It can be intimidating to think of hosting guests at home for the first time, and we know that you might have a lot of concerns and reservations. Based on our own experiences and that of our community, we know that these fears will go away, and that the joy of hosting makes everything completely worth it. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some reassurance from the very beginning, so we’ve rounded up some of the most common trepidations members had when they first started home exchanging with our advice for them!
But what if no one wants to come to my home?
“When I first placed my townhouse on HomeExchange, I thought the same thing (that my home is not good enough) about my small home near San Francisco. 40 exchanges later, I think my house must be "good enough". We do work hard to make our home comfortable, clean, and welcoming. It's completely worth it!"
But what if my privacy is compromised?
It’s common to worry about your privacy when inviting guests to your home, but you will come to learn that respect is an important value that HomeExchangers share. HomeExchangers have different practices when it comes to their more private items - some of them totally trust their guests and leave everything as is, some prefer to lock their most important items in a room or in a cabinet, some leave them with friends or family. You are totally free to do what you want; the most important thing is to communicate with your exchange partners so they know if there are any out-of-bounds areas.
But what if I don’t know how to prepare my home for guests?
We have lots of resources for you! A comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your first exchange includes tips on important things to communicate with your guests prior to the exchange, with a checklist for you to go through quickly before the exchange to be sure you haven’t forgotten anything. We even have a home manual template so you can share everything your guests need to know about your home!
While some effort of course needs to be put in to prepare your home, home exchanging doesn’t require cleaning that meets hotel standards. What’s most important is communication with your guests so they know what to expect when they come to your home.
But what if my plans change and I have to cancel?
We totally understand that situations can change unexpectedly, especially in a time like this. In the event that you have to cancel the exchange, you have our guarantees, which ensure we’ll try our best to help your guests find another exchange. In the event that we’re unable to find an exchange, we’ll work with them to help find another type of accommodation for their exchange.
While we’ll do our best to assist in case a host has to cancel an exchange, we also don’t want host members canceling exchanges unnecessarily. If a member is canceling an exchange too often and/or without justification, there are consequences.
But what if they break something?
Accidents can happen, and we know that as a host, this is something you might be worried about. And that’s where our guarantees come in! There is a €500 deposit on each exchange, and HomeExchange also offers damage coverage up to £1,000,000.
What members realized after hosting for the first time
“We realized after hosting for the first time that this was a great way to travel! You get to give people an opportunity to experience your home and neighborhood, and you get to experience living like a local in their home.”
“I like sharing the beauty of our area with other exchangers. If we are lucky enough to share a meal, we have then made more friends in other countries. We appreciate learning more about life in other places.”
- Laura, 47 exchanges
“This opened our world. We've been able to travel a ton.”
- Katie, 46 exchanges