Home Exchange

Last minute hosted home swap

last minute
Our home exchange building in Edinburgh

I try to keep my availability calendars up to date within my home exchange networks. These calendars help people searching for a swap to quickly find places that are available for their travel dates. I listed my October trip early in the summer. We would be away for a week, and so our home was open for non-reciprocal exchanges.

I was open to either a points-based swap, where the people staying in our home would just “pay” in points we could spend on a stay somewhere else later. Or a non-simultaneous exchange where we’d agree to stay in our swapper’s home at a later date.

I received two inquires about these dates. But both stopped writing, and so I assume they either found a better option or ran into problems booking the trip. One couple mentioned that flight prices were quite high during those dates, probably what ended their interest.

I’d given up on finding anyone to use our vacant home. But just a few days before our trip I was contacted by a woman from Vancouver who was going to be in town for just one night. She and her husband and two kids needed a place to stay. They were on vacation in the car, so she offered to bring sheets to minimize the cleanup since it was only one night. And when I mentioned not having two separate beds for her kids she was undeterred, promising to bring an air mattress and other bedding.

We quickly reached agreement about her stay. And I spent the last day before departing rushing around preparing the house.

Communication for this short stay was excellent. My swapper emailed when they arrived to say everything was going well. And then again when they departed, assuring me that they had left everything cleaned up. They even left us a bottle of wine, which seems very generous for a one night stay!

I love the idea that my home is getting use when I’m away. And while I don’t know the circumstances of this family, I can imagine that finding a home exchange, even just for one night, is quite a savings over the two hotel rooms they probably would have needed.

Through our brief email exchange, my swapper and I also discovered a shared love of rock climbing and I was able to offer her some tips about climbing gyms in the area.

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