I’ve had 14 holidays for free & saved more than £1k per trip – here’s how | The Sun

A MUM has revealed how she's had 14 holidays for free and stayed in places like Spain, France and Belgium without spending a penny.

Anna Bundock, 46, and her husband Pete started going on free holidays seven years ago after the mum-of-two learnt about house swapping.

Anna Told the Sun Online Travel: "I heard about Home Exchange on an WhatsApp group after one of the mums sent a message and filmed a video of them holidaying in someone else's house.

"The idea of not paying any money for the accommodation was very attractive."

Since January 2016, the family have been using the house swapping website HomeExchange to swap their three-bedroom end-of-terrace house in south London for holidays abroad.

When Anna listed the family property on the website, she received "lots of requests".

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Soon after the family-of-four went on their first house swap to Switzerland for one week and only needed to pay for their flights.

When they arrived back to the UK, Anna was itching to get another holiday under the family's belt.

In their first year, the family went on four holidays using house swapping to secure free accommodation during the school holidays.

Over the last seven years, Anna has stayed in 14 places for free and believes she's saved herself £1,000 per stay in accommodation costs.

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The family's favourite trip was a week away to Gran Canaria in Spain.

Anna said: "We went to this house in Gran Canaria in the Easter holidays after we swapped with an English family who stayed in our home in the summer."

"This was the best trip because we had the best of both worlds. Not only was our accommodation in an amazing location but it had a swimming pool and was only a short walk to the beach."

Anna explained that the trick to home exchanges is all about compromise.

She said: "You might end up in a massive house but you might not be near any typical tourist hotspots.

"For example, we stayed in a massive house in Belgium in the middle of nowhere while we enjoyed looking around the surrounding area it wasn't near any tourist sites."

The family have also holidayed in Barcelona, and been skiing in France.

As well as trips abroad, Anna and Pete swapped their home for stays in the UK and went to Wales and Northumberland.

Going forward Anna intends to balance her trips so some of them are flight-free in a bid to be more eco-friendly.

But this doesn't mean that the family are compromising on their holiday savings as they've already made exciting plans for the summer holidays.

She said: "Our August holiday has just been approved, we're staying in a house in Cornwall."

It'll be the family's first time staying in Cornwall with the kids and the property is 5-10 minutes away from the beach.

This isn't the first time someone has been on a free holiday thanks to house swapping or sitting.

Keith Barker has also used house sitting programmes to travel for the world for free.

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In the last 15 years, he's lived in Mexico, Hawaii, Panama and Portugal without spending a penny on hotels and other accommodation options.

Another couple, who are professional house and pet sitters, in the UK save themselves £1,000 each month by living in other people's homes for free.

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