Ten International Principles for a Successful Home Exchange
1. Describe your home honestly in your listing and in all correspondence. You want your exchange partners to be pleasantly surprised when they arrive, not disappointed. Never hide the existence of pets.
2.Leave your home clean. Standards of cleanliness vary, so make sure that floors are cleaned, refrigerator emptied, oven and stovetop grease-free, bath and shower free of mold and grime, windows see-through, and surfaces dust-free. No need to repaint the house!
3. Clear away enough of your personal belongings to leave space on shelves and in wardrobes and drawers so that your guests can empty their suitcases, arrange their things in bedrooms and bathrooms and feel at home.
4.Leave at least two sets of clean sheets per bed and two sets of towels per person.
5.Compile a clear, useful “Guide to Your Home and Surroundings”. This should include local tourist information, instructions for household and electrical appliances, pet and plant care, details of rubbish collection, etc. Phone numbers of a recommended doctor, dentist, babysitter, good restaurants, and helpful friends are always welcome too.Â It is important to strike a balance between your Home Guide’s quality and quantity of content so your exchange partners won’t be overwhelmed with the information you provide.
6.Use our “Home and Car Exchange Agreement” forms to avoid all misunderstandings and clarify who pays what in terms of telephone, electric bills, gas consumption, insurance excesses in case of accidents, and staple foods such as flour, sugar, oil, etc.
7.If arrangements are such that you cannot meet, arrange for a family member, neighbor or friend to come by and welcome your exchange partners when they arrive. They will certainly have questions, and such a welcome will be much appreciated.
8.Leave the makings of a first meal. Nothing fancy, but your guests could be tired and hungry and grateful not to have to go out for dinner.
9.It has become a HomeLink tradition to leave a small gift of welcome: a bottle of wine or champagne, a local speciality. Always a special surprise.
10.Close the door, turn the key, and go off on vacation knowing that your home is in the good hands of another HomeLink member like you.