Finding your home swap
The first step is to add your home to Guardian Home Exchange. Click here to join Guardian Home Exchange
Once you have added your home to the site (make sure to include a good description and photos of your home and location) you can then start contacting other Guardian Home Exchange members to discuss a potential swap. Go to the home swap search page to browse the latest offers.
- Search home swap offers: and then contact any members whose offers look of potential interest. Click the small envelope icon on the search page or the "Contact member" button from the member's listing page to send a message with your home swap request. Search home swap offers
- Be proactive: when arranging a home swap it is important to be as proactive as possible and start contacting members with initial enquiry messages rather than just sitting back and waiting for people to contact you. Many experienced home swappers will contact 20 or more members with their initial 'feeler' messages before narrowing it down to suitable swap matches.
- Be flexible: if possible, be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. Part of the fun of home exchange is discovering exciting exchange offers in places you may not have considered visiting before.
- Allow plenty of time: it's important to give yourself plenty of time to find, agree and arrange your home exchanges. Start looking early!
- Reply to all messages: as home exchanging is built on trust, it is very important to reply to all messages you receive, even if just to say "Thank you for your offer but I'm sorry I cannot take it up. Good luck with finding your home swap!".
Tips on communicating with members:
Here are some pointers you can use when making contact with other members about a possible home exchange.
- Introduce who will be travelling: introduce yourself and anyone who will be travelling with you. If it's a family holiday, tell your potential home swap partners a little bit about yourself and your family (such as the ages of your children and any special needs).
- Introduce your home: let your potential home swap partners know any information particularly relevant to their needs (e.g. disabled access, child friendly, etc).
- Describe your location: climate, local amenities and other areas of interest that are accessible from your home. Look at your area from a visitor's point of view.
- Transport options: give details of public transport and distances to closest airports and cities.
- Car exchange? if you are offering to exchange your car during the swap, give details and check with your insurance company before agreeing this as part of the swap.
- Similar swappers: many members look to swap with people in similar circumstances to themselves. If you have a young family you may want to arrange a home swap with another family who have items such as baby equipment, toys, books and often local playmates and baby-sitters - little things that make a holiday so much easier.
- Personalise your messages: read the member's home and profile description carefully before contacting them. Members respond much better to personalised offers rather than generic messages.
- New offers: Keep an eye on new home swap offers - there are new members joining all the time. Also, remember that you can use your membership to arrange more than one home exchange holiday each year.