In August I had my first home exchange of the year! This one was through the GuesttoGuest network. My house swapping was put on hold because I moved. And that meant I didn’t have a home to offer for swapping for the first half of 2018. Now that I’m settled in, we’re back in business. But because of the uncertainty around housing, I’ve had to plan all my travel this year without home exchanges. Maybe I’ll manage to fit something in over the winter. I’m still looking for a plan for the December/January holidays.
But even if I’m not looking for simultaneous exchanges, the home exchange networks I use all have some points-based swapping available. And so I listed my new home with available dates when it will be empty in the hopes that someone would want to come stay and I could earn some points.
My first guest was looking for a place to stay for a week, which overlapped with dates I had available, but not entirely. He and his girlfriend wanted to visit for 5 weekdays. I was only going to be away starting on a Wednesday. So I offered to host them for the first two nights in the guest room/office. I could only offer an air mattress. But they were keen to have the place for the week. So we quickly came to agreement.
My guests arrived in the evening on a Monday and I quickly realized I need to write something up about how to park near our home. That can be confusing. I also realized I hadn’t finished writing up my new home guide. I finished that up during the first day of their stay, while I was still around to answer questions. But I’m sure it’s missing some useful details. These things evolve over time.
I didn’t end up spending much time with my guests. They were working from home during the day and exploring the city in the evening. And I was pretty busy during our one day of overlap. But we did have some nice chats when we ran into each other in the kitchen. It would have been fun to spend some more time hearing about their camping plans post-home swap. They were a friendly and easy going couple, and overall low impact guests.
My guests moved into to the real bedroom after I left, and I’m sure enjoyed having the house to themselves. In this case there was no benefit to them having me host. I did invite them to have sunset drinks with me one evening but that didn’t work out. And otherwise they seemed happy to be self-sufficient, making their own meals and exploring with their rental car. I offered a few suggestions, but nothing more than I would put in my home guide. So in cases like this I think the guests are just settling for the best option available.