Five tips for happy house swappers
Given the economy, more and more people are considering house swapping as a great way to save money on their next trip. (Of course, “like a local” sorts have been doing it for years, as much to get a taste of local culture as to cut down on expenses.)
On your next swap, here are five ways you can make yourself–and your guests–more comfortable.
- Do those minor home repairs you’ve been putting off, so your house is in sparkling shape.
- Be crystal clear about the location of the house key. In fact, leave a backup copy with a neighbour, in case there’s any confusion.
- Ask a friend, family member or neighbour to drop in on your house soon after your guests arrive, to make sure everything is going well (both from the guests’ perspective and from yours). And call home once while you’re away, in case your guests have any questions.
- Speaking of neighbours: warn them that you’re doing a house swap, so they don’t get worried when they see strangers frolicking in your backyard. Nothing puts a damper on a holiday like a visit from the cops.
- Heaven knows, I’m putting myself and my fellow travel writers partway out of business with this tip, but I’ll share it anyway (after all, it comes from one of those fellow travel writers). If you’re doing a home exchange, why not follow Julie Ovenell-Carter’s advice and write your own guidebook, using the snazzy city guides produced by Moleskine as your base?
For more tips, see the detailed home-swapping guide on my website, LaVidaLocal.com, and my recent article about house swapping and apartment rentals at TheTravelersNotebook.com.