5 Tips to Prepare for a Home Exchange
The economy has forced many families to put off taking a vacation due to the cost of lodging. Hotels are expensive, but there is a better solution to those wanting to take a vacation on a exchange. These programs are becoming very popular because of their many benefits to travelers. There are several factors to consider when considering a vacation exchange or vacation rental. Whether you are traveling across town or across the country, the following tips will help make the process much quicker and easier.
In order to participate in a home exchange, you will need to register with a vacation home swap program. To make sure your personal information is protected, it is important that you only list your property with a trustworthy program. Many sites that offer free memberships may sell your information to a third party so go with a company that charges a fee. The fees are typically under $50 and it will protect you from a program that may offer your home to someone who is not qualified to be in an exchange program. Verify the trustworthiness with the better business bureau any exchange program you are considering listing your exchange with.
Check the sites listings to determine if their current vacation home options are up to date. A reputable company will have extensive information available on their website including when the joining dates were for the individuals listing their home and when the expiration dates are for the listing or membership. If there are no comments on homes that have been listed for a long period of time, it may mean the home does not meet the qualifications of most travelers such as being in an unsafe area of town or no amenities.
Whenever possible, attempt to a home exchange with a family in a similar situation as yours or go for condo rentals. For example, if you have young children and exchange homes with a family who also has young children, it is highly likely that there will be a variety of age appropriate toys or equipment which will save you the hassle of having to transport yours.
One of the most important factors involved in a home exchange program is the contract or written agreement between families. Include even the smallest of details in the agreement and carefully read the other family’s terms of the agreement before signing the contract. The smallest detail such as unloading the dishwasher may be included in the contract so read it carefully and state your requirements carefully. Never rush through the process, always discuss the ground rules and review the home you are considering a few times before signing the agreement to make sure it is the home where you want to spend your vacation.
After the agreement has been signed and you are ready for the home exchange, before leaving your home always lock up valuables or take them with you, strip the beds if the other family is required to bring their own linens, clean up and put away any items you do not want the other family having access to. Notify your neighbors to let them know that there will be another family in your home for the specified amount of time. In all situations vacation rentals option still exists.