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October 30, 2009

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(edited comment)

I hope that you let the agency you belong to know in the unlikely event that you hava a disappointing home exchange experience and that they were helpful. It is, of course, difficult for agencies to get the true story when exchange arrangements are made directly between members (some, unfortunately, not taking enough care and therefore setting themselves up for misunderstandings later on) but all, long established, responsible agencies should take problem reports very seriously.

Adventure Holidays

Home swapping for holiday sounds like a complete adventure! I'm gonna try this for sure!

Lois, Home Base Holidays

Dear Salli

I am so sorry to hear of the bad experiences you have had with two exchanges. Arranging exchanges well in advance doesn't in itself ensure a successful exchange (as I know Cathy would agree) but taking your time before agreeing to exchange, allowing plenty of time to get to know your potential exchange partners to have a reasonably good idea whether you are compatible and have a similar attitude to housework and respect for others' homes, does certainly help.

I hope that you let the agency you belong to know of your disappointing experiences and that they were helpful. It is, of course, difficult for agencies to get the true story when exchange arrangements are made directly between members (some, unfortunately, not taking enough care and therefore setting themselves up for misunderstandings later on) but all, long established, responsible agencies should take problem reports very seriously.

On Home Base Holidays, members cannot delete their own listings and 'disappear' but we do delete listings when a serious complaint is received from another member so that no other members will also be disappointed with an exchange.

I completely agree with your comments about 'The Holiday'. The film depicted arranging an exchange in a very misleading way and so has provided misinformation about 'real' exchanges. I doubt that the film (rather dated now) would encourage people to take part who are only interested in the money saving aspects of home swapping but rather the downturn in the economy over the last few months may have contributed to this. We have detected very few members who seem to be only interested in saving money but perhaps that is because Home Base Holidays charges a membership fee (although modest, this discourages some undesirables who will join one of the many free or open sites instead).

I hope, in time, you will consider further exchanges. After all it sounds like you've had 8 good experiences. We would welcome you as a member and your tips would be useful to other members.

Hiking South Africa

Brilliant! I have actually never heard of holiday home swap before, but its brilliant idea. Thanks for all the tips and advice on your blog!

Salli

Arranging a home exchange well ahead of time doesn't guarantee a 'safe' exchange. On our most recent exchange (of 10) we agreed the exchange 18 months in advance but it was yet another bad experience. We have had our place home left dirty with furniture and other possessions damaged twice now. On both occasions the exchangers removed their listing and effectively 'disappeared' after the exchange was complete - our emails were unanswered. Although we have had some very successful exchanges our bad experiences have meant we have now decided to call it a day. I am tired of the worry of returning home and the expense of replacing and cleaning up. Personally we think the film 'The Holiday' has not been good for the home exchange community and that a lot of newer exchangers just see it as a cheap means of travel.

judy

Being new to this I hadn't thought of allowing as much time as Cathy suggests for an exchange to another country to give both families plenty of time to find the best flight deals and get to know each other.

This blog has been an excellent source of information for me. keep up the good work!

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