You might be somewhat apprehensive about your first home exchange experience. Even if you have built a strong relationship with the partner of your home swap, you may still feel somewhat uncertain about what to expect, particularly if this is your first home exchange. You can put your mind at ease, knowing that your home exchange partner left you with a home information kit similar to the one you left for them and that you have done a great deal of research about the community. You may even have brought with you all your correspondence as that also contains important information about the host’s home and neighborhood.
When you first arrive at your home exchange destination, you may want to explore the entire house at first. However, your first priority should be the bedrooms and bathrooms so you can put your luggage somewhere and decide who is sleeping in what rooms. A more extensive tour of the home swap can be taken once this is done.
Hopefully, there has been left some room in the closets and drawers of the bedrooms for your belongings. If not, you may want to make some space for yourself but note where you put things so you can put them back in the same place when you leave.
As part of your home exchange, there should be an information packet left by the people with whom you are doing a home swap that will provide much needed information. You should try to locate this soon after your arrival. If you use any food items that are in the cabinets, make note of them so you can replace them before you leave. Keep an on-going list and keep track of the brand names so you can make exact replacements.
When involved in a home exchange, you need to remember that being in the home of someone else is just like being in your own home. Practice the same common sense you would use in your own home like locking doors when leaving, closing windows when it rains and taking off your shoes if they are wet and muddy before entering the house.
When you leave your home swap, there are some things you should do to make sure the house is in the same condition as you left it. If you moved any furniture or other small items, put them back in their original locations. Wash used sheets and towels and put them away. Replace food and other supplies you have used. Leave a note if any important events occurred during your stay such as phone calls or visitors. Let your partners know if any emergency situations also arose. Finally, a small gift for allowing you to stay in the house is always appreciated along with a thank you card and some words about anything special that happened during your visit.