How to arrange a home exchange for the holidays

October 16, 2014

Want to take a trip abroad, but your budget doesn't allow for a hotel? Arrange a home exchange for the holidays and you might just have enough to pay for your tickets.
Why do a home exchange?

Doing a home exchange for the holidays has many advantages.

  • You save on expensive hotel room charges, not to mention the cost of eating out every day. With a home exchange, you’ll have a fully-equipped kitchen for preparing your own meals, and possibly even a few cookbooks to inspire you.
  • You’ll also be letting the other family enjoy the same savings while they stay in your home.

Although it’s fun to stay in a hotel sometimes, the rooms are generally too small to enjoy for extended stays. Plus, there’s always the chance of noisy neighbors in the room next door.

  • Doing a home exchange offers both parties an affordable vacation with all the comforts and privacy of home.

Where can I find a home?

There are many free home exchange websites where you can get in touch with people who want to do a swap for the holidays.

  • Typically, homeowners post photos of their homes, along with a description and the dates they’re available. Some websites charge a fee to join; these costs help limit fraud and make trading homes safer.

How do I advertise my home?

Not only do you have to pick out the home you’d like to stay in, you also have to find people who want to stay in yours.

  • Enrich your ad with pictures that highlight your home and write a little blurb that reveals the charms of your neighborhood.
  • The ads usually appear from most recent to oldest, so update your profile regularly to attract visitors.

Which house to choose?

Establish a few criteria to help you narrow down your search.

  • Decide on the minimum number of bedrooms you need and the maximum distance you’re willing to travel to get from the house to the area’s main attractions.
  • If you’re allergic to animals, avoid a house where pets live, even if the people offer to put their pet in a kennel during your stay.
  • Some families agree to exchange cars as well; if you decide to do this, make sure both parties agree about who’s responsible to pay for damages if there’s a car accident or breakdown.

After you’ve made your pick

Call your home insurance company to see if there are any limits to your protection during a home exchange situation.

  • Before you agree to an exchange, feel free to call or Skype the people you’re negotiating with; after all, they’ll be staying in your house for a while. If they seem trustworthy, you’ll probably feel more secure about where you’ll end up on the other end.

Enjoy your home exchange for the holidays!

How to arrange a home exchange for the holidays
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