Swap and Save on Hotels -- Savings Experiment

If you're planning a getaway, think twice before you book a hotel room. You can save a significant amount of money by swapping homes with a fellow traveler instead. Here's how.

Sites like HomeExchange.com make it easy for you to trade your place with another person. All you have to do is sign up, pick a destination and arrange your exchange.

The cost of the service is $120 per year, but when you compare that $100 per night at a hotel, all you have to do is take one trip to make up for the expense. After your first swap, you're essentially getting free lodging.

It's natural to be wary of a deal like this, but Home Exchange is designed to eliminate any funny business. The site allows you to get to know other travelers first before you make the swap.

So, the next time you're thinking of getting out of town, skip those high-priced hotels and try a home exchange. You'll sleep soundly knowing how much you're saving.