Home Exchange – get it right and avoid these 10 Things

International Vacation Home Exchange Home swapping is a great way to experience travelling the world, living like a local and saving huge amounts in accommodation costs.  Every day there are thousands of people who are visiting other people’s homes on holiday and vacations.  These could be local trips within your own country or they could be international travel, where you experience a whole new country.  If you are considering home exchange for the first time, you might be cautious and think ‘Is this really for me?’  Like many things in life, when trying something new, it is always a good idea to do some research.  There are other blog postings here on Silver Travel Advisor for you to learn more about home exchange.  In this blog, we would like to share with you things to watch out for and avoid.  Here is our list:

  1. When looking at properties to visit on the internet, avoid listings with few or no pictures for you to view.  Often the reasons for this are because either the other party is not really serious about trading or the property isn’t worth photographing.  Both are good reasons to avoid the listing.

  2. When you are hosting other people, don’t leave valuable or fragile items out.  In over a decade of experience in exchanging, we have never heard of a theft or an expensive item being broken, but it is always good to be cautious.  Put precious things away and avoid a potential problem.  Accidents can happen, be smart – place valuables and fragile items locked up and away.

  3. International Vacation Home Exchange Don’t embellish the truth when describing your property.  All of us are proud of our homes, be honest when creating your listing.  You expect the same when you are travelling to another person’s home.  Home exchange is based on honesty and trust.
  4. Don’t buy travel (airline or rail) tickets before getting an exchange agreement with the other party.  Your home exchange network can help you finalise an agreement. 

  5. Don’t pursue a home swap with someone who is poor communicator.  This is a sign that they are not really interested.  It is best to find a trader who is open and communicates in a timely manner.

  6. Watch out for home exchange networks that don’t have clear and easy to use contact details.  Websites can be great, but ensure they have an address and phone number.  Any reputable exchange network will make themselves easily available to communicate with its members.

  7. Don’t agree to a trade without verification of the people and their property.  Some home swapping networks have validation programs and can assist you in this process.  If not, you can always do some checking on the person on your own.

  8. International Vacation Home Exchange Do not send money to a host property owner in advance.  The basis of home exchange is to avoid paying for accommodation.  The exception here is a damage deposit which is a reasonable request; this should be paid only near the time of exchange.  Our recommendation is to use a third party service like PayPal where the host can refund the deposit back to you, even after several weeks, with no service charge to either party. 

  9. Avoid exchange networks that don’t offer you secure communications, don’t protect your data and have too many free members.  You will need to communicate with others around the world about your home, ensure that your communications are only going to people that have been validated and are truly interested in home exchange.  Don’t risk exposing your information and don’t waste your time. 

  10. Don’t travel without insurance.  Sometimes when doing a home exchange, people forget about insuring their vacation home.  We highly recommend that you get the right travel insurance for you, home exchanging is not an exception.

As a bonus, here is one more item to avoid: don’t do anything that is against your natural intuition or instincts.  If a situation doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and don’t do it.  Trading homes is a great experience.  Beyond saving money, you have the opportunity to live like a local, enjoy the comforts of a home with all its amenities and space.  Remember the eleven items above and we wish you the best in your exchange vacation.

We have recently started a podcast series of interviews where you can listen to experienced home exchangers.  To enjoy, please visit – IVHE Podcasts. 

You may also find interesting:

123 people found this helpful

Share Article:

Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

Ambassador offers unique ways to focus on health and wellness while enjoying the beauty of the sea….
Who can resist an invitation to a birthday party in Paris? Gillian Thornton celebrates 40 years of Riviera Travel, the…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.