Swap your home with someone in a country or area you want to visit and you will both enjoy all the comforts of home – for free – often with a car as part of the deal
Search on the Internet for reputable, established home exchange agencies with large pools of members in countries that interest you. Some offer private, members only services, others are “open” systems which allow non-members to search or contact listings. Open systems offer the opportunity for more offers from non-members, but non-members will not have supplied the exchange club with a credit card number to pay for membership. Search on phrases such as: home exchange, home swap, house swap, house exchange, and vacation home exchange, or get a reliable translation of these phrases into the language of the country that interests you to find sites based in these countries.
Narrow the list of agencies.
This can be done in a number of ways.
Look at the numbers of home exchange offers in countries you are interested in and the numbers in your own country. This will give you many choices of places to stay while narrowing your competition to help ensure you get the exchange you want.
Consider how up-to-date the listings are (whether you can see when a member joined/their listing expires).
Decide on a website that is easy to use. If the website is easy, you need only focus on finding the right place for you. It also helps to make sure you can contact the agency by phone in case you have additional questions.
Consider the features of the home exchange programs. Some offer simple listing services, while others help members arrange their home exchange. Some offer only mutual home swaps, while at least one program also offers non-mutual home swaps, which may better suit those whose vacation timing requires flexibility.
Join the agency which seems to best suit your needs several weeks (or even months before the dates you want to exchange homes. before the dates you want to exchange homes.
Compile an enticing exchange offer message and personalize it before sending it to several members whose offers are of interest. It is best to include photos with your message or direct potential exchange partners to your listing on the home exchange program’s website.
Keep checking the website for new listings and contact new members right away before they have had time to agree to other exchange offers.
Once you find a suitable home swap partner, exchange more detailed information on your home and local area, asking for (and offering to provide) references. Decide whether you will complete a written exchange agreement. 7
Clean and tidy your home before your exchange, leaving space in wardrobes and cupboards for your exchange guests to store their things.
Leave a folder with information on using your appliances, useful contact numbers (e.g. doctor, dentist, taxis, garage) and local information (e.g. restaurants, amusements and recreation, bus and train timetables). Differences in cleaning standards are the top reason for dis-satisfaction among exchangers, so hire a cleaner if needed.
Enjoy your exchange home!