Travel blog on one-of-a-kind travel experiences

Love Home Swap — I Love It!


I joined Love Home Swap in 2013 and Dave and Emma’s house is one of many fabulous private homes we’ve stayed at around the world. We stayed five nights and paid precisely nothing . . . unless you take into account the beer and nibbles we shared with owners, Dave and Emma, who joined us for a chat one evening.

That’s one of the awesome things about Love Home Swap – you make new friends wherever you go, people who not only entrust you with their lovely homes but also introduce you to their communities and networks, and give you the inside goss on where to wine, dine, hike and sightsee.

Dave and Emma's Love Home Swap house. Picture © by Emma Shand

Dave and Emma’s Love Home Swap house. Picture © by Emma Shand

Dave, an advanced para-medic and former Piha lifeguard, and Emma, who works for the design label Sabatini, were delightful company with a wealth of knowledge about the area. We felt like celebrities after they told us we were living in a film set for the new TV series 800 Words which screens on TVNZ1 on Sunday evenings.

When they approached us to use our house, we thought it would be a pretty cool thing to do,

says Dave.

Little did we know they would take over the entire street with their trucks and gear which caused a bit of grief with the neighbours. They strip the house bare and fill it with all their own furnishings. Sometimes they leave things behind which is a bonus!

We’ve kept in touch with many people we’ve met through Love Home Swap over the years – Chantal in Santorini, Niko in Crete, Melissa and Mark in the French Alps, Anne in the Swiss Alps, Catherine at Palm Beach (Australia) and Kate and Doug in Wanaka.

The ‘stays’ are managed by an exchange of points, a form of currency, rather than an actual home swap, although that’s always an option. It often does not suit members to swap simultaneously so the points system provides the flexibility and freedom to stay wherever and whenever you choose.

Dave and Emma earned 750 points for the five nights of our stay which they can ‘spend’ anywhere in the world at a time that suits them. Keen surfers, they may well turn up on our doorstep in Gisborne some day.

Love Home Swap house's deck overlooking the Waitakere Ranges

Dave and Emma’s house deck overlooking the Waitakere Ranges


About Author

Justine Tyerman is an award-winning New Zealand journalist, travel writer and sub-editor with 18 years' experience in newspaper and freelance work. She has worked as a news reporter, feature writer, designer of an award-winning Newspapers in Education programme and sub-editor on local, national, business, education and international desks.

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