WHAT: Are you reluctant to try a home exchange? Knok.com, a new website, offers an easy-to-use home-exchange system with the added benefit of having insurance included in your membership fee.
HITS: As someone who's interested in the benefits of home swapping but has yet to take the plunge, the free 30-day trial pulled me in like a magnetic force field. It's also the least expensive of the home exchange sites I've perused, such as HomeExchange and Love Home Swap. With the free trial I was able to take the site for a proper test run. I listed places I wanted to go to, described our home and family and started searching for potential matches. I was logged on for only a few minutes when I started to dream about an exchange with a family in Zamora, Spain, that -- except for its love of musicals -- sounded a lot like our family.
MISSES: When I clicked the "Exchange suggestions" button, I thought the pairings were a stretch at best. However, the suggestions from my dashboard were much better. Note: You need to become a full paying member to send messages to members and receive home exchange offers.
-- Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times