Make Yourself at Home…

When you are visiting a new place, what is it that makes you feel most at home? Is it a specific item or is it more a general feeling? With HomeExchange, there is no “perfect” way to welcome an Exchange Partner into your house, but there are a few things that are sure to show you took your hosting responsibility seriously. Here are just couple tips.

Freshen Up

It is such a simple thing, but making sure that you have clean sheets on the beds and fresh towels in the bathroom go a long way to making any guest feel at home. It shows you care about their comfort and that you were thinking about them. After all, it’s never fun to reach for a towel and discover it is still damp from someone else. You might also run a vacuum around the floors or make a point to sweep. Those little things can do wonders.

“A welcome letter, good wine and chocolates for the children. In the last exchange I left the towels in the rooms wrapped with a big bow with chocolates inside.” Merche, Spain

Give them a little space

It doesn’t have to be much, but clearing out a corner of your closet or a drawer in the bathroom is a great way to ease the transition from guest to Exchange Partner. Allowing them room on a bar to hang shirts or dresses, having a place to put their toothbrush or even making a spot for them to store their luggage is a way to show you want them to be comfortable.

“Make yourself at home”

Another easy way to have someone start to feel at home is by giving a little overview of your place. Explain how to use the WiFi and detail out the unique quirks with the dishwasher or shower faucet. Even a little guidance helps your Exchange Partner feel like they are not only welcome in your home but that they can easily find their way around without feeling out of place.

“I like to leave some activities that will keep the kids busy while their parents enjoy their holiday.” Daphné, France

Think Local

Many of our members choose to leave little gifts to welcome their Exchange Partners. No need to go crazy, but some of the best options are those that are from your area. Is your city known for its pottery? Perhaps wine is one of the premiere exports? Maybe certain fruits or vegetables are not available in the location your guests are from? Make it about giving your Exchange Partner a little taste of what they are to expect from their time in your home.

Good enough to eat

After a long time traveling, one of the last things you want to do is to think about what to eat. One of the perks of HomeExchange is that you have access to a kitchen. But you might still need to shop. Some members choose to leave a meal for their Exchange Partners to welcome them for their stay. They make their family’s favorite dishes or prepare a local delicacy and even leave written recipes for their guests to take home with them. It is also thoughtful to leave fresh milk, eggs and a few other items in the fridge. So… who’s making breakfast?

“We often prepare for a whole traditional three-course dinner for our partners. And we give them the recipes, of course!” Karin, Sweden

In the end, whatever you do, making a little extra effort is a great way to make your Exchange Partner feel more at home. Now back to you, what are some of the things you do to welcome your exchange partners? Have they done anything special for you that stands out? Leave your comments below.


3 Comments on “Make Yourself at Home…

  1. Thank you. I am only exploring at the moment. My holidays for next year are booked, but we are now looking to stay in one place for a prolonged period. I fell in love with Guanajauto some years ago but am being reminded of the steps and hills involved, and I no longer”wear a younger man’s clothes”. Our interest is not confined to Mexico. We will be in touch. Regards, Tony.

  2. Exchange with confidence:
    Because I live in the Netherlands, Dutch is not the language that most of my exchange partners will speak. So I went trough our building and looked for the Dutch signs like Emergency exit, our home with the electrical equipment and made an English board for the washer and dryer and in my HomeExchange info I have the most common Dutch words translated for them.
    I also tell them there is no need to worry about the language because a lot of people speak English.

  3. The best thing an exchanger did for me was to leave me a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ready to bake fresh.

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