- Exchanging keys: decide how you will exchange keys (including car keys if necessary)?
- Meet your swap partners: it's often not possible but look if there is any way to meet your home swap partners (it can be great if there is a crossover period).
- Clean, clean, clean: make sure your home is clean and welcoming for your guest (some members arrange a cleaner to come at the start and at the end of the exchange).
- Towels and bedding: make sure you have enough sets of clean towels and sheets for your guests.
- Welcome pack: make a welcome pack for your home swap guests: include information about local attractions and recommended restaurants, nearby transport, useful information about your home (e.g. how to turn on/off the alarm), useful phone numbers (e.g. taxi firms) and emergency contact details (e.g. a friend/neighbours number, an emergency plumber, etc).
- Local events: keep an eye out for events happening whilst they will be visiting and for discounted tickets to local attractions.
- Tips from a local: ask your home swap partners for local recomendations (one of the beauties of home swapping is that you are getting to know a real local - most people are delighted to help and it will make your holiday smoother and more unique!).
- Fix those household niggles: spend some time dealing with any little niggles in the house. Your guests will understand that they are staying in a real home but a home exchange can be a good incentive to fix those annoying niggles.
- Think about safety: have you had the boiler serviced recently? Do you have smoke detectors fitted? Have you checked the batteries are working in the smoke detectors?
- Insurance: make sure that before agreeing to a home swap that you have contacted your home insurance company to confirm that your home is covered during the period of the exchange. If you have also agreed to exchange cars then it is also essential to contact your car insurance company to ensure that your exchange guests will be covered.
- Lock away personal items: it is always recommended that you lock your valuable items in a cupboard or separate room to ensure security and prevent your worrying when you should be enjoying your vacation. Another option is to ask friends or family to leave your stuff with them.
- Home exchange agreement: don't forget to set up a home exchange agreement so that you and your swap partners do not overlook anything.
- Communications is key: make sure to stay in regular communication with your home swap partners. Communication is key and so always ask any questions you have about the planned swap and be available to answer any questions they have.
- Leave a gift: it is such a nice touch to leave a gift for your home exchange partner. It doesn't need to be much, a bottle of wine or a little local delicacy.
Arrange free holiday accommodation
Rather than booking a hotel or holiday rental, arrange a home exchange through Home Base Holidays and enjoy free accommodation.
- Search thousands of home exchange offers