to swapping. You will likely be able to reach out to your fellow swapper and resolve whatever issue you may be having. When you need to hear back from us, we will attempt to respond as promptly as possible, but this may take up to 5 business days, and in some exceptional circumstances this may take longer.
How long will a decision take if there is a dispute?
We will adjudicate on any disputes between the parties (whether relating to cancellations, misrepresented or condition of a property, damage to a property or otherwise). If we inform the parties that we are adjudicating on a dispute, both users must provide prompt and reasonable co-operation including provision of any information we request. Subject to such co-operation we will endeavour to make a decision within 45 days of receiving all of the information we require but do not guarantee to meet this timescale. Unless we decide otherwise, our decision shall be limited to awarding all, part or none of one user’s deposit to the other user. Our decision will be in our absolute discretion and will be final but without prejudice to any legal rights of the aggrieved user against the other user.
How to query a negative rating?
Sometimes, for reasons out of your control, you may receive ratings that you disagree with. Whilst we completely support an open and free ratings system, we want this to also be fair and genuine. If you think a rating is malicious, goes against our guidelines, or otherwise fabricated, then please get in touch with our resolution centre and we will take a look into any concerns, and take action where necessary.
What should I do in the event of an emergency or a problem at the property?
Holiday Swap is a platform that connects users for a swap. We will endeavour to help where we can but ultimately it is your responsibility to deal with any emergency that may arise. In a situation where there is an issue regarding access/damage/or the property is not as described then you can contact our resolution centre for a dispute, details of which are outlined in the FAQs. You should always ensure you have emergency contact details, and the relevant insurance for both yourself and the property. Any external emergency situation will not be Holiday Swap’s responsibility and you should proceed through appropriate channels dependent on any emergency you may have.
Is my data and personal information safe?
Yes. We never store credit card information, and your address and personal details will be safely protected. Holiday Swap may occasionally bump up your property and advertise it within the app, or via email to Holiday Swap users, but we will never offer these details to third parties or sell your personal information. Our resolution centre, which is a third party, will have sole external access to user data and chat history in the scenario of a dispute or the breaking of Holiday Swap’s guidelines/code of conduct. Chat history will only be viewed by the resolution centre in a situation where conflicting information of a dispute has been raised by both parties involved in a swap.
Where is Holiday Swap registered?
Company name: Holiday Swapping Limited
Country of incorporation: England and Wales.
Registered number: 10847362
Registered office: 2nd Floor, Berkeley Square House, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BD
Trading address: 2nd Floor, Berkeley Square House, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BD
Will my chats be private?
With the exception of our resolution centre, which is a third party, your chats will be completely private between yourself and the party you are chatting to or proposing to swap with. We will not sell or offer the information in private chats to third parties. Our external resolution centre will have sole external access to user data and chat history in the scenario of a dispute or the breaking of Holiday Swapping’s guidelines/code of conduct. Chat history will only be viewed by the resolution centre in a situation where conflicting information of a dispute has been raised by both parties involved in a swap.
Where can I see a copy of your terms and conditions?
The terms and conditions of the app will be agreed to and can be seen when downloading from the App Store. The terms and conditions of the actual swap will be available on check out and it is your responsibility to keep a copy of them for your reference. For your convenience, you can find a copy of the terms & conditions here
What is Holiday Swap’s cancellation policy?
We understand that occasionally there may be factors out of your control or your plans may change, and you will need to cancel. If you need to cancel your swap you must immediately let the user you are swapping with know and inform Holiday Swap at firstname.lastname@example.org. If the user you are swapping with has requested a Security Deposit, you will risk losing your deposit to compensate the affected user.
Holiday Swap Support will assess any evidence and make a decision regarding cancellation and forfeiture of any Security Deposit. Hosts and Guests are responsible for any modification to a swap that they make using the Holiday Swap App and agree to pay any additional Host or Guest fees with such modifications.
If you are the user that has been cancelled on against your will and have requested a Security Deposit, you may receive this as compensation after Holiday Swap has reviewed the case. You will also be refunded the service fee in full. A refund will occur within thirty (30) days of the proposed end of the original swap date, and a decision on the transfer of the deposit as cancellation protection may take up to forty-five (45) days. If both parties agree to cancel a swap, then ‘Top Swapper’ ratings will not be lost. Please refer to the Holiday Swap Terms & Conditions for more details.
Guests may cancel a confirmed swap at any time pursuant to the Host’s individual cancellation policy to receive a complete refund of their Security Deposit. Please note that, although the cancellation policy is up to the Users’ discretion, it must be within a commercially reasonable time to protect both parties’ interests. Guests risk losing their deposit, service fee payment and ‘Top Swapper’ rating if you cancel against the other parties will. You will be unable to regain ‘Top Swapper’ for a six (6) month period, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
If a Host cancels a confirmed Swap Contract, the Guest will receive a full refund of their Security Deposit from the Host and their service fee. If the Host cancels without a valid reason, we reserve the right to make the Listing unavailable or blocked for the dates of the cancelled booking. A genuine and legitimate concern of the Guest’s behaviour will be deemed as a valid reason, in addition to any of the hereunder extenuating circumstances.
It is in our discretion to provide a complete refund of the service fee of $1 per night, per bed. Please note, that if the cancellation occurs within an unreasonable amount of time before the date of performance of the Swap Contract or after the host’s cancellation policy, you risk losing the service fee. We reserve the right to allow the Guest to apply a refund of the service fee to a new Swap Contract in the future.
We may give you a refund for the service fee and/or Security Deposit if you cancel due to extenuating and/or unforeseen circumstances that are not within your control. This includes:
- Death of a Host, Guest, or an immediate family member;
- Airport or road closures making it impossible for you to travel to your destination;
- Airport or road closures to due natural disasters;
- If the Host or Guest have been individually impacted by a natural disaster or if there has been severe damage to their home (this does not include planned renovations);
- Serious illness of the Host, Guest or any member of the travelling party;
- Unforeseen or unexpected changes in a country’s safety and security, such as government security advisories due to political or civil unrest and/or violence, increased military presence, high terrorist alerts, or severe damage to the area’s infrastructure and stability; and
- Civil obligations such as jury duty, court appearances, military deployment, and individual or government mandated travel restrictions, such as sudden changes to visa or passport requirements (this does not include lost or expired travel documents).
If you seek to claim one of these extenuating circumstances, you must provide reasonable and valid documentation of proof requested by Holiday Swap. Each claim for extenuating circumstances must be submitted to email@example.com within fourteen (14) days of the extenuating circumstance. Claims for extenuating circumstances must be made in good faith and take into account the legitimate interests and safety of both parties.
For more information, please refer to our Terms & Conditions.
Insurance in Case of Cancellations
We strongly advise for all Users to ensure they have the appropriate travel insurance and homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies to protect themselves against any of the aforementioned circumstances.