Q: After months of lockdown (and home schooling!) I think we're in need of a holiday. We decided not to go away this summer but are now looking to arrange a long weekend break over the October half term. Being October, we can probably rule out camping! I came across Home Base Holidays and am very interested in home exchanging. I love the idea of having our own place to stay but just wasn't sure if people arrange such short exchanges or whether it's more suited to longer holidays? It will just be me, my husband and our 8-year old son. I've suggested home exchanging to my husband but he's a little bit unsure - I wondered if you have any suggestions?
A: Hi Sally, thanks for getting in touch and great to hear you're interested in home swapping. I completely understand where you're coming from, I think we are all overdue a much needed getaway! Unlike hotels and rentals, arranging a home swap typically takes a bit of time to find and plan, therefore it's really good that you're starting to think about an October getaway now.
The good news is there are lots of Home Base Holidays members that are looking to arrange shorter swaps of 2-5 days; you can use the home swap search filters to find members looking for weekend home swaps. In fact, with many of the travel restrictions easing, we've been seeing more and more members taking their first travel steps again, often by arranging shorter breaks within their own country (staycation home swaps).
Home exchanging really is such a rewarding and very budget friendly way to travel. However, it is completely understandable that some people may initially be unsure about having someone stay in their home. Of course, if someone is so worried that it would cause them to not enjoy their holiday, then perhaps it’s best not to push too much. However, it's completely normally to have some initial trepidation when planning your first swap. Try to reassure your husband that there’s no pressure to agree to a home exchange unless you are both completely happy with it.
It can help to get the more wary family members onboard by fully involved them in the process of finding, discussing and (hopefully!) agreeing an exchange - in this way they can ask potential home exchange partners any questions/concerns they have prior to agreeing the swap. Planning a home exchange involves a fair bit of communication via messaging and phone calls; this will help you and your husband get to know the other members before making any firm commitments and so build the trust that is key to successful home swapping.
It can be reassuring to look for members that have swapped before and so ‘know the ropes’ so that they can help guide you through the process. Experienced home exchangers can provide reviews/references of previous exchanges (look for the ‘Experienced exchanger’ star icon shown in their Home Base Holidays listing).
We're always happy to answer any questions and help guide you through your first steps into the wonderful world of home swapping!
Planning a home swap holiday:
- Preparing for a home swap checklist
- Top 10: things to do at the end of a home swap
- Should I leave a gift for our home swap partners?
- Cleaning tips for holiday home swaps during COVID-19
- Search the latest home exchange offers
Join Home Base Holidays: start home swapping