Get a free accommodation using home swap.
Home swap, also known as a home exchange is one of the most effective means of cutting down your budget during travels, by exposing you to getting free accommodation. The website that offers home exchange programs creates a platform that connects two different individuals, a group of individuals, families, and the likes, who are willing to leave their house and stay in yours for some specific agreed time, while you too spend quality time in theirs. I know it sounds impossible or perhaps complicated because you two have to plan your travelling correctly and execute the home exchange exercise at the same time.
Pillowscanner.com is a perfect online platform that offers a quality home swapping programs. They feature easy means of achieving home swap compared to other sites. There are some mouth-watering benefits users stand to enjoy. Benefits like; exchange of homes for as more times as preferred, send inquiries to an unlimited number of hosts, effective communication between you and your host via pillow messenger, ability to effectively manage your calendar with ease, and the chance to approximately save up to 80% of a travel cost. More so, one of the services they offer that makes them better compared to others is the ongoing free membership opportunity to join the home exchange community. Thereby allowing members the chance of enjoying a lifetime experience in the home exchange practice.
Top 5 things you should know about home swapping practices
1. Home Swap or Home Exchange is not free
Most of the websites that involve Home Exchange or home swap are not free in general, some websites may offer you a 14 days or one month free trial after that you need to pay a minimum amount of subscription fees while Pillowscanner offers you a completely free membership for its home exchange community. Here is simple pricing comparison table for three home exchange websites:
2. Home swap can be carried out in 5 main ways.
- Hospitality exchange: this is the kind of swap that enables you to stay as a guest in the house of your exchange partner, at the same time they are at home.
- Simultaneous Exchange: this type of exchange allows you to stay in your exchange partners place, while he occupies yours, all at the same time.
- Non-simultaneous: this type of home swap will enable you to stay in your exchange partner’s other home or probably his vacation home.
- Async house swap: this type of exchange allows you and your exchange partner the opportunity of swapping home at different times; this means, you don’t necessarily have to exchange home in the time-space, but this is based on the viability of the swap between you and your exchanger.
- Point exchange system: this is the type of exchange that enables the host a point after proving free hosting to your partner – which you will then use the points to get free accommodation too for yourself.
Note: home swap mostly dangles between these three main ways of exchange. Most home swap websites offer some specific kind of home swap. A typical example is the International Vacation Home Exchange; they only focus on one of these swap types – which is simultaneous swapping (whereby you occupy your partner’s other home or vacation home). Therefore, it is in your best interest that you take note of the kind of home swap the website is focused on before you purchase a membership with any.
3. Get to know your exchange partner
One of the best tested and trusted way of getting acquainted with a first time home exchange partner is by getting to know more about them and showing that you care. By these, you get to have a well-detailed idea about your partner, about the home, environment, local areas, and a lot more information that will help make your swapping experience A grade. Getting to know your exchange partner will enhance you getting accurate requirement details during the process. Pillowscanner advice members to effectively communicate your terms & requirements well to your partner. Ensure you are on the same page with your partner to avoid misunderstanding.
4. It is not right for everyone
Do you feel cool letting a stranger into your home? Most experts support that; getting to home swap from a renowned home exchange website poses less risk (because you get to discuss your requirements aloud). It is best for you to always consider your comfort and satisfaction before rushing to create a proposal or to accept one. Note; the issue of requirement communication is of utmost importance because of it one of the fundamental factors that decide if you will enjoy your home swap or it is going to end up in a mess.
5. Be an early bird
Do an early search of the type of exchange programs offered on the website you will best prefer. Try not to take the last second window of either proposal or offers, if this is the first time you will meet your exchange partner. More so, if a big event is going down during a swap, ensure appropriate and accurate planning is put in place for the day, to save your face a big blow. Note; always employ planning for your home swap practices.
How does home swap work
Home swap is a simple practice that virtually everyone is getting exposed to. It entails four stages – Here are the basic stages involved in a home swap practice:
- Choose your preferred listing website: there is a various website featuring home swap, but not all of them are efficient and trustworthy. So, getting to choose the best platform for the exchange is essential.
- Create your listing: after selecting a website, you can then create and post a listing for your property. Note: try to be detailed during listing, because the more detail you provide on your listing, the better.
- Find someone to exchange with: after creating and posting your home listing, then you sit make a search for the best match. Although, this might take some time, but if you are in a quality location, it might just be in a swift. Before the last step, ensure you get to know your exchange partner.
- Carry out your exchange.
11 Quality tips and tricks of home swap expert
- Get an exclusive offer when you have a high-quality picture of your house to display. Therefore, it is of excellent importance and advantage on your side that you make use of a professional camera while taking your home picture so that you can have a clean and clear picture to display.
- Don’t be too rigid. Be as flexible as possible while giving out the location and date details of your swap. You tend to receive lots of proposals, whenever you are exposed to any offers. Offers that comes your way make home swap an exciting practice. Just make sure you are very open-minded and stay alert for adventure.
- Do spend too much time thinking, for the clock does not stop ticking. Therefore, if exclusive mouthwatering offers come your way; don’t hesitate to respond to it, because there are lots of people who are waiting to take such opportunity.
- The best way to kick-start a home swap is by organizing a nearby weekend exchange or by hosting someone for a few periods, so that, they can get familiar with your house. Home swap is best started as hospitality – this kind of home exchange is called hospitality exchange.
- Endeavor to respond to all messages sent to you on your proposal. Do not leave any message unattended to, because leaving some messages unattended to, might lead to messengers waiting too long for response and at the same time wasting more time. It is alright to say NO, but do not give a silence.
