WHAT IS A HOME EXCHANGE?
A home exchange offers you a vacation alternative—it’s an opportunity for you to stay in another person’s home while they stay in yours. It is a concept that has been around for years, and enjoys widespread usage around the world.
IS HOME SWAPPING REALLY SAFE?
Most members who have used home exchange programs say they have never had a problem with missing property while they’ve been gone. Some of the more reputable home exchange programs conduct background checks on their members to ensure they provide quality members. Our site insists on full background checks and ownership verification.
You should always complete an agreement or contract with your exchange partner. If you have agreed to allow them to use your car, make long-distance telephone calls or use your computer, assure the use of all this is added into the documents you complete. Additional insurance coverage is not mandatory, but some members choose to extend their coverage.
WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT VALUABLES?
Common sense dictates that any high-value items like expensive jewelry should be locked up in your house or placed in a safe deposit box at your local bank while you are gone. What would you do if a swap were not occurring? Simply use common sense when making your choices.
WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE AND LIABILITY?
We recommend that you check with your home insurance company to ensure that your exchange partners are covered in the event an untimely accident occurs. Accidents do happen, and cannot be foreseen or planned for. Often, home swap partners and their guests are covered under a guest category since you have permitted them to stay. Make sure that your auto insurance will cover them if you have agreed to swap vehicles, and determine that your guests have reciprocal driving privileges. Driver’s Licenses from some countries are automatically reciprocal in other countries—some are not. Take the responsibility to see if their licenses are reciprocal. They’ll appreciate your courtesy!
WHAT ABOUT CARS?
What about them? Do you feel safe letting an exchange partner drive your personal automobile during the swap? Some participants allow the use of at least one vehicle during the exchange period. Ensure that your auto insurance covers your exchange guest.
WHAT ABOUT PETS?
This is an item to be discussed with your home exchange partner. It’s also a legal issue, because some pets may require quarantine for a period longer than the time of the swap. If you are amenable to having pets in your home, be sure to discuss this with your Home Exchange partner when you discuss various legal issues.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Prices are dictated by membership fees and any associated charges in the individual Internet-based home exchange programs. Prices vary, sometimes based upon the size and location of the home. Check to see if there are any other fees incurred with a particular exchange beyond the yearly membership fee with your exchange program.
HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE ON MY LODGING?
This depends on how much you typically pay for each hotel room, rental car and restaurant meals while on vacation. Eating at your domicile will lower overall food costs, because many of your meals will be eaten there as opposed to in a restaurant.
WHO CLEANS THE HOUSE?
This is an age-old question, not simply dependent upon whether or not you are enrolled in a home-exchange program! Of course, as a host, you want to make sure that your house is at least as clean as you would keep it while you are there. Often, swap partners will bring in a cleaning service to assure that the house is fully cleaned prior to arrival, and again prior to your return. This is something you want to add into the exchange agreement and contract—- making sure that your exchange partner’s house is also clean. Leave the home in the same condition or better than what you found when you arrived.
CAN I DO AN EXCHANGE WITHIN MY COUNTRY?
You may do an exchange anywhere both parties are amenable to the swap.
HOW LONG IS A TYPICAL EXCHANGE?
Typically, home exchanges are for between 1 to 3 weeks.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF A HOME EXCHANGE, ASIDE FROM SAVING MONEY?
The most obvious benefit is your ability to travel anywhere-especially to locations that you possibly would not have traveled to —without the home exchange program.
Depending on how you decide to travel dictates how much you will save, along with what side trips you may plan. Another added benefit is that you will be able to be on vacation and live like a local rather than a visitor or tourist on holiday.