Very recently a member contacted Home Base Holidays to request that her home exchange offer be put on hold for a few months (see post on temporarily pausing a home swap membership). This member has had many wonderful home swaps via our service but did suggest that we might remind members of how thoughtful it is to find a welcome pack of goodies on arrival:
"If only all home swappers remembered the welcome gift / snack idea. For the past few years, we have often arrived to find nothing but a welcome note. Conversely, visitors to our house would always find a bottle of wine or a pack of beers, and some crisps or choccy biscuits if I know kids are coming. ‘It’s the thought that counts’, as Granny used to say."
Long-time Home Base Holidays members, John and Marilyn, who started home exchanging over 40 years ago (they've now had more than 100 swaps, a record that must take some beating!), also suggested some time ago in a post listing their top 10 tips for a successful home swap:
- Prepare a "Home Book" containing practical information on your home and appliances. Include such details as where to find the fusebox, stopcock, operate the TV, when the dustbins are emptied, etc; useful telephone numbers....doctor, dentist, plumber, electrician, your own mobile numbers and those of helpful neighbours can be included too. (Before swapping send your own and neighbours numbers plus location of a spare key, so that your guests can keep a copy with them in case of emergency). Leave up to date tourist leaflets, maps, guide books, train and bus timetables.
- Meet your guests if possible so you can get to know them a little and exchange keys. If not possible, leave them a welcome letter and perhaps a bottle of wine. Why not agree beforehand to leave milk, bread, etc for each other? When leaving their home ensure you have agreed where to leave keys & what to do with used linen. Last but not least, leave a "thank you" letter.
John and Marilyn offer their 17th century sandstone cottage in a tiny village near Appleby, Cumbria, England for exchange. See their full home swap in Cumbria