How to Arrange Your Exchange
Step 1: List your holiday home
Register as a member, add your profile and property details. Add as much detail about the location, the property and its facilities as you can. Your last sentence should be your per night exchange ‘value’ to give other members an idea of what you expect in return. Add photographs to showcase your property. You will also need photo identification, a passport or driving licence, and a recent utility bill for your holiday home. Don’t forget to add details of the destinations you’d like to visit.
Step 2: Search for exchanges
Begin by drawing up a list of properties you are interested in. Narrow the list down by looking at the destinations your potential visitors have indicated they would like to go to. Send the member a message, the more offers you send, the more successful you will be.
Step 3: Connect with other members
Your initial messages do not commit you to any exchanges, you are showing your interest in another members holiday home and inviting them to talk to you about their property and whether an exchange would be possible. It is understood that further correspondence will be necessary before an agreement can be made. Tell them about the advantages of your own holiday home, about the location and what it has to offer.
- If an exchange agreement seems likely, you can then exchange further detailed information about the location and local attractions. Describe your holiday home honestly – you want members to be pleasantly surprised when they arrive as your visitors, not disappointed
- If available, offer references from former exchange visitors
Step 4: Organise your exchange
As the field narrows down, you will ask and answer more detailed questions. Don’t be shy about this as it is wise to avoid misunderstanding by clarifying as much as possible at this stage. Once agreement has been reached both parties should complete an Exchange Agreement Form, once this is completed you can commit to travel costs. There is usually much to talk about before an exchange and quite often, you and your exchange visitors will be good friends by the time the exchange arrives. Your Exchange Agreement Form should include:
- The number of people in the exchange group with ages of any children
- Arrangements for laundering used linen on completion of exchange
- Arrangements for collecting keys (this could be your key holder, a key safe or you may make arrangements to post via special delivery).
You can find a suggested Exchange Agreement form here. Holiday home exchanging is a trust based arrangement and as such, it tends to attract honest, trust-worthy, decent people. See our General Guidance for more detailed advice on how to progress your exchange.
It is possible that a member may want to cancel. While in some circumstances this is understandable (e.g. sudden illness), as an owner you are not obliged to offer an alternative exchange period. Should this happen to you as a visitor please report this and the reasons for the cancellation to us, we will investigate all reports and, if necessary, we will consider cancelling a members subscription.
Exchange relationships are personal, not commercial and so there is a spirit of goodwill surrounding the arrangements. Good exchangers care as much about the comforts provided to their visitors as they do about their own. If illness or unavoidable events make it necessary to cancel, try to find another family to take your place.
- Your holiday home insurance should cover you for visitors (third parties) staying at your property
- Ensure your holiday home is clean and well-organised
- Leave a selection of store cupboard ingredients
- Leave an information folder with: locations of essential services; appliance operating instructions; refuse and recycling instructions; telephone numbers for keyholders, doctors, etc. Recommend shops, restaurants and area attractions; leave maps for the local area, guide books, public transport schedules and tourist brochures (free from tourist information offices).
Making a successful holiday home exchange requires some effort on your part. Much of this effort for example, compiling your information folder, will be necessary for your first exchange only.
Experienced exchangers know that making holiday arrangements becomes a very simple routine. Now, just relax and prepare to have a good time – with each holiday home in good hands.