Looking for a holiday with a difference? Why not save money and change your holiday experience with a home swap!
Frequent traveller, seasoned swapper and founder of home swapping site Love Home Swap
, Debbie Wosskow, shares her top tips to ensure a happy and successful home swap.
While you can’t pack up your whole house, you should lock away any precious items before you go. While there have been no horror stories in terms of theft on the Love home Swap network, it is better o be safe than sorry and this is more for peace of mind than anything else.
Most home owners will leave an exchange pack out for guests which will include information on things to see and do in the local area as well as things such as such as Wifi codes and key contacts. It should also lay down the guidelines for the home you’re staying in, so it is really important to try and respect these guidelines and stick to what’s being said. Likewise, for house guests of your own, make sure you leave one of these packs at your home as well making your rules as clear as possible so they are easy to follow.
It’s likely that the neighbours of the home your staying in will be aware that you’re there, but it’s nice to know who they are if you need to ask any questions. Needless to say, they’ll like to know who’s going to be coming and going next door as well! The homeowner may ask friends or family to pop over and see you during your stay – this is a good way to get to know the area, so think about doing it for people staying at your place too.
4.Replace what you use:
Unless your exchange partner has said otherwise, make sure you replace anything you use up during your stay. Whether this is shampoo and shower gel in the bathroom, fuel in the car, or any food, unless your exchange partner has said otherwise, it is always polite to re-stock on anything you have used and provide the basics for when they arrive back home. In terms of your own house guests, it is always a nice touch to provide the basics as well, like milk, bread and a bottle of wine, for when they arrive .
5.Don’t be a sticky beak!:
Of course you’ll need to have a hunt through kitchen drawers and cupboards to find what you need, but leave it at that. Some homeowners may leave you a list of things you can borrow, but other than that, take out with you whatever you think you’ll need during your trip.
6.Look after the plants:
While you needn’t go over the top, you should make sure that all the plants that were alive when you arrived are still blooming when you leave! Keeping their precious plants alive during your stay is one of those things that’ll make any homeowner happy on return. Likewise, keep an eye on the garden – if it’s especially dry, be sure to water any outside plants.
7.Leave things neat and tidy:
Make sure that you agree, before your trip, to how cleaning, linen and laundry will work and try and leave the home in as good shape as when you arrived. Little things, like stacking mail up, make all the difference too, as does leaving a small thank you gift, such as a card or flowers.