This summer we enjoyed a two week house swap in Belgium, followed by three week home exchanges in Germany and Scotland. It was the third time we had done more than one exchange during the same holiday. These consecutive trades require more organization and support than normal.
You have to coordinate dates with your potential partners. They need to know you are planning consecutive house swaps. The plan worked well, although we had one night in a hotel in Glasgow before our home in Scotland became available.
You need someone at home, for us our son, to inspect the place between the departure and arrival of each exchange family. He put out the welcome gifts and made sure the house was in good condition (no problems there, our partners were superb.) He mowed the lawn and tended the garden. He was there to greet our guests and show them the property.
There are several reasons for multiple home exchanges:
1. Intercontinental travel is long and expensive, with the joy of jet lag. You want to get the most from your investment of time and money.
2. It allows you to see different regions. Our Belgian friends, who traded with two families, had two weeks each in Northern and Southern California, more interesting than one month in the same place.
3. It allows you to have a month long vacation, even if your dream exchange home is only available for a week.
4. It may be the only feasible way to do a longer exchange. We were able to escape for 8 weeks this summer; it would have been difficult to find one house exchange family with identical travel dates.
We had a great time this summer, but that’s another story.