Britons snap up house-swap holidays

Cash-strapped Britons who don't want to sacrifice their holidays as the spending cuts bite are turning to house-swapping to make their money stretch further.

The number of people who have already lined up a house swap in 2011 has doubled since last year, with 3.4% of adults planning their holiday around a home exchange, a survey for Lloyds TSB Insurance found.

Cornwall, the Lake District, Devon and Scotland are the most popular places for house-swappers, while foreign destinations are also in the mix, with 15% heading to Spain, 15% to Italy, 12% to France and 10% to the US.

More than half, or 51%, opted for a home exchange as a cost-effective way of spending their holidays.

But Lloyds TSB Insurance urged homeowners to notify their insurer before embarking on a house swap after 24% reported returning home to a damaged property.

It also said house-swappers should register with a reputable house-swap website to reduce the risk of any unwelcome exchanges.

Paul Spillane, head of home claims at Lloyds TSB Insurance, said: "House-swapping looks set to be the trend of the year - it's easy to see why, as this type of holiday caters for so many different tastes.

"To ensure people make the most of their house-swap holidays, we're urging them to alert their insurers before taking part in an exchange so they don't jeopardise their cover."

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