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Home Exchange 101 Lesson 6 – Preparing for the Arrival and Welcome

by John Mensinger on May 10, 2010

Thus far in Home Exchange 101 Lesson 6, we’ve looked at such concepts as organizing your vacation, preparing your home for guests,  creating a user’s manual for your home and agreeing to the rules and regulations.  Today, we conclude lesson 6 by looking at preparing for the arrival and welcome of your guests.

Meet the Partners

We at Home Exchange University are huge fans of meeting our homeswap partners before the exchange, live and in person.  This happens at their home, our house, or occasionally the airport.  It’s important to personally know your partners.  It’s also helpful for one family gets a complete orientation to their home away from home.  Everybody appreciates the chance to ask questions and discuss concerns.

Organizing this meeting requires cooperating on travel arrangements. The family hosting this meeting may have a house large enough to share for one night or they may choose to stay with relatives or at a hotel.   We have enjoyed the hospitality of our friends and on several occasions have taken them to the airport the following day.

Things to Remember

Here is a checklist for the arrival and welcome of house exchange guests:

  • How will they get from the airport to your home?  If they are picking up your car they need to know its exact location and have the keys.  They need to know how to find your home, even if it is dark.
  • If you can’t personally welcome your guests to your home perhaps a friend or relative can do the honors.
  • Keys and doors work in different ways.   We have heard several stories of families that could not figure out how to unlock and open the front door of their exchange home.  Specific and detailed instructions are advisable and you need to figure out how they get the key.   If you have an alarm they need the code. I f you get a new key cut for your guests try it out on the door to make sure it works.
  • Have each other’s cell phone numbers.
  • Extra credit for leaving flowers, fruit, or a bottle of champagne to welcome your visitors.

Yes, it is a lot of work to prepare for a house exchange.   Fortunately enjoying your homeswap is much easier than getting ready for it.  Our next topic in Home Exchange 101?  The arrival!

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John Mensinger is co-founder of and an experienced home exchanger.  His passion is helping others experience the enjoyment (and cost savings!) of home exchange.  John can be reached at jm[at]

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