Woman travels all over Europe by swapping her home with strangers

A woman has travelled across Europe by swapping her home with complete strangers.

Chisara Nwabara, 35, from North London and her canine companion, Sensi have saved over £5,000 on accommodation by staying in other people’s homes.

Not only has she managed to travel to many parts of the UK but she has explored much of Europe too including Portugal, France, Hungary, Germany and Spain.

For the last three years, the product management director has jetted off to ten different cities while strangers stay in her one bed flat.

‘I just see it as I have a friends staying at mine whilst I’m not there,’ she explains.

‘I want to share my home because there is a certain spirit in sharing what you have – I would rather do it this way than just provide a service.

‘People who stay at mine treat it with a different level of respect because they’re part of the same home swapping community too.

‘I hate wasting money and I never want to spend it if I don’t have to.

‘By house swapping, I can literally travel for peanuts – I save thousands considering the size of the properties that I stay in.’

Chisara allows other people into her home to take care of her dog and says that she never worries about leaving him with strangers.

‘I don’t want him to only rely on me,’ she adds. ‘He loves other people and being around new faces is good for his separation anxiety.’

‘I also use the site Trusted House Sitters, which provides me with reviews and I have a mini interview with potential sitters over the phone first.

‘Most people in this community are animal lovers and have some experience looking after dogs anyway but I trust my ability to judge characters.’

Saving on accommodation, Chisara has been able to explore some of Europe’s best cities as locals would.

‘A lot of the accommodation is away from the inner city, so I get a lot more peace and quiet,’ she explains.

‘One of the best things about travelling is this way is that you get to explore places you wouldn’t normally and you get to experience the city like a local would.

‘One trip we can be in an apartment in Berlin or Barcelona, the next we are in the Cotswold, or on the grounds of a French chateau.

‘I have saved so much by using house sitters. Hiring a professional sitter to stay with a reactive dog like mine would cost me £50-100 a day.

‘Next month we are going to Copenhagen – Sensi loves going on adventures and seeing new things with me.’

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