The speedy roll-out of vaccinations for the groups most vulnerable to Covid-19 has given us all hope of a gradual return to normality in the coming months.
Many Home Base Holidays members had to put 2020 home swap plans on hold. However, there has been a steady increase in new members joining and current members renewing in recent weeks. Since this week's very welcome briefing from the UK government outlining a roadmap for easing restrictions, we've seen a big spike in members discussing home exchange holidays for this summer.
As with last year, when summer home exchanges were primarily domestic, many new exchange requests are again for home swaps not too far from home. Members looking for international destinations are often planning further ahead to home exchanges in late summer and beyond.
Without analysing in depth, it does look like the largest proportion of very recent new and renewing members are older travellers (we don’t ask for ages but members can indicate if they are seniors – see the "S" symbol in search result listings). It would make sense that older members are feeling the most optimistic at this time when the lucky ones have already had at least their first vaccination jabs, and others will get theirs soon. The speed of the roll-out of vaccination programmes will vary from country to country, as will the drop in numbers of people testing positive for Covid-19 so, although we still have a long way to go until travelling the world will be safe again, when many of us have hardly travelled further than our local parks for months, it’s great to be able to look ahead to better times and a change of scenery.
As in 2020, for the next few weeks at least, it’s best to pencil in potential home swap dates rather than make a firm commitment to exchange. However, this is a great time to start contacting members to suggest and plan swaps for when both parties feel comfortable doing so.
Swapping homes is one of the safest ways to travel as you and your family will have got to know your hosts and will be living in a self-contained, well-equipped family home, rather than mingling with many other visitors and staff in a hotel, busy resort or on a cruise ship, or renting a property that may have had many previous occupants recently. Please also check out the Cleaning Guidance to ensuring your home is Covid-safe for your guests.
Arranging your home exchange:
It always pays to start planning your home exchange holiday well in advance of dates you want to travel. The first step is to add your home swap offer (details about your home, location and where/when you want to travel). Once you've added your home swap offer, spend some time contacting other Home Base Holidays members to ask if they would be interested in a swap.
Travel tips: when planning a home exchange holiday, it's a real plus if you can be flexible with travel dates and open to new destinations - one of the joys of home swapping is receiving a swap requests from interesting destinations you may not have previously considered. Being flexible with dates/destinations is especially useful while travel restrictions continue to fluctuate. If planning international travel, make sure to double check that tickets are refundable and, if possible, try to purchase flights using a credit card.
- Preparing for a home swap checklist
- Top 10: things to do at the end of a home swap
- Cleaning tips for holiday home swaps during COVID-19
- BringBackTravel (interactive map of the latest travel restrictions)
- Search the latest home exchange offers
Join Home Base Holidays: start planning your home swaps
Looking for a much needed getaway? Arrange free holiday accommodation by choosing to swap homes rather than book hotels or holiday rentals. View the latest home swap offers then sign up to Home Base Holidays.