With the UK starting to ease lockdown restrictions, many of us are now looking ahead to a (much needed!) summer holiday. Home swapping is a great way to enjoy a fabulous holiday this summer but at a fraction of the cost. Through Home Base Holidays you'll find many tempting home swap offers including country cottages, city apartments and homes by the coast. Shown below are a few tips to help you find and prepare for a summer swap.
1. Add your home swap offer: sign up to Home Base Holidays
Sign up to Home Base Holidays so that you can add your home swap offer and then start contacting other members to discuss a swap. You'll include details about your home, location and when and where you are looking travel.
|Home Base Holidays has a two-week free trial to get you started. A full six month membership costs only £29 and there are no additional fees to pay. Sign up for free and start planning a summer swap!|
2. Be proactive: start contacting members to discuss a summer swap
The most successful home swappers are usually the most proactive. So, once you've added your home swap offer, don't just sit back and wait to be contacted; search home swap offers and spend some time sending out enquiry messages to members whose homes/locations look of interest.
|Note: it's important to reply to all enquiry messages you receive even if just to say "Thank you, but the offer is not what I am looking for".|
3. Communications is key: discuss all details of the proposed swap
Communication really is key to successful home swapping and so be sure to discuss all details of the proposed home swap with the other member and don't be afraid to ask any questions that come to mind no matter how minor they seem. Thankfully, problems during a swap are extremely rare and the majority of issues reported tend to be things that could have been easily avoided with better communication (e.g. difference in house keeping styles, pet allergies, etc). Even once your swap has been agreed, stay in contact with your swap partner regularly in the lead up to your travel dates.
|Schedule a phone / Skype call with the member you're planning a swap with - this can provide reassurance and give you a further chance to discuss details of the proposed swap.|
4. Preparing your home: clean and declutter
Home Base Holidays members understand that they are staying in a real home and not a show house but do make time to thoroughly clean and declutter your home prior to your guests' arrival so that your home is nice and welcoming. Ensure that your guests have enough sets of clean towels and sheets for their stay (prior to the swap, discuss and agree what to do with dirty towels and bedding). Clear some space in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen so that your guests can unpack their luggage and have space to put away food during their stay.
|Think about safety: Do you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors fitted? Also, read our Covid cleaning guidelines.|
5. Welcome pack: put together a folder of useful information
Most Home Base Holidays members create a welcome pack for their guests' arrival. Include in your welcome pack information about local attractions and recommended restaurants, nearby transport, useful information about your home (e.g. how to turn on/off the alarm, etc), useful phone numbers (e.g. taxi firms) and emergency contact details (e.g. a friend/neighbour's number, an emergency plumber, etc).
This photo shows the Welcome pack and tourist information available to guests staying in Mario and Lorraine's home in Malta (member HE33093).
6. Insurance: contact your home insurance provider
Before agreeing a home swap, contact your home insurance company to confirm that your home is covered during the period of the home exchange. Most insurance companies will agree that your home is more secure occupied than if left empty as with most traditional holidays. However, do contact us if you have any difficulties agreeing cover for the period of your home swap.
|Car swap? If you have also agreed to exchange cars it is essential to contact your car insurance company to ensure that your exchange guests will be covered on your insurance.|
Home Base Holidays: join for free and start home swapping
Sign up to Home Base Holidays two-week free trial or select a full membership (6-month membership is just £29 and 1-year at £49).
Home swap guarantee: second year free if you do not arrange a swap during your membership.