Home Exchange Tips & Tricks

Tips and tricks to help you become a home swap expert.

 High quality photos of your home are important for getting more exchange offers. Try to use a professional camera when taking photos of your home.

•  Be flexible. Stay as flexible as possible about the location and the date of your swap. If you're open to any offers, you will receive many interesting proposals. That is the fun part! Be open-minded and ready for an adventure!

•  Respond quickly to offers. If an interesting offer comes your way, don't overthink it. Move fast. If you wait too long someone else may take it.

•  Start with a hospitality or a weekend exchange. A good way to start with Home Exchange is by arranging a nearby weekend exchange or by hosting someone—this is called a hospitality exchange.

•  Respond to all messages. It’s okay to say no, but it’s not okay to leave the other side waiting without a response.

•  Communicate. Talking helps build trust. Get to know your exchange partner(s) by exchanging messages, phone calls or arrange a Skype video conference.

•  Confirm your exchanges. Use our safe messaging system to confirm exchange dates and details. You’ll find a handy Exchange Agreement incorporated in it.

•  Clean your home. Even if you’re not naturally very tidy you should clean your home before the exchange. Dust shelves and tables, clean the floors, vacuum carpets, scrub sinks, toilets and tubs.

•  Be responsible with exchange arrangements. As with all travel plans, the only reasons for cancelling an arranged exchange are death, an injury that prevents you from traveling, and a life threatening illness. The success of the swap depends on honesty and commitment from both sides.

•  Mention you have pets. Mention Fido and Missy, or any other pet you might have. Most Exchangers are happy to care for each other's pets, still some travelers suffer from cat or bird allergies and your home might not be suitable for them.

Mention you have pets when arranging a home swap

 Clearly communicate your requirements. Any specific requirements (destination, dates, facilities, or other) should be communicated with your potential exchange partner.

•  Indicate the number of people participating in the exchange. Use the Traveling Group section on your Profile page to set the size and age of your group. If children are traveling with you it is good to indicate their age.

•  Plan your trip ahead. We encourage our Members to post local attractions and advice about their country and local area. Use this information to plan your trip and experience the area like a local.

•  Use our Search to your advantage. Looking for an exchange near a golf course or off-the-beaten track experience? Want to cook a meal in a gourmet kitchen or can’t live without a gym? Use the filters or the keywords search to discover your ideal destination.

•  Make room in your closet. You do not need to clear it out, however, it is very helpful to leave space for your exchange partner to hang items during their stay.

•  Prepare for your trip. Before you leave for an exchange, call your credit card company and let them know you’ll be traveling. Bring cash and know the currency exchange rate.

•  Create a local Guide Book for your exchange partners. Include some tips on your favorite “locals only” type of locations. Offer up the best place to catch the sunset, grab morning coffee, or your favorite running route. Consider adding:  Top restaurants, local hikes, city and area driving maps, public transportation info, and must-see attractions. You may also consider providing numbers for both the local fire and police departments in case of emergency.

Local Guide Books are a nice welcome for your exchange partners

• Prepare your refrigerator. Toss leftovers and consider leaving a few items for your guests: juice, coffee, tea, wine, etc. This will be a very nice welcome to your exchange partners.

Meet the locals. Ask your exchange partner if their neighbor, friend, or a family member can meet you when you arrive. They can give you the keys and make a quick tour of the home.  Plan the same for your exchange partners.