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February 10, 2009


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Home Base Holidays

V. useful suggestions as always, Hobiej. Thank you for sharing. Too good to keep 'hidden' in a comment so, with your permission, I will publish them shortly as a separate post.


I have a few thoughts abuot things you need to arrange (for sim and non-sim swaps):
1. How are you going to exchange keys at both ends (including car keys if necessary).
2. If you are planning on meeting one another think about how that might be fitted in to the holiday timing.
3. Think about the other families journey- do they need help with arranging discounted train tickets or a hotel in transit- you probably know far more than they do about how to organise this type of thing as a local.
4. Think about boring practicalities like who is going to change and wash the sheets- if people have an early flight finishing a sheet wash is often difficult.
5. Considering arranging for a cleaning lady swap too so that you both have an easy end of holiday.
6. Get plenty of holiday notes and how to operate the house information sorted out now. We keep a wicker basket with tourist info, guidebooks, maps & a visitor book so that people can record their experiences. Don't forget that some of the best experiences are known to you as local and won't be in the leaflets like the best spot for a picnic or the easy route to the beach and include some details about things of interest to your exchange families like local walks or golf courses.
7. Keep an eye out for events happening whilst they will be visiting and for discounted tickets to local attractions.
8. Start dealing with any little niggles in the house NOW eg door handles, marked paint work, cleaning out the larder.
9. Think about safety- have you had the boiler serviced recently, are there batteries in the smoke alarms?
10. Make sure you have enough sets of towels and sheets for one set for you to strip off the beds and put somewhere out of the way on the morning you leave and two sets for them.
11. Label emails confirming arrangements clearly so they can be found- eg a heading "telephone call, car keys" in the title line will be easier to find 6 months later.
12. Don't forget to sign an exchange agreement.
13. Try to arrange for them to meet someone (friend/family) whilst they are visiting your home. It's best to have someone have a chat in the first few days to iron out any problems.
14. Ask them for any help that you think you will need when visiting them. Most people are delighted to help and it will make your holiday smoother.

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Home Base Holidays
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