I'm a mum of 4 kids and I've saved £100k by holidaying for free – here's how you can too | The Sun

A FAMILY of six who have lived in 25 different countries in just eight years say they have saved £100,000 and holidayed non-stop for free.

The two parents and four kids have been able to do this by swapping their home with stunning chalets and villas across the globe.

Daniel Prince, 46, and his wife, Clair, 46, both originally from Essex, had moved abroad to Singapore for Daniel's work in 1999.

But by 2014, Daniel found himself tied constantly to his desk while Clair juggled four young children at home and they knew they needed a dramatic life change.

The couple sold their family home and most of their belongings, and gambled everything for a nomadic life, swapping their holiday home in Thailand for glamorous properties in locations including America, Canada, Australia and Europe.

While home-schooling their four children, Kaitlyn, now 17, Sophia, 14, and twins Lauren and Samuel, 11, the family ticked off an incredible 80 properties across the globe before settling in France for a few years, including during the pandemic.

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Now raring to travel again through house-swapping, Clair said: "Eight years ago, we thought, this can't be what life is meant to be.

"Daniel was constantly working and I was here, there and everywhere looking after four children.

"We just thought, life has to be more fun than this. And we have done exactly that – we made life fun.

"We could never have travelled the world like this with such a big family without house swapping, which has saved us so much money and allowed us to travel in a luxurious way without compromise.

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They also visited Niagara Falls during their time in North AmericaCredit: PA Real Life

"It has been amazing – and it doesn't need to stop yet."

After deciding to start their journey in 2014, they sold their home in Singapore and kept their holiday home in Thailand after stumbling on lovehomeswap.com where you swap your house with strangers around the world.

Heading to house swaps in the UK first, to visit family and friends, the Princes then headed off to Croatia, Dubai, Thailand and Cambodia before arriving in Australia for Christmas 2014.

She said: "We stopped in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, and ended our year of travels in New Zealand for three months, which was incredible.

"We couldn't believe how amazing it was – we thought, why isn't everyone doing this?"

With a steady income of around £1,000 a month they earned by renting out their Thailand home in between house swapping guests, while paying just £120 for their lovehomeswap.com annual membership, Daniel and Clair were able to live humbly.

After a stint in New Zealand, the family upped sticks again to home swap across the United States, starting in San Francisco before going into Seattle, Vancouver, New York and Virginia.

"Of all the places, Croatia was probably our favourite place because it was stunningly beautiful and had such a lovely community feel among the village we stayed in," she said.

"There were so many moments that blew our minds – like horse riding along the beach in New Zealand or sailing on a yacht out of the port of Marbella or having a picnic at Sydney Opera House on Christmas Eve."

Heading back to Europe after two years of travelling, to visit the UK and Italy, Daniel and Clair then decided to slow down their travels and ended up in France – where they stayed for years due to the pandemic.

The family, who are itching to go again now borders have reopened, estimated they have saved as much as £100,00 adding: "All we have ever had to pay for is the travel to get to each place."

She also said: "The difference it has made to the kids' lives is amazing – they have such an incredible outlook on life and acceptance of different people regardless of wherever we are in the world.

"For the twins especially, who were three when we started this, this is the life they have only ever known.

"They are all so independent, adventurous and confident.

With plans to start home-swapping again, Daniel said: "It's nearly ten years since we made the decision to go for it, and if we hadn't, we would never have had the experiences we have had sat in an office or classroom.

"There is no way we could have ever done what we have done without house swapping and I can't wait to get going again.

"There is a big world out there with plenty to explore and we would be crazy not to make the most of it while we can."

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