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Is it too late to trade your home this summer?

by John Mensinger on July 18, 2011

By Didier Leclerc, translated and edited from the French original by John Mensinger

For some of us summer is almost over.  Children in California begin returning to school at the beginning of August.   Kids in England remain in school for most of July and will have the entire month of August to relax, which is also true in countries such as France.  So is it too late to swap your home for August 2011?  Home exchange agencies encourage last minute efforts by allowing you to search for last minute or short notice exchanges.

If you look at listings of Homelink and Intervac you can find the European champions of home exchange procrastination:  The French are way ahead of the English, the Germans, the Dutch, the Spanish, and the Italians.  There are 2,400 exchange opportunities on Homelink and 80 on Intervac with start dates less than eight weeks into the future.    If you want to go to France you definitely have choices, other destinations offer fewer options.

If you want to arrange a last minute exchange you need to make quick decisions.  If you aren’t listed with a home exchange agency you need to move quickly, it might take a few days to get your listing accepted and to your liking.  You should choose an agency that facilitates last minute exchanges, not all do.

Don’t forget that you will need to prepare for the exchange.   A quick departure may lead to problems, be cautious.  Select your partner with care; try to find out why they are still looking for an exchange.   Perhaps they didn’t have other choices, maybe an exchange they thought was looking good fell through, or perhaps they didn’t know their vacation dates until the last moment.  On the other hand those without an exchange may be struggling for a reason.

Prudence is useful.  Even if you only have a few weeks take the time to complete due diligence with your potential partner while you continue to look at other exchange possibilities.   Consider transportation issues—it may be expensive to get air or ferry tickets for preferred dates to your destination.

The team at Home Exchange University and Vacances-Echange.Info wish you good luck and a happy summer vacation.

You can view Didier’s original post in French by clicking here.

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