Long-time Home Base Holidays members, John and Marilyn, who started home exchanging over 40 years ago (they've now had well over 100 swaps, a record that must take some beating!), suggested the following tips for smooth and happy home swaps:
- Welcome folder/home book: prepare a "Home Book" containing practical information on your home and appliances. Include such details as where to find the fuse box, stopcock, operate the TV, when the dustbins are emptied, etc; useful telephone numbers....doctor, dentist, plumber, electrician, your own mobile numbers and those of helpful neighbours can be included too. (Before swapping send your own and neighbours numbers plus location of a spare key, so that your guests can keep a copy with them in case of emergency). Leave up to date tourist leaflets, maps, guide books, train and bus timetables.
- Leave a small gift: leave a welcome pack with some essential items such as tea, coffee, milk, snacks. It's a nice touch to also leave a small gift in the welcome pack.
- Meet your guests: if possible meet your guests so you can get to know them a little and exchange keys. If not possible, leave them a welcome letter and perhaps a bottle of wine. Why not agree beforehand to leave milk, bread, etc for each other? When leaving their home ensure you have agreed where to leave keys & what to do with used linen.
- Leave a thank you letter: last but not least, leave a "thank you" letter!
John & Marilyn's (beautiful!) cottage in Cumbria:
John & Marilyn's home is a delightful 17th century sandstone cottage with exposed stonework, oak beams and many original features but all modern conveniences, in a tiny village near Appleby, former county town of Westmorland. Appleby lies in the Eden Valley, an ideal location for discovering the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and Scotland, all less than an hour`s drive from here. If you prefer outdoor activities there are great walks from the front door, riding stables in the village, a swimming pool and sports centre 2 miles away, and a golf course close by, plus of course water sports on the Lakes.
- View John & Marilyn's home exchange offer in Cumbria
Meet the members, John & Marilyn:
John & Marilyn first started home exchanging over 40 years ago, (more than 100 swaps), and now feel they are "experienced exchangers!". They love home exchanging and do our utmost to make people feel at home, whilst taking the best possible care of the homes they stay in. They provide guide books, maps, tourist leaflets, a "home book", bicycles and much more, to enable their guests to make the most of their stay.