Frequently Asked Questions
What is home exchange?
This is when you swap your main residence or holiday home with others for an agreed holiday period with both parties enjoying an inexpensive vacation. In addition, cars, motor-homes, boats, bikes and sporting equipment can often be included in an exchange. Home exchange, which is based around trust, is not a new concept having started in the 1950s. It can provide a more rewarding travel experience and can be a great way to see the world.
What is non-simultaneous home exchange?
This is when both parties enjoy each others property but at different times, which gives you greater flexibility when planning your trip. This can happen if either or both parties have holiday homes or are away elsewhere, perhaps on business or visiting friends or relatives.
What is hospitality exchange?
This is when you visit your partners in their home enjoying their hospitality and then reciprocate at a later time. This works particularly well if you are sociable and really want your hosts to show you around the area, and is a great way to make new friends around the world. Prior to the exchange you may need to agree what is included ie meals and transport.
What are the benefits of home exchange?
- No accommodation costs.
- Potential savings on car/bike hire costs.
- Saving money by not having to dine out every night.
- Potential savings on golf fees and sporting equipment hire.
- Live like a local.
- Change of scene – exchange city for countryside, busy for quiet, winter for summer, skiing for golfing, English for French.
- Freedom to do what you want and when you want to do it.
- Security – your home is occupied whilst you are away.
- Local knowledge – provided by your exchange partners, where to shop, eat out, visit etc.
- Make new friends – both your exchange partners and perhaps their friends and neighbours.
Why is your website only for 50 and overs?
Most exchangers prefer the idea of exchanging with others with similar tastes and common interests with age being a factor.
This age group has more time to travel and is more flexible on dates and duration of exchanges and may take several vacations per year.
Finding your ideal exchange is easier and less time consuming, increasing the chance of finding the perfect exchange partner.
Can I join more than one home exchange website?
Absolutely, and we recommend it. There are some good sites out there, but you have to consider the costs of joining others. Join our website and you will receive a one year free membership of our two ‘partner’ websites.
I would love to exchange but will my home be safe?
Most of us are apprehensive about having strangers in our homes, but remember you will be in theirs and they will have similar concerns. We recommend that you get to know your exchange partners before the exchange takes place, and don’t forget your property should be safer and more secure than if you left it vacant. If however you do not feel comfortable with your proposed exchange partners, go with your instincts and find another exchange partner.
How do I become a member of your website?
Click on the Join Now navigation button and follow the links.
How much does it cost?
For a one year membership, the fee is £49.00, for two years it is £75.00, and for a three year membership it is £95.00. There are no other charges.
How do I pay you to become a member?
We accept most major credit and debit cards, but if you would prefer to pay by cheque or bank transfer please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I list more than one property?
Yes, our membership fees are for joining our website and not per property. You can list up to five properties under one joining fee.
Will my email address be displayed on your website?
We do not reveal your name, street address or email address in your exchange listing. You decide when and to whom to give out these personal details.
How do I contact other members?
To make contact with a member about an exchange you must be a registered member.
What kind of people exchange?
All types and from all different walks of life, but at least by exchanging via our website you know the age group of your exchange partners. Some people exchange simply for a cheap holiday, others whilst visiting family and friends or to get to know an area or country prior to moving there permanently.
How do I find and arrange a property to exchange?
Once you have registered with us, you simply search for a suitable property, click “click here” and your enquiry will be forwarded, advising them of your interest in a swap.
What is the procedure if someone wants to exchange with me?
Their enquiry will include an ID number and a link to their property. Have a look at it and, if you like what you see and it fits in with your own requirements, contact the member to confirm your interest. If however their property does not suit what you are looking for, you do not have to swap with them, but you must, out of courtesy, contact the member and let them know.
Can I make more than one exchange each year?
Yes, you can make as many as you can arrange.
Can I arrange multiple swaps for one trip?
Yes, for example you could swap your home for an apartment in New York for a few days of sightseeing and shopping, then travel to Florida or South Carolina for a week of golf, followed by relaxing on a Caribbean beach. Be creative with your thinking and plan that dream vacation.
Can I include my car for exchange?
Yes, if both parties agree but make sure you contact your insurance company to make the appropriate arrangements.
What about my home insurance?
Your insurance company should be more than happy to have someone in your home rather than you leave it empty, but best to check with them to be on the safe side.
What about pets?
Not all exchangers are pet lovers. Our listings show whether pets are welcome or not, or if pet care is needed but, if you are not sure, why not ask the question of your potential exchange partner.
What about valuables?
For your own comfort and to stop you worrying whilst on holiday, our advice is to lock away anything of value or remove them altogether, if feasible. I am sure that your exchange partners would prefer that all valuable or fragile items were removed prior to their stay.
Can I take family or friends with me on the exchange?
You must make your exchange partner aware of who will be staying with you and obtain their agreement.
Can I exchange within my own country?
Certainly, many exchangers do. You may want to swap homes for a city or golf break, or perhaps for a business trip, or simply because you want to see more of your own country.
Will anyone be interested in my modest home?
Yes certainly. When registering your property make sure you highlight all the good points (every home has some) and don’t forget to include the location which may be its most appealing feature. Be truthful with the description of your home, even pointing out some negatives, but always look for the positives, making sure you include photographs that will help. To some, the location will be more important than the property and many will be more than happy to stay in your home to avoid having to stay in a hotel.
What if my home is not in the best location?
Location is obviously important but, even if your house is not located in a tourist area or the best looking house in the neighbourhood, you will still have an opportunity of finding an exchange partner. People travel for different reasons and it is not always to visit the tourist areas; it may be that they want to see relatives or friends who live near you, or perhaps they are on a business trip and your property is ideally located for them.
What can I do to increase my chance of an exchange?
Flexibility is the answer here. Be open to suggestions as to where and when to go and compromise if need be on the accommodation on offer.
How much time do I need to arrange an exchange?
The sooner you start the better. It generally depends on where and when you want to go and who you want to exchange with. Some exchanges can be arranged at short notice whilst others may take months to organise.
How long does an exchange last for?
It all depends on what has been agreed. There is no set time period, it can be for a few days, one or two weeks and in some cases an exchange can be for some months. It all generally depends on the exchangers and their circumstances and requirements.
Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend that all trips are covered by insurance. See our useful links for some insurance companies.
Do we need signed contracts?
It is not a legal requirement, however we do recommend one as it helps to set out the parameters and responsibilities, and may help to deal with any unexpected problems that arise. Click here for a suggested letter of agreement.
At what stage should we book our travel tickets?
Prior to making any travel arrangements, like booking a flight or a ferry, we suggest that both parties provide written confirmation of the dates agreed. Once this has been done, then book your tickets, forwarding a copy to your exchange partner for their peace of mind.
Who pays for what during the exchange?
Whatever is agreed between both parties. Normal household bills are usually covered by the owner however, it may be best to pay for your own telephone calls or indeed try and avoid using the home telephone altogether.
What about exchanging keys?
Why not ask a relative, friend or neighbour to welcome your exchange partners and hand over the keys. Alternatively if there is enough time you could always post them or if you are happy to do so, agree a secret hiding place for them.
What about damage to a home or property during an exchange?
First of all, be honest if you have caused some damage. It is generally accepted that the person who caused the damage covers the cost of the repair or replacement.
What about cleaning?
The best advice is, make sure you leave the property as you found it. Look after and clean the property as if it was your own.