One question we often get from first time home swappers is how to exchange keys with your home swap guests. The ideal solution is the meet-and-greet, where you have an overlap between you home swap dates and so you actually get to meet your guests, show them around, exchange keys and then head off to their home. However, for the majority of home swaps this option is not possible. So, what can you do?
Here are 5 ways to exchange keys:
1. Your friends, family or neighbour:
One option is, if you have friends or family living nearby that available to meet your guests and hand them the keys. Similarly, if you get on well with your neighbour, you might arrange for them to meet your home swap guests and hand over the keys on their arrival.
However, if you choose this option then you must make sure that they will be available to meet your guests on their arrival – you don’t want them stuck outside your home (or you outside theirs!).
If you do choose this option, make sure to provide your home swap guests with the phone number of the friend, family member or neighbour.
2. Postal / courier service
Many members choose this option as it is reassuring to have the set of keys with you before setting off on your travels. Use a postal/courier service with tracking and signed delivery so that you’ll know that the keys have arrived safely with your guests.
3. Under the doormat / flowerpot / garden gnome
It’s not unheard of for home swappers to simply agree a secret location outside of the home where they will ‘hide’ the key. This is no-doubt the simplest way to exchange keys but not one we’d recommend! It’s not very secure as you risk that your key will be found by someone other than your guests. What’s more, what may seem like an obvious place to hide the keys may end up being a frustrating treasure hunt for you or your guests.
4. Outdoor lockboxes
If you plan to home exchange more than just the one time, you might want to consider installing a lockbox to the outside of your home. These are simple to use and not too expensive. Most use a passcode that you enter to open the box. So, all you’d need to do is send your guests the passcode and you’re good to go. Oh… but don’t forget to place the keys in the box before heading off!
5. Key exchange services
With the rise of the sharing economy there has been a huge number of third party services popping up, including cleaning services and key exchange services (such as KeyNest, Pass the keys, ikeybnb and KeyCafe to name but a few).
Swap homes and slash the cost of your next vacation:
Rather than booking a hotel or vacation rental, arrange a home swap through Home Base Holidays and enjoy free accommodation.
- Search thousands of home swap accommodation offers