- Ensure your requirements are well communicated to your potential exchange partner. Including specific conditions, like; dates, destination, facilities, time duration, and others; are well understood by your exchange partners, to avoid misunderstanding or not being on the same page. If you have a pet, mention it and let them know which type you have. Most exchanges do well with pets, but some travellers may find it difficult to deal with some specific pets, like cats and birds, because of allergies. And for that reason, your home might not be suitable for them. Therefore, ensure your requirements are accurate and detailed to avoid misunderstanding or a home swap mess.
- Always plan your trip ahead of time. Our members are enjoined to always post the neighbourhood attractions and also advice about their country and their province. Therefore utilize the published information to plan your trip and enjoy a lovely time in the area like it’s your local area.
- It is essential to indicate the number of people that will participate in the exchange. Ensure you visit your profile page to make use of the Traveling Group section to show the number of people and their age group. Note; if you have children travelling with you, kindly indicate them with their respective age.
- Create space in your room before the exchange. You might not have to pack all out, but it is of great advantage and help to make space for your exchange partners to put their stuff during their stay. Therefore, home exchange is enhanced with appropriate space created for the exchange partners’ convenience. Also, make your refrigerator fit for use. Remove leftovers from the refrigerator and do well to leave some items in it for your exchange partners. You might consider leaving; juice, coffee, wine, fruits, and some other useful kinds of stuff you feel can give them a wonderful welcome.
- Making preparations for your trip is essential. Right before an exchange, put a call through to your credit card company, making them aware of the travelling. During your tour, endeavour to carry cash and do well to know the currency exchange rate of the area you are going for swap. Make inquiry from your exchange partner if any of their friends or family member can meet you on your arrival to the environment. By this, you get the chance to quickly tour the home and have a better idea about it. Note; do well to grant your exchange partner the same opportunity.
- And the last but as crucial as the most important is for you to create a local Guide Book, that will help keep your exchange partners on track. The guidebook should include locally based stuff only; it can include your favourite listing of locations or resort or attractive centres where they can visit for relaxation. Also, it can feature the best place to experience the sunset and at the same time grab a fantastic morning coffee. You can also include the top-rated restaurants, local hikes, favourite running route, public transport information, must see attractive attraction centres and any other information that will be of great use for them to get a premium experience. Note; you can include the numbers of local police departments, local firefighters, and any other numbers that could be useful in case of emergencies.
Pros of home swap
The benefits you stand to enjoy in home exchange is quite much compared to the traditional lodging options. Here are few highlights of some of the benefits;
It’s cost friendly
In-home exchange, you get the chance of lodging for free. The only price you stand to pay is the membership fee of the online community you belong too. The amount you pay for membership compared to the amount you’d spend on lodging can be on the ratio of 1 – 10; that is, you stand the chance of saving up to 90 per cent using home swap for your vacations. You also get the chance of cutting down piling bills on eating outside; when you have access to a fully set kitchen, you can cook at some point to avoid taking your three square meals from expensive kitchens. More so, during home swap agreement, you can agree on swapping cars too, to save you the cost of having to rent a car as well
Feel and live like local
Having to stay in another person’s home and not lodging in a hotel makes you feel a lot more comfortable; there are usually so many things to entangle with, things like; movies to watch, books, even kid zones. Some homes have special features like pools, gym and fitness room also. You will be changed to experience the culture of the environment because you are staying in the heart of the neighborhood and not in some hotel. You tend to add a depth of perspective to your stay in the new environment; perspectives you’d have missed if you had lodged in a hotel.
Put your other home to use
Home swapping merely is easy if you have more than one home. It allows you the opportunity of having to go through swapping at all times. It reduces the ambiguity of coordination of schedules because you do not leave in your other house year round. More so, making your home available for swap is an excellent means of keeping your home alive and getting them to function as expected.
How about a yacht experience?
Lots of benefits are attached to home exchange, and most times, the exchange practice does not mean you want the house. But some homes feature exclusive gems, so people exchange homes for special features also. Like, you can swap because of people’s yacht, RVs, and other exclusive gems.
Cons of home swap
Fear of giving your home out to a stranger
Virtually, everyone does not feel comfortable having to host strangers in their homes for weeks or months. It is normal to feel insecure about having people living in your home. So, this has been the major challenge for people, thereby causing a decrease in the number of people getting to engage in the home swap exercise. But, this kind of situation can be resolved by employing the following processes;
- Ensure you make use of a trustworthy website for your exchange.
- Have a quality communicate with your guest – call or chat with them overtime before giving in to give them your home.
- Get familiar with your host before the swap; this can be achieved by having to host them prior exchange.
Fear of property damage
Home owners feel concerned about their properties been kept in a sound state, and they don’t want to experience any loss of valuable properties, or damage of home facilities due to the activities of their exchange partners. Therefore, fear of property loss or damage is also a big factor that determines people’s interest in participating in the home swap business. But, lots of means has been designed to proffer solution to this challenge. Out of which we have;
- Making use of a trustworthy listing website to save the stress of getting to lose your valuables to vandalism or theft. The use of a reputable listing website is more like the major means of facing the challenge.
- Get additional insurance for your properties.
Time efficiency and management
Getting to plan a successful home swap is way time demanding – the time needed to get someone who is interested in travelling at the same time with you, and to your location might take infinity. And right after securing an exchange partner, the time to get familiar with the person also is a bulk one. More so, the time required to book your holiday, and set out for your trip is also a big challenge. Therefore, combating this hectic challenge, you must employ the following guide;
- Ensure you reach a quality compromise that makes the swap favour both sides. To this end, employ good flexibility on both sides during the agreement period
- Start your planning exercise early enough to relieve you of having to deal with lots of travel challenges in a limited time.
- Look for an exchange partner that has a second home. This can allow you swap at convenience even when you don’t get to travel at the same time with your exchange partner.