Ever wondered what it would be like to live-it-up like a local in Paris or Vienna?
Imagine enjoying all the comforts of home while visiting Madrid’s most popular haunts or discovering the hidden gems of Lisbon.
Can you see yourself brewing up a cup of coffee in your own kitchen before wrapping up warm and hitting the wintery streets of Vancouver?
Now imagine doing it all for free.
Welcome to the world of NightSwapping.
Nicknamed the ‘Tinder of travel,’ NightSwapping is the hottest travel trend, spreading fast around the globe, which sees travellers keeping their cash in their pockets and, instead, hosting other travellers in their homes in order to earn their own ‘nights’ away.
By opening your South Yorkshire home up to a businessman from Sweden for a couple of nights, you could find yourself enjoying a weekend in Rome - or any other of the 10,000 cities and towns around the world with registered NightSwapping accommodation - in return. A huge network of more than 150,000 members in 160 countries worldwide means that travelling has truly never been easier - or cheaper.
Jenna Fisher joined the revolutionary travel website in March 2015 and hasn’t looked back since.
The Sheffield Council worker has already hosted three NightSwaps at the two-bedroom flat she shares with her boyfriend in Sheffield city centre - a pair of women from Spain, a couple from Holland and an English businessman.
Using the virtual money she earned from these hostings, she has enjoyed a long weekend in Dublin and already has trips to Spain, Prague and Amsterdam in the diary for next year.
“Before joining NightSwapping, I’d never really travelled further than Cornwall,” revealed the 26-year-old.
“My brother is currently living in Vienna and I kept seeing all these amazing photos of him travelling to places like Prague, Lyon and Madrid.
“As much as I love Sheffield I wanted to see more, so when I heard about NightSwapping, I signed up immediately; it’s a great way to get the real local experience.
“When I’m hosting, I give my visitors maps and lots of local tips about restaurants, places to visit and transport, so they can get the most out of their time in the city.
“It’s also great for me, getting to hear people’s tales of their lives, which are so different to mine, in places I’ve never been to. When I had the two girls to stay, I took the opportunity to brush up my rusty Spanish by practicing on them at every opportunity!
“The obvious advantage to NightSwapping is the money you save. It’s amazing really that, by hosting someone in your house for five nights, you could go to central Paris for five nights for free - we all know how expensive accommodation is when you’re on holiday.”
According to Kate Pringle, head of UK communications for NightSwapping, accommodation usally accounts for a whopping 66 per cent of your expenses while travelling, meaning that NightSwappers are truly making a huge saving.
“This is a new and exciting way to travel, where no money is exchanged between members,” explained Kate.
“The members on NightSwapping discuss via a dedicated messaging service. It’s easy and convenient and allows members from all over the world to communicate and plan their trips. Each home is evaluated by an algorithm which allows you to compare the quality of every apartment listed on the website.
“This back-to-real-sharing ethos of NightSwapping allows for an authentic experience for the traveller where they discover some real local gems.”
And Jenna confirms it’s eveything she hoped it would be, saying: “On our trip to Dublin, because we didn’t have accommodation to pay for, we could really splash the cash on other things which was fantastic.
“The site gives you secret access to a whole new world of small towns and villages across the world, places you’d never heard of and never thought to visit, and it really opens you up to new experiences.
“The site is really well done - I felt reassured by the measures in place when I put up my own listing on. I had to upload a form of ID and, with my number, got sent a text to my phone with a code so everything was secure. I’ve always chatted to my visitors before they come and stay too, which is nice.
“You’re also automatically covered by nightswapping’s insurance when the nightswap is confirmed, so my home is covered up to €450,000 in case of damages.”
Jenna provides just a bed, sheets and towels to her guests, along with a drink and a few nibbles on arrival, and says that Sheffield seems to be a popular UK city with NightSwappers.
“It’s one of the big cities in the north, alongside places like Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds,” she said.
“So it’s great for a city break, with its theatres, restaurants and bars, shopping centres, ice rink and the countryside right on its doorstep.
“I would highly recommend NightSwapping to anybody. It’s such a simple idea and the benefits are huge.
“I know some people worry about letting strangers into their homes, but in my experience I’ve met people who are pleasant and tidy and always in a great mood because they’re away somewhere new for a nice break - it’s always been a positive experience and I think it’s important sometimes to have some faith in the world.
“Obviously I now just hope that more people fancy coming to the city, because I can’t wait to earn some more ‘nights’ for all the other places out there I want to visit.”
Visit www.nightswapping.com to find out more about becoming a host.