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Unfortunately since I wrote this article, this service was shut down. It was then reopened but specifically targets young people now so may or may not be suitable for your family. Please read about other forms of accommodation on our special Accommodation page.
Want to travel more often but can’t afford the accommodation costs? I have a solution!
I am excited today to share with you a new service that I recently came across called Trampolinn. It is like a cross between a holiday rental, couch surfing and house exchange site while removing the drawbacks of these services. The best part is that you can use it for free!
The whole site runs on points. There are ways you can get points and then you can use these points in exchange for accommodation anywhere in the world. It is basically a house exchange site but one with a massive difference as you don’t have to swap with someone directly. This gives you far more freedom on where you can go and when. You can also chose not to “swap” your whole home – it can just be a couch or a room or there are other ways to earn points. You do not have to spend any money to do this.
You can earn points in the following ways:
If you are still confused, check out this youtube video which does a much better job of explaining it:
When you add a listing to the site you will have to fill out a form with lots of different aspects of what you are offering – like whether you are offering just a couch or an entire house, how big the house is, etc. The site then uses an algorithm to calculate how many points your listing is worth. This is what you will earn when you host other travellers.
Conversely, the same algorithm would have been applied to places where you want to stay. This ensures that the system is fair.
We have two free bedrooms in our current house here in Penang. Looking on the site, I think we could make about 200 points a night from either of them.
We like to stay in entire apartments or houses while we are travelling. Looking at our upcoming destinations, we can have a fabulous 4 bedroom house with a private pool by the beach in Sri Lanka for 612 points, an apartment in Hong Kong for 437 points a night or an apartment in Paris for 430 points.
This means that we could basically exchange two nights in one of our spare bedrooms here for a night in an entire apartment somewhere else in the world. In fact, we can have 2-3 nights in an apartment just by signing up, filling in our profile and adding a listing.
If we don’t want anyone to stay here, a night in that Paris apartment will cost about 12 euros a night by buying points! Bargain!
I think this site is perfect for families. There are a lot of houses and apartments available on Trampolinn which are perfect for families. The listings themselves say if children are accepted or not. This is a great way to avoid the crazy cost of accommodation for a family and also have the extra benefits that the extra space provides compared to a hotel room. Even if you buy the points you use, it is far cheaper than alternative accommodation.
It is even better if you host other travellers. Just by hosting people in your home while you are away or hosting people in your spare room/couch/backyard you can have all the accommodation for your next trip for free.
I’d love to know if you have used this service before or if you have ever tried a house exchange?
Unfortunately this service has shut down. Please read about other forms of accommodation on our special Accommodation page.