You will definitely have a head start. But a quick search through the home swap offers will give you an idea of the many luxury home swap offers available. Even members with attractive offers should take the initiative and contact all others whose home exchange listings are of interest. Make an effort to search out possible matches, be as flexible as you can be about destinations and dates - and you should have no problem arranging your ideal home swap.
Although of course you are at an advantage if you live in a popular area, many members want to avoid tourist areas. Look at your local attractions from a visitor's viewpoint and provide potential exchange partners with lots of information. Give distances to the nearest cities, airports and well-known attractions.
Most members are simply looking for a base for their holiday, large enough to accommodate their family comfortably. It is not necessary to exchange like for like but do be honest in your description of your home and facilities.
Home swapping is a mutual exchange of homes or holiday homes, usually at the same time, for an agreed period. This enables both Guardian Home Exchange members to enjoy rent-free accommodation during their home exchange.
Your home exchange partner may live in the same country as yourself or across the world. Your homes may be similar in size and type or totally different - all that matters is that you are both happy with the home swap arrangements that you have agreed. You can arrange as many home swaps as you like during your membership at no additional cost.
As home exchanging is based on trust, it's important to get to know your exchange partners and discuss all details of the proposed exchange prior to fully committing. Getting to know your exchange partner can be a great plus as, being a local, they can be an excellent resource to recommend sites and attractions of your chosen destination.
A common arrangement is for both parties to arrange for a friend or another family member to meet the exchange family at the airport and drive them to the exchange address. If this is not possible, send each other very clear instructions on public transport. Occasionally members will arrange to collect a car at the airport; if not arranging to meet at the airport, you must arrange to get a message to the exchange party on the exact location of your car in the airport car park.
Yes. It is important to ensure that your insurance policy remains in effect while your guests are living in your home. Make certain your insurance company is aware that your exchange partners are non-paying guests. Most insurance companies now acknowledge that your home is at lower risk from burglary when occupied; however, theft claims may not be met if there is no evidence of forced entry.
Members usually agree to continue to pay their own household bills during the exchange but often arrange to have a separate phone bill for the period of the exchange - each will then be responsible for paying for phone calls made at their exchange home. *Note: many members now agree not to use the household phone but rather use their own mobiles while on exchange. There may be additional bills in one home such as for regular domestic help, a gardener, etc. Members must agree in advance who will be responsible for any extra payment to ensure fairness to both parties.
Once you've added your home to the website, start looking for home exchange offers in the areas you'd like to visit (try to keep your options open - many of the best home swaps are in places you'd not previously considered!).
Try to be as proactive as possible and so, rather than waiting for people to contact you, start sending enquiry messages to several members whose home swap offers look of potential interest. Remember to keep checking the site regularly as new home swap offers are added every day.
When you receive messages remember to reply to ALL messages even if just to say that you are not interested in their offer.
As you narrow down your offers, don't forget to let anyone else you have been in contact with know if you are unable to pursue their home exchange so that they can get on with other plans.
It's important to reply to all messages, even if it is just a short note of regret that you cannot take up the home swap offer at this time. This is just courteous and allows members to get on with pursuing other home exchange possibilities.
No. You can arrange more than one exchange if you wish. Some members arrange short breaks close to home as well as longer holidays abroad. You may also change any information you want in your own website listing at any time during your membership period.
In both the brief and full descriptive listings you will see the dates members want to exchange. Unless the member is flexible on dates and has indicated 'open to offers', these dates include both the months and year a member can exchange. Members can update this information whenever needed.
Go to the Search swaps page (you can access this at any time by clicking the "Search swaps" link from the website's top menu bar).
From the search page you can search home swap offers by country or region. You can also use the search tools to narrow down your search results to home exchange offers that meet your requirements (e.g. pet care offered, etc).
Once you've selected a membership plan you can add your home to the site and details of where and when you'd like to arrange a home exchange. Make sure to include as much detail as you can giving an appealing (but honest) description of your home, facilities and local attractions. Add good quality photos to make sure that your home swap offer stands out.
Once you've added your home to the site you can then start contacting other members to arrange your home swap vacations.
Many home exchangers are happy to look after their exchange partners' pets during a home swap. And, when this can be arranged, it's certainly less stressful (and cheaper) to be able to leave much loved pets in their own homes rather than to board them in a kennel.
Members can indicate if they need pet care and/or are willing to look after pets while on a home exchange. It's always a good idea to provide a back-up option so that your exchange guests won't feel tied down if they want a few days travelling away from your home. You can easily find members who have indicated that they would be willing to look after pets by selecting ‘Pet Care Offered’ from the search. Similarly you can search for members that have selected 'Pets Welcome' if you’re looking to take your pet with you on a swap.
Remember though, if you do have pets be sure to clearly indicate this in your listing as, even if they’re not in your home during the swap, your pet’s fur could be a big no no for allergy sufferers.
The First Home Exchange Alliance (FHEA) is a business organisation founded in 1999 by established independent home exchange agencies that had worked together co-operatively for over 15 years. We are one of the founding members of FHEA. Members include:
Most free to join home exchange sites unfortunately often attract people that are not genuinely looking to arrange a home exchange or, even worse, whose listings are not real. By paying a small subscription fee we help to ensure that we provide a good service and that all the home swap offers listed on the site are genuine and actively looking for an exchange.
You can view the number of active home swap offers on the Guardian Home Exchange website by going to the home swap search page. From here you can search home exchange offers by country and region. The total number of listings will vary throughout the year. All offers on the site are up-to-date listings and so are never not bulked up with old expired offers.
Yes. We only show active members on the site. As soon a listing expires it is automatically hidden on the site. In this way we try to ensure that all home swap offers are current and actively seeking a home swap.
All listings display the Expiry Date of their membership so that users of the site can see that they are active, current listings..
Please note: If a property has been listed for several weeks this does not mean that the owners won’t be interested in your exchange offer. Unless a member has indicated ‘Exchange Request Fulfilled’ (such listings include a small suitcase symbol), he/she will still be interested in receiving exchange offers.
We have several membership options including 3 month, 6 month and 1 year memberships. The best value option is our 1 year membership option at £59. We proud to provide our service at a price that is right for our members.
When you Join Guardian Home Exchange you can add your home swap offer to the website and start contacting other members to arrange your home swap holidays. By home swapping rather than paying for hotels or holiday rentals you can take advantage of free accommodation in over 90 countries. This means you can dramatically cut the cost of going away and have more money to spend on local attractions.
Log in to your Guardian Home Exchange account and click the "Edit details" button from your member dashboard. Then from the Edit details page select the "Edit photos" tab to navigate to the page where you can upload and edit your photos.
You can upload photos in either .jpg or .png format. Try to use good quality photos (at least 650px by 400px) so that they display at a good resolution.
Alternatively, do always feel free to email your photos to email@example.com and we will upload them for you.
Once you've signed up to Guardian Home Exchange you can add your home to the site and start contacting other members to discuss your home swap.
To send a message, first log in to your account and then go to the home swap offer that you're interested in and click the "Contact member" button - this will open up a message box where you can type your message.
To read and respond to any messages you receive: from your Members Dashboard click the "Messages" link to open your inbox.
Have any questions?
Guardian home exchange 7 Park Avenue London, N13 5PG England