Add Barter To Your Budget

Save $3820 with  Barter

The average Canadian family has to spend $4000+ to take their family on a vacation, making family getaways only for the elite. Many families attempt to cut costs by staying in town on a STAYcation, but this can be boring year after year.  So how can we take a holiday and not break the bank? Take a SWAPcation.

A SWAPcation is when you swap your house with another family instead of hotels. Barter to the rescue.

Here’s how barter can save you bucks.

Step 1. Swap your house

Online housing exchanges list other swap-friendly families looking to vacation the same way. Beautiful family homes are offered and you can pick and choose by looking at photos of houses, talking to the swap-family and researching the local area. Not only is it cost effective to swap for a vacation getaway, the social aspect is wonderful. Many times the other swap family will leave your family excellent tips for getting around their neighborhood, favorite local spots and what to do with your family. This is a local unbiased perspective that you normally wouldn’t get at a hotel concierge.

Step 2. Stay within 500 km so your family can drive there

Ditch the flights. Flights are ridiculously expensive for a family. Even though the price of gas is high, driving is still cheaper for a family. Additionally, if you drive to your getaway palace, you already have a vehicle upon arrival and don’t need to pay additional costs for rental cars.

500km is far enough away that it feels like you’ve left your local community, but close enough to drive in a day to get the most out of your vacation time.

Step 3. Cook!

Above all, housing swap saves you money on meals. Your swapped house will have a kitchen and the family is able to cook, only dining out when you wish. When staying in a hotel, we are forced to dine out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It adds up!

March Break Barter Breakdown

Vacation Assumptions

  • 6 nights
  • Family of four
  • 500 km away
  • Driving needed while on vacation


  Traditional Vacation SWAPcation Barter Savings
Hotel $250/night $0/night
  6 nights 6 nights  
Total $1,500 $0 $1,500
Travel $300/flight $150 There
  4 people $150 Home  
Total $1,200 $300 $900
Car when traveling
$50/day rental fee $0  
  $30/day in gas $30/day in gas  
  6 days 6 days  
Total $480 $180 $300
Meals Breakfast: Included at hotel Groceries: $500  
  Lunch: $120 Lunch: $0  
  Dinner $150 Dinner: $0  
  6 days 6 days  
Total $1,620 $500 $1,120
Total $4,800 $980 $3,820

You save $3820!!!

Adding barter to your budget is not only fun, but is financially important. Barter helps individuals take control of their budget to survive and even flourish in less-than-ideal economic climates.

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