Home swapping can seem a bit intimidating. Exchangers can be  a bit apprehensive at first, which is perfectly normal. Letting complete strangers come to your home, or having an exchange canceled at the last minute, can be unsettling.

Your fellow exchangers can help allay your concerns and fears by sharing how they have authentic exchanges with their exchange partner prior to the actual exchange. The result is a bond created from shared experience and lasting memories. It also means traveling on a low budget all over the world while feeling at home.

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Our HomeExchangers share their biggest doubts and how they managed to overcome them.

HomeExchangers’ biggest doubts:

  • I’m leaving complete strangers in charge of my home

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It's true that leaving your own home, your little cocoon, to complete strangers can seem daunting. However, pre-exchange conversations result in your exchange partner no longer being a complete stranger.  You have begun a foundation of trust and a genuine mutual desire for both parties to have a favorable experience.  Communication is therefore the key to being able to overcome this fear.

“My biggest fear was letting people enter my home, my private area, my cozy nest. However, during a simultaneous exchange, I realized that our exchange partners had the same fears, and therefore, regular communication and honest questions were the way to build trust. We ended up having a really great experience. I learned to face this fear by learning that others have the same fears. And honest communication about those fears helped a lot."- KLARA

  • My home is at risk of damage or theft

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Obviously, you feel a certain reluctance leaving strangers in charge of your home for fear that it will be damaged, or that personal belongings will be broken or even stolen. Of course, it could happen, but our community is built on trust, and thanks to the rating system, reviews, and communication with your guests, your fears will abate. In the unlikely event of an issue, HomeExchange covers theft and property damage.

"I was worried that people would not pay enough attention to the home (that sofas would get dirty, for example) or that they would rummage through my personal belongings. I spoke to my guest on the phone so we could get to know each other a little better, and I was totally relieved. She was so kind and warm, and more experienced than me in the art of exchanges, which made it so much easier. I gave her a lot of ideas for places to visit in our city and we got along really well." - ESTEFANIA

“Our biggest fears were that our guests would steal from us or damage the whole house. Leaving our home to strangers for the first time seemed very strange to us, but the HomeExchange guarantee reassured us and helped us relax. Also, we went to other people's homes, so we ultimately wanted to think our guests would be as respectful as we were.” - ALEX

“Our biggest fear was coming home to a messy / damaged house. Another was arriving at a house and finding out that we were tricked and that the house doesn’t exist. And also, our cars. We overcame those fears by using Facetime to communicate with our guests in person so we could see their home and see them face to face. Regarding insurance, we reached out to our agent and asked our exchange partner to do the same.” - CHRIS

  • No one will want to come to my house

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Do you even doubt your home? Just because you live in the countryside in the middle of nowhere or in a small village in the depths of Brittany does not mean that no one will want to come to your place for an exchange! You would be surprised to find that what may seem uninteresting to you may be just what someone else is looking for.

“Since we have a small rural house, my biggest fear at the beginning was that other members would never want to stay here. Despite my fear, I still sent exchange requests and even received some to my surprise!" - STUART

  • My exchange could be canceled at the last minute

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Are you afraid that your host will cancel your exchange at the last minute when you have already bought your plane or train tickets or even upon your arrival? If this happens to you, you won’t have to worry, HomeExchange will help you with its guarantees. Your GuestPoints would be automatically returned to you and we will help you find a new exchange that meets the basic criteria of your canceled exchange. If we cannot find a replacement exchange, and you decide to travel, we will help you financially to pay for accommodation, up to € 100 / night for the same amount of nights as your canceled exchange.

“I didn't really hesitate, I knew this was something I wanted to do. Probably the biggest fear I had and still have is that my exchange will be canceled after I purchase my plane tickets. But, the GuestPoint system is really great for that, because if something happens at the last minute you can always ask to have someone host you with GuestPoints and the HomeExchange team are also here to help, so you shouldn't worry about that. As for us, we've completed over 90 exchanges and none have ever been canceled!” - SOPHIE

  • My home doesn’t conform to the description

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The fear of arriving at a home that is completely different from what you expected, or realizing that it doesn't exist can of course be quite stressful. Thanks to the notice system that verifies members’ identities and addresses, we can avoid this kind of situation. In case this happens, our team is available 24/7 to meet your needs. Do not hesitate to contact your future exchange partner via Skype or Facetime to get to know each other better.

“My biggest concern was not knowing what to expect when walking into someone else's house if it wasn't like in the picture. At first we just trusted people to clean upon departure and now we pay for the cleaning. We have learned to give and receive an optimal experience. I think being a guest before we hosted was a great decision as it calmed our fears when we learned they were like us.” - JEANNE

"At first I was afraid to arrive at our exchange home only to find out that it does not exist or that it is nothing like the pictures. But I’ve been on 22 exchanges and that has never happened to me. Communicating a lot with my hosts about their home, asking them for additional photos or looking at their ratings always comforted me and now, I wouldn’t travel differently for the world.” -SYLVIE

So you too will learn to overcome your doubts and embark on a home swapping adventure. Do you prefer the countryside or the mountains?

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