New to Home Exchange?

You may of only recently discovered the concept of home exchange. If this is the case, there's lots of information out there to get you started. Communication is the biggest part of home exchanging. Details, details and more details. You need to be clear on what you're offering and what you're looking. Here are a few suggestions;

What You are Offering

How many people your home can accommodate.

If you live in a smaller town, list the largest city you are closest to.

Do you prefer non-smokers, no pets, no children?

Will you provide your vehicle to your home swappers? If not, what types of transportation are available in your area.

List some nice places to visit while in your city. i.e. restaurants, museums, clubs, cafe's, shopping malls, art galleries, etc.

Post photos of your home's interior and exterior.

Do you have a pet that you would like your home swappers to feed, let out, etc.?

What You are Seeking

Do you have only one desired location or are you open to traveling anywhere? If so, list a few places you'd been interested in.

How many people will you need accommodations for and for how long? Do you have small children and will you be bringing the family pet?

If your home swappers prefer not to trade vehicles, ask them what modes of transportation are available nearby. Bus, taxi, subway, etc.

If your swappers have home exchanged before, you can ask for some references. Some light housekeeping is definitely a must. What you don't want to do is leave the place trashed for when they get home! Another idea is to leave a little "house map" for your guests, where everything can be found. List some phone numbers for taxi, emergency, pizza delivery, etc. and leave a map of the city for them.

You'll definitely want to see photos of their home and speak on the phone before committing to anything.

Don't be intimidated by exchanging your apartment or smaller home for a large home by the beach for example. Your home swappers may not care as long as it's comfortable, neat and close to their desired location. Some people aren't necessarily "vacationing", they may be visiting family who do not have enough room in their home for guests. It could be a business convention, a wedding, etc.

If you'd like to read up on it some more, here are couple of suggestions.

Good Luck!

Barb Di Renzo

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Advice on Home Exchange

Jack Ehlers is a member from Prescott, Arizona and a veteran home exchanger. I asked him if he had any advice for people who are new to home exchanging and Jack kindly responded with this letter to share with others.

Regarding home exchanging, I have several comments. Updating our total exchanges to 22 with only one less than perfect result. Nothing stolen or broken but housekeeping was not this couples' long suit. Aside from that the experiences have been joyously memorable. I had no trepidations about exchanging when we started in 1996, I was more concerned that no one would want to exchange with us! How wrong I was.

Since our first venture to England in 1996 we have had literally hundreds of requests to exchange! Jean and I have done as many as 3 exchanges in a calendar year. My second exchangers were from Sheffield, England, 1997. He was a retired medical doctor, she a retired teacher of gifted children. We became such good friends that in that time from 1997 to today we have been to Spain, France and Colorado with them plus visits to their home and them to our home on a yearly basis.

Sadly the doctor died 3 weeks ago of cancer and we are terribly upset. The reason for this tale was to show just how emotionally attached you can become with your exchangers. For those who wish to travel but have reservations about exchanging, put your fears aside and jump in. After all, it is about trust. If you lack that quality then you should continue to stay in hotels and eat your daily meals in restaurants and never become acquainted with the locals. Such a sterile experience. When you leave the place you visited, who remembers that you were there? Take a chance, Columbus did!

Jack Ehlers
Prescott, Arizona Member


Home Exchange

Think You Can't Afford a Vacation? Think Again.

You might find a great deal on
airfare but the expenses of hotel, car rental and dining out can take a good chunk out of your wallet. There is a less expensive and more creative alternative called Home Exchange.

You offer travellers a stay in your home for their vacation and they in return, do the same for you. You can exchange homes for a specified period of time, trade vehicles and even exchange useful travel tips.

For some people, home exchange isn’t just a one-time deal. Many continue to home swap year after year and it no longer becomes a question of saving money but rather gaining new friends in distant places and adding some extra spice to a vacation.

If you happen to establish a friendship from your home exchange experience, then you’ve gained more than just memories of a wonderful holiday. Home Exchange can also flourish into home hosting, where you entertain your guests for non-simultaneous vacations.

Home Exchange and Home Hosting are unique and special ways of taking a well deserved vacation, without spending a fortune.