Practical Tips For A Successful Home Exchange

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your home exchange:

Contract
Write up at least a simple agreement that you both sign to include exchange dates and any special considerations, for instance garden or pet care.

Your Car (if you are including a car exchange)
A car exchange is a great benefit for exchange families. Make sure to leave our car clean with a full tank of gas.You can ask that your visitors do the same when they leave. Check in with your insurance about coverage. Do your best to make sure the car is in safe operating order before you leave.

House Information
Make a house list to leave for your visitors. You can include things  specific to your house; how to work certain appliances or hot tub, location of the fuse box, garbage pick-up day, etc. If you have valuable objects or documents, you can lock them in an owners closet or put in storage.

Neighbors
Tell at least one neighbour that you are exchanging your home and ask them to keep an eye on things.

Maps and Area Information
Leave maps of your area, city and Province for your guests. Tell the location of your favorite restaurants, market, parks, walking trails, etc  Do everything to help them get oriented and enjoy the area where you live.

Cleaning
Leaving your  home spotlessly clean before you leave, and ask it be left the same way when your exchange guests leave. Make sure you leave enough basic supplies for your visitors.

Telephone
Leave a list of the most important numbers: neighbors, police, fire department, hospital, plumber, electrician, mechanic, a family member or or friend. Agree beforehand on the use of phone for long distance.

Maintenance
If your exchange party has not signed on to take care of the garden, have someone scheduled to tend to it. Leave a note about when the gardener comes.

Exchanging Keys and Documents
You can give your visitors a phone number they can call to pick up the keys, or ask someone to go to your house to meet them, give them they keys and help them get settled.