Q: Hello Home Base Holidays team! I've been browsing offers on your website and am interested in arranging a home swap holiday. I have a 2-bedroom cottage in the Cotswolds and would initially be interested in arranging a shorter break within the UK. I just wasn't sure what people would expect of my home and how to prepare it for a swap. My home isn't luxurious by any means but I think it's very nice, cosy and comfortable. However it is also full of my family's stuff (we have a 3 year old girl with lots of books, toys, etc!). I'm guessing it's okay to leave our belongings in the cottage during the swap or would our guests expect us to clear much of it out? Also, are there any precautions we should take prior to a swap? - Katie
A: Thanks for getting in contact and lovely to hear you're interested in home swapping! Your Cotswolds cottage sounds lovely and I'm sure it would be a very appealing offer to many members. Planning your first swap can feel a bit daunting and so choosing a shorter swap closer to home is a great way to start. You do not need to clear out any of your items prior to a swap. Home swappers aren't expecting to stay in an empty show home but will be expecting a home just like yours, a nice real home contain furnishings and belongings. In fact, if you arrange to swap with a family that have a similar aged kid(s), having childrens books and toys can be a really big bonus!
Prior to the swap, make sure that you give your home a good clean and declutter so that it's nice and welcoming for your guests. Although you do not need to remove your belongings, it's nice to clear a little space in your wardrobe, kitchen cupboard and bathroom so your guests have room to unpack.
Home swaps are mutual agreement between the two members and is based on trust that will develop over a lengthy correspondence in the run-up to exchange dates. However, it is always important to contact your home insurance company to make sure your policy will cover the period your guests will be staying. There are also several specialist insurance companies that provide very reasonably priced top up cover for home swappers, contact us for details
|Tip: For peace of mind, some members also choose to use a lockable room or ask friends/family nearby to store certain personal items that they would not want available for use by exchange guests (e.g. a work laptop).|
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