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10 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Home Swapping Vacations


Home exchange is a convenient, budget friendly way to take a holiday anywhere in the world, and live like a local; travelling and exploring new places has never been so accessible. If you don’t mind sacrificing room service and a maid, you can benefit instead from kitchen facilities, a car and free parking. The Knowledge Academy’s travel expert Ben Richardson explains ‘you’ll get the real travel experience, living like a real local within a real community – that’s the best part about home exchange. That’s its unique selling point’.  Sold yet?  
If so, you’ll need to read on. Here are our top tips on efficiently preparing your home for a home exchange – so that you can make your home swap as seamless and smooth as possible.
1.  
Keep Pantry Staples in Stock
You don’t have to do a full on food shop, but it’s just common courtesy to make sure guests have some tea, coffee, milk, sugar and condiments on hand to welcome them to your home. They could have been travelling for hours – and arrival times vary – meaning the shops may not be open when they arrive gasping for a drink!
2.  Make Space in Closets and Cupboards
Be sure to clear out space in cupboards and closets so your guests don’t end up living out of a suitcase for the duration of their stay – remember you want them to be as comfortable as possible. As well as clothing space, clear all left overs and food that could go bad out of the fridge, leaving space for guests to bring in their own foodstuff and refreshments.
3.  Leave Instructions for Appliances and Basic Home Operations
Although seemingly obvious, you’d be surprised as to how many people forget to do it! Washing machines, dishwashers etc. all work slightly differently, and we’re not all tech-savvy, so ensure guests have well-written instructions so they don’t get stuck. Need three remotes to turn on the television? Tell them!
4.  Make sure to clean your home prior to the exchange  
Sellhousefast property expert Mark Cooper says ‘It’s hugely important to provide a welcoming and attractive environment for your guests – so be sure to give your home a good clean and change the bed sheets prior to their stay.’
Although seemingly obvious, you’d be surprised as to how many people forget to do it! Washing machines, dishwashers etc. all work slightly differently, and we’re not all tech-savvy, so ensure guests have well-written instructions so they don’t get stuck. Need three remotes to turn on the television? Tell them!5. Make Plans for Pets
If you have a pet, you should have already cleared it with your guests before you agreed to do the home exchange in case of allergies or phobias. If your guests have kindly agreed to look after your furry friend, then leave them with plenty of food, instructions on your pets eating habits and movements throughout the day. Moreover, leave a telephone number of the local vet in case of emergencies; you could even leave a credit card on file with your vet so your guests aren’t worried about fees.

6.    Be Mindful of Security
Your guests won’t be familiar with the area, so make sure they feel safe and secure by informing them of all the security in place. If your home has an alarm, leave detailed instructions of how to turn it on and off – the same goes for any doors that should be locked or security lights that need to be turned on. This will put your guests at ease and ensure they can concentrate solely on enjoying their stay. Finally, leave a set of keys with some trusted neighbours in case your guests lose theirs or lock themselves out.
7.  Store Precious or Personal Items
As much as we hope our guests will treat our home with respect, accidents happen. Anything particularly precious to you, things with sentimental value or equipment you don’t want used (e.g. make-up, hair products etc.) should be locked away in a safe, otherwise your guests may think you have left it out for their use.
8.  Dedicate Time to Home Maintenance
Do you have a window that doesn’t quite shut without a shove? Or a tap that drips all night long? Save your guests the stress or worry that they’ve caused these issues and hire a handy man (or get on with some DIY) before the home swap gets underway.
Do you have a window that doesn’t quite shut without a shove? Or a tap that drips all night long? Save your guests the stress or worry that they’ve caused these issues and hire a handy man (or get on with some DIY) before the home swap gets underway.
9.  Keep Your Neighbours Informed
You don’t want to cause alarm to your neighbours seeing a new family coming and going from your house, so just let them know the house swap is happening. As aforementioned you can leave a spare set of keys with them for your guests’ peace of mind, plus, they can keep an eye out for any troubling conduct such a loud music or antisocial conduct.
10.  Welcome Your Guests With a Surprise
Begin the swap on a friendly note by leaving a little welcome gift for your guests on arrival. A bottle of wine or champagne always goes down well, as does a fresh vase of flowers or simply a greeting card. If your area has any local delicacies or sweet treats you could leave some of these out – perfect if your guests arrived hungry after a long trip! The littlest gestures can make the biggest impact, and elevate your guests stay from merely pleasant to the 
trip of a life time

Thank you to Leila Glen, specialist in the housing and employment industry, writing and researching the latest news.

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