The Art of the Exchange
Whether you’re a brand new member looking forward to your first exchange, or you’ve done many, we all know how nice it is to be appreciated. Here are a few tips to make being part of the HomeExchange community more engaging and enjoyable experience for all.
It can take a while to craft a request for an exchange, even a relatively simple one. So, if you receive a request, take a moment to reply. Even if you’re not interested or aren’t able to make it work with your schedule, it makes the person sending out the request feel like they didn’t just throw a message out into a digital void. If you are interested, even better! You can get the conversation started and be one step closer to your next adventure.
Set the Stage
Just before your exchange, take a little time to tidy up around the house. Clear some space for your guests in the wardrobe, have all the dishes washed, change the sheets and confirm that all the trash is empty. It makes your exchange partner’s arrival from a long trip much easier when there aren’t projects to do. This also sets an expectation for how clean the house will be when you get home.
Leave a Little Something
Whether it is water or wine, it will be a treat for your guests to discover there is something waiting for them upon arrival. You might even leave a gift of cheese and crackers or some snack to be enjoyed after a long journey. Some exchangers even leave a home guide to explain how to operate various appliances, how to access the wifi or even what day to put out the trash.
Live Like a Local
You probably know your area better than some guidebooks. Leaving a list of local recommendations (even if it’s a simple list of restaurants on a napkin) helps guests feel like they have an inside track. When’s the ideal time to visit a local attraction? Where’s the best place to see the sunset? How’s the best way to avoid traffic? A little information goes a long way in making visitors feel welcome in the neighborhood.
It is best to discuss with your exchange partner on what is expected before they leave the house. Agree on an arrangement for stripping the bed, washing towels and even where to leave the keys after locking up. It makes the whole transition go a lot smoother and ensures everyone is happy in the end.
It Doesn’t End at Goodbye
Once you’ve completed your exchange, make a point to sign the HomeExchange Guestbook and even leave a small thank you note on the counter. We may be an online community but it is nice to receive a little acknowledgement in the physical world. It makes the whole experience feel all the more real.