I don’t read many blogs but I really enjoy yours! Thank you.
Can you share info about how often your own home(s) are swapped out and how that fits into your own (presumably) traveling lifestyle? Can you talk about how much work it is to administrate and manage home swaps from the homeowner’s perspective? Thanks!
Yes, I had to leave in that first sentence to gloat a bit! This is not from any of my relatives, I swear.
I think these are good questions that I have addressed indirectly by posting about most of the home swaps I do. But I’ve never attempted to sum them up to address these specific points.
How often is my home swapped out?
Not very often, or maybe quite often, depending on your perspective. The vast majority of the time there isn’t a home exchange guest in my home. Sometimes when I’m traveling someone is staying there. Occasionally it’s a simultaneous swap. More often it’s a points-based stay. The later is possible even when I’m staying with friends or relatives and not seeking out a swap of my own. Sometimes I’m staying somewhere using points when there isn’t a guest in my home.
In 2016 I did 8 home swaps of one sort or another. I haven’t summed up 2017 yet but I’ll have a post on that at the end of the year.
How does home exchange fit into my traveling lifestyle?
Well it works out quite well for me. When I’m traveling and my home is empty I can allow people to stay there and earn points, even if i’m not off on a home exchange. Home exchange has dramatically cut my traveling costs, which has allowed me to increase my travels.
How much work is it to administrate and manage home swaps?
For me most of the work is in finding a home exchange for my travels. That can take a lot of time. I wrote about how I approach searching for a home exchange.
As far as managing home swap guests, I don’t think that’s much work. I try to communicate in advance my expectations and the details they will need about my home. A few weeks before the stay I’ll send my home guide to my guests, explaining everything they might want to know about my place. I’ve already created that, so it’s just a matter of emailing it to my guests.
I do all the house prep the day before I leave town: clean thoroughly and put away stuff, make some space in the closets and drawers and put on clean sheets and towels. I also try to leave a treat for my guests, maybe some local chocolates or a bottle of wine or something fun. But all that doesn’t take more than a few hours. Here a post with tips on home exchange etiquette. Early on in the swap I’ll check in with my guests to make sure all is well and that they don’t need anything from me. And if it’s a simultaneous swap I will let them know when I arrive at their place, and at the end confirm when I depart.
I hope that answers these questions sufficiently. Leave more questions in the comments and I’ll answer them there or in a future post.