After the excitement and joy of finalizing an exchange may come uncertainty of the unknown and the stress of preparing. You want everything to be perfect, but aren’t sure where to start. So you ask yourself some questions: How should I organize my house? Will I find it in the same condition when I come back? Will they think about watering my plants?
Don't panic, we are here to guide you and reassure you in your preparations!
While there is no universal guide detailing each step to the perfect welcome, there is nothing better than a welcome that is as sincere and unique as your personality! A little note of greeting, a drawing from your children, a ready-made snack if they arrive late, a small bottle of wine to celebrate the start of the holidays, or some local specialties for their first culinary introduction to your region will put your guests at ease.
Whatever personal touch you offer will be highly appreciated! HomeExchangers are known for their warm welcomes and great hospitality, which is the beauty of our generous community!
You can also provide a guestbook where guests can write their thanks and good byes. That will leave you and your future guests with the confidence that your home provided great memories!
“When we had an exchange in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, our host treated us to a chef who came and made fresh margaritas and guacamole. It was such a sweet and thoughtful touch. We won’t forget it!”
Stephanie, 9 exchanges
Making Your Guests Feel at Home
Making Some Room
To ensure that your guests can settle down comfortably and quickly, make room for them in your closets by freeing up a few hangers and some space for their belongings.
Recommending Your Favorite Spots
There’s nothing better than a list of quality local recommendations, tips about the area, and lots of great ideas for activities! Menus from your favorite restaurants at different price points and brochures and maps of the region (for public transportation, movie theaters, shopping, museums, theater and the arts) will get guests excited about the adventures they can create for a memorable stay! Sometimes can you even recommend your friends who are willing to show them around!
"The best experience I had was one with exchange partners who asked their friends to come see us in Australia. Not only did they check in on us, but they also gave us a tour, guided us, and became friends with whom we still keep in touch! :-)"
Moreen, 25 exchanges
Preparing the Bedrooms
It’s always a great idea to make the beds and provide clean towels for your guests’ arrival. Just remember to agree on all of these details with your guest before you arrive.
Preparing the Kitchen
Think about emptying the fridge and cupboards, leaving enough non-perishables to cover the basics, like coffee, tea, eggs, milk, juice, bread, and flour.
“We always leave something practical if they come with children (milk, bread, some cookies) and something typically Spanish (wine, ham, cheese) for the family staying in our home. We also take a little something to leave at the house we stay at. Our hosts have already left us chocolates, wine and other little gifts from their country (a very cool Portuguese rooster, for example.)"
Daniela, 28 exchanges
Emptying the Trash
It's always nice to empty all of the trash cans for a fresh start!
Freeing Up Space in the Bathroom
Your toothbrushes and beauty products will have to be stowed away so your guests find room for their toiletries without being embarrassed by your personal items! Of course, you can leave the shower gel and shampoo in the shower so guests don't have to pack theirs!
You are now ready to leave with confidence!
Exchanging is a unique experience. Enjoy every moment without worrying! When you open the door to your very first exchange home, you'll be left with the desire to open it wider.
“When you enter an exchange home, you don’t see, and when you leave it, you don’t speak. Do not look for faults in other people's homes, and when you see one, do not repeat it."
Marie Anne, 64 exchanges
Here you will find our guide with everything you need to know to help you prepare for your exchange.