For many first time home swappers it can be a little bit daunting knowing what is expected at the end of the home exchange. Here's a check list of 10 good things to do at the end of a home swap:
- Tidy and clean: it's important when leaving a home swap to make sure the house is in as good (if not better!) condition than when you first arrived. Usually a clean and tidy will not take long but some members agree with their swap partners to arrange a cleaner to come in at the end of the stay.
- Replace household supplies: most home swappers will be completely fine with you using some of their household items during the swap, things such as cleaning products, toilet paper, olive oil, etc. However, it's always good to replace items you've used; I mean ...there's nothing worse than coming back from a long-haul flight only to find you're out of toilet paper!
- Leave a gift: if you've had a good home exchange, it's a really nice touch to leave a thank you note and small gift for your home swap hosts. It doesn't need to be big or expensive, maybe a bottle of wine, a bunch of flowers ...just something to show your appreciation for being allowed to stay for free in their home.
- Change the bedding: unless agreed otherwise with your home swap hosts, it's always best to change the bed sheets and duvet covers before leaving the home - your home swap hosts will likely be tired after their travels and will appreciate the effort.
- Turn off appliances: double check that you've not left anything such as the oven or electric heaters on before leaving the home.
- Feed pets / water plants: if you've agreed to provide pet care during the swap, make sure that you've left plenty of fresh water and food so that the furry/feathered friends will be happy until their owners return. Also, if as part of your swap agreement you have agreed to water house or garden plants, make sure to give them one last sprinkle before you leave.
- Check doors are locked / alarm set: it's very imported to double check that all doors and window are locked when you leave your home swap home. If the house has an alarm, make sure it is set before you leave.
- Be honest: accidents can happen to the best of us and so, if you accidentally broke something during your stay, let your hosts know, appologise and either replace the item or agree to compensate them for the cost of the item. Remember, you've already saved a huge amount of money by choosing to swap homes.
- Send a thank you message: when you've returned home and have rested up, send your home swap hosts a thank you message for allowing you to stay in their home. Tell them what you loved about their home and location. However, if you had a bad experience (thankfully very rare!), give it a few days so that you don't say anything you'll regret and then, once you've had time to rest and reflect, you could send a polite message so that they will know where they could improve before swapping again.
- Leave a review: trip report reviews left by members help build trust and so log in to Home Base Holidays and leave your home swap hosts a review of your home swap experience.
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