House swaps, while practical, have typically been a budget proposition – a means to an end rather than a luxury experience. But now there's Luxe Home Swap.
This members-only site offers 1,500 designer homes, from New York penthouses to Turkish villas, all of which are up for temporary trades. Founded by serial entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow in 2010 as an alternative to pricey boutique hotels, the site acts at a matchmaker for global travelers with stylish pads and chronic wanderlust.
The mechanics are simple: List your home, then browse the database to find your ideal getaway and reach out to member owners to arrange a swap. Each listing has the basics (photos, descriptions, key features) as well as tidbits about the owners and a cheat sheet of favorite local shops, restaurants and attractions.
And since trades are simply house for house, with no added exchange of funds, it's up to members to decide what makes for a fair exchange (i.e.: that French cottage owner has to feel equally enthused about your abode).
The annual fee of $159 allows vacationers to arrange as many stays in a year as they like – and to list as many homes as they own. So sign up: Your next vacation spot might be a London loft, a beachfront condo in Bimini, or a Tuscan estate with its own vineyard.