Imagine completely cutting out expensive hotel costs whilst also enjoying the space and convenience of a home while on your holiday. You can do exactly that by arranging a home swap. Home exchanging is not a new concept (it started in the 1950s) but over recent years has become increasingly popular as more people discover the benefits and savings on offer.
Lois Sealey of Home Base Holidays, a London based home exchange agency, says: "Home exchanging appeals to everyone - families with children who may choose to swap with other young families for homes geared up to their needs; empty nesters and the retired who enjoy the chance to travel without the high cost of hotel or rental accommodation; independent travellers of all ages who like exploring local, less touristy areas."
"The best thing about house swapping is it gives you the opportunity of experiences you would NEVER get in a hotel!” - Judith S. (Judith’s holiday home is an ex-farm worker's cottage in the tiny, friendly hamlet of Magnac Laval, Limousin, France). View offer: www.homebase-hols.com/homeswap/4175
Key benefits of a home exchange:
- Free holiday accommodation
- Live like a local – experience different cultures and places first hand
- Home comforts – your home away from home
- Make new connections – meet new friends around the world
- Save more money – exchange cars, look after pets, etc.
- Your own home cared for – homes that are occupied are safer than homes left empty
Ten tips for a successful home exchange
- Give yourself time - allow time to find the perfect home swap for you.
- Be flexible - if possible be flexible with your exchange dates and be open to interesting destinations.
- Provide detailed information - enter details about your home and surrounding area. People often like to swap with others in similar situations to themselves so it's also good to provide brief details about you and your family.
- Be proactive - contact several members with 'feeler' messages regarding a potential exchange.
- Ask questions - make sure you and your potential exchange partner know exactly what has been agreed, e.g. agree who will pay utility bills, repairs, breakages, use of food, cleaning materials, bed linen and towels (Home Base Holidays provides a draft agreement form to adapt).
- Prepare a Welcome Pack - create a simple folder of information for your home swap partners. This can contain information on your home and appliances, useful telephone numbers, tourist leaflets, maps, guide books, train and bus timetables.
- Friends & neighbours - it's useful to provide the phone number of a friend or neighbour who can be contacted in emergencies. It's a good idea to also provide them with a spare key.
- Clean, clean, clean - make sure your home is clean and tidy before your guests’ arrival, with space for their belongings, freshly made beds plus extra bed linen and towels.
- Keep in touch - stay in contact with your exchange partners, from your initial agreement to completion of your exchange, as this builds mutual trust.
- Enjoy your exchange holiday! Do remember to leave the home exactly as you found it and leave a little gift and thank you note.
Home Base Holidays was established in 1985 and has thousands of attractive home swap offers available worldwide: http://www.homebase-hols.com/
Travel Toiletries 2 Go ✈ blog visitors and customers are offered a 20% discount on membership to Home Base Holidays Enter TT2G in the promotional code box when joining (six months and one year options), note that this offer expires 1st June 2017.