The holiday house swapping company that inspired The Holiday starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz.

OK hands up who has seen ‘The Holiday’ and who fell head over heels for the sweet as pie cottage as inhabited by Kate Winslet? Not to mention the glorious sprawling LA mansion of Cameron Diaz’s scatty yet loveable character? Yes they house swapped, and boy did their lives expand as a result. OK, we know this might be a scenario from a Hollywood film but did inspire the movie, check the computer screens in the film, and the reality is that with a few clicks of a mouse you too could be winging your way to your ideal holiday property at a fraction of the price of traditional accommodation… Yes, it's all on offer at our all time favourite, (which does exactly what it says on the tin).

LUFTHANSA PARTNERSHIP recently announced a new partnership with Lufthansa, that will provide mutual benefits to members of both organisations. The German airline will offer all European members of a promotional voucher worth up to £15 (€20) which can be used when booking their next Lufthansa flight on

In addition, until the end of July, travellers with both brands can take part in a social media campaign and photography competition called #VIKey with a chance to win Lufthansa Business Class return flights and luxury home accommodation with All entrants have to do is share a photograph of the one object that symbolises their own personal “key” to get away - be it surfboard, sun lounger or something else. To find out more and to enter the competition, visit


Is clearly to save money, avoid huge holiday bills and enjoy last minute breaks in homes of which hotels merely dream. Yes, there’s a whole different vibe inherent in staying in a much loved home – and it makes relaxing into a whole new life just that little bit more easy. Think of it as a ‘lifestyle’ break where you can get a real taste of local life; shopping in Milan or Paris, wine tasting in Bordeaux, planning for the Olympics in Brazil in 2016, sailing in Turkey, or even playing golf in Palm Springs and hanging out in Hermosa Beach, LA, home to Ed Kushins, founder of, who started the business over 20 years ago.


Is an absolute doddle to use, with clear, clean sharp imagery, handy search facilities and best of all, well over 54,000 listings in over 157 countries (yes you heard it right). You’d be really hard pushed not to be able to find something to satisfy that yearning for your utterly unique holiday.


There’s a ‘Live Chat’ function that makes the ride to your ideal holiday even smoother. If you don't find a home exchange partner during your first full year of membership, your second year is free.


If a man’s home is his castle – then will give you the key to some beautifully aristocratic homes. Except for getting there, a holiday nearly anywhere in the world, doesn't have to cost anymore than staying at home, and remember - the key is always under the mat!

July 2014