Planning your first home swap holiday? One question many first time home swappers ask is how best to exchange keys with their home swap guests. Many people simply choose to send their keys by mail. If you do choose to mail your keys, make sure to allow plenty of time and use a trackable signed delivery / courier service where you receive a notification that the keys have been successfully delivered. Shown below are a few options for swapping keys with your guests.
1. Send your keys by mail / courier service
If you do choose to mail your keys, allow plenty of time and use a trackable signed delivery or courier service where you receive a notification that the keys have been delivered.
2. Neighbours, family and friends
It’s always recommended to leave one or two local numbers that your home swap guests can call if they have any questions – this might be the number of a family member, a friend or a trusted neighbour. Some members also arrange to pick up the house keys on arrival from an agreed contact. This can work very well but if you choose this option make sure that your family, friend or neighbour understands the importance of being there for your guests' arrival and is also contactable by phone.
When the home exchange is non-simultaneous, involves a second home, or if there are a few days cross over between the exchanges, many members prefer to deliver the keys in person. If this includes you, make sure that you know exactly when your exchange guests will be arriving and allow in your schedule some flexi-time in case your guests are delayed.
3. Outdoor code lock box
If you plan on taking part in regular home swaps it can be worth installing a lockbox and then provide the code to your home swap guests so that they can access the key on arrival. This is a very good option for people listing second homes / holiday homes.
4. Secret hiding spot
This is not a method we'd recommend. However, some home swappers simply agree a secret hiding spot to stash their key. If you do choose this option, make sure the hiding spot is very well hidden (but not so hidden that your guests can’t find the keys!).
5. Key exchange service
With the increase in home sharing/rentals, there has also been a rise in third party services, including key exchange services. These vary from courier services that drop off the keys on arrival to services where you can choose a collection destination near your exchange property. One example of a key exchange service is Keycafe
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