Shown below are some basic tips and pointers on arranging your home swap. A more detailed list along with a home exchange agreement template can be found in the How it Works section of the website.
Finding your perfect home swap:
- Be proactive! contact a good number of members with 'feeler' messages regarding a potential swap. Keep an eye out for new offers and contact any that look of interest. Please also respond to all messages you receive - even if just to say that you are not interested in the exchange offer at this time.
- Add photos: listings with photos always attract more interest than those without.
- Last Minute Offers: Looking for a home swap within the next month? Add your home to the Last Minute Offers section. Also keep an eye out for new Last Minute Offers.
Preparing for your home swap:
- Clean, clean, clean: it should be taken as said that both homes will be clean and tidy for guests and left in the same condition at the end of the swap.
- Create a reference folder: Create a welcome folder for your exchange guest with useful information e.g. local attractions, useful phone numbers, transport info, household how-to's, pet care, etc. This can be kept for reference by future guests.
- Insurance: Inform your home insurance and, if agreeing a car swap, car insurance company well before your departure date.
- Smokers / Non smokers: If you are a non-smoker exchanging with a smoker you may want to include a condition in the agreement that your exchange partners smoke only outside your home.
- Children: If you have agreed to swap homes with a family with a toddler, try to make sure your home is a safe environment (you may agree to child-proof your home as far as possible). See also a recent post, Home exchange with young children: choosing compatible home swap partners.
- Pets and plants: If you have agreed to accept pets as part of the exchange make sure to clarify any do's and don'ts with your guests. If you have agreed to provide pet or plant care make sure you know exactly what is expected before you arrive.
- Vegetarian? If you are a vegetarian and don't want your pans used to cook meat - add this to your exchange agreement.
Do send us your tips and suggestions: anything you would have found useful before you had your first exchange. We'll add the most useful tips to the guidelines and address particular issues in future newsletters and on the blog. Send us your suggestions...