This past Mother’s Day, HomeExchange honored our Mom Members that are all about exchanging their homes. They share with us their experiences.
Home-exchanging is engaging in a host-guest relationship based on a willingness to welcome and to receive. Naturally, a large part of the HomeExchange experience is determined by the Host Member and their personality. This gives each HomeExchange its unique, defining characteristic. By 2018, more than 40% of HomeExchange Members are families. Here, some mothers who are strong believers in HomeExchange’s philosophy tell us their stories.
The Playful Mom:
Having participated in 43 exchanges, Corinne is a regular exchanger. What gives her house its charm and differentiates it from the others is an unusual, but successful, piece of furniture - a Lego table. "When children visit, I take out my now-grown daughter’s super Lego table with a tray and lid for them to play with! A great guest mom asked us if it was for sale. We were right to keep it!”
Rosario likes to involve her children in the preparation of their exchanges. "I tell them about our future guests and I tell them if there are children of the same age, so they are responsible for looking for games and/or toys that might be suitable for them" - Rosario
The Guide Mom:
"I have my own little travel agency with my own summaries of places to visit in the area, suggestions for restaurants to try out and guides for walks". What Stephanie finds important is giving her guests advice and recommendations, as she does in her region of Vaud, Switzerland. To do this, the following information is always provided by our Guide Mom: The Urban Hikes Guide, Passport Leisure, a little guide on the Gruyère… there is something for everyone!
"I always leave them a little welcome present like a bottle of wine, chocolates, and canned food in case they don’t have time to go shopping, etc. I leave them brochures for restaurants, take-away shops, and a guide of the province with what to see in the village. If they bring young children, we leave out toys and tell them that they can have them.” M. Ángeles concludes by saying that she would like to find her house as she had left it.
The Mother Hen:
For over 10 years, this mother hen has welcomed travelers with her famous welcome basket: "After 23 exchanges, it is less stressful. I prepare a welcome basket accompanied with the traditional welcome book and documents about the region". The important thing for her is to offer each guest a warm and friendly welcome, a typical characteristic of exchanges between our members.
Nagore tells us: "I leave a homemade cake and typical products from the Basque Country, I insist that my guests take everything they need from the cupboards or fridge and for the children, I leave out something for them to draw, along with nice stickers... as well as a coupon for ice cream!
Myriam likes to put a lot of affection into each exchange, and says that it is always worth it. "Our thing is to stay in close contact from the beginning and when we finalize the exchange, we start communicating and preparing for their arrival. We like to leave the house nice and clean, with some details or a little gift, our file with recommendations and our "Guestbook" so that our guests can leave comments before leaving. If we’re leaving by plane, we arrange for the delivery of the car to the airport with the GPS indicating how to get home to make everything easy "- Myriam
The Organized Mom:
With lists galore, our last mom, Elodie, is very organized: "I have a list on my computer for everything. I print it out and put it next to each task along with a family member’s first name. A house cleaning list, a repair list, a shopping list, a packing list, a list of things to prepare for the arrival of our exchangers.” Accompanied by all her family, she reminds us that exchanges are organized and gone on together and each experience is made to enjoy beautiful homes and beautiful destinations as a family.
Elisabeth loves people who interact with her. "We take great care of our guests and if the exchange takes place on different dates, we offer to pick them up at the airport and we leave them local food." If our guests have children, we invite them and we act as private tour guides in our area. Here is a picture of our daughter with one of our "little Irish guests" from last week. As a mother, I like to instill the values of hospitality and affection for others in my daughter, and I am aware that other moms are very appreciative of having these unique moments with their children... Happy Mother's Day! “
HomeExchange allows you to experience holidays differently, in a warmer, more authentic setting. Our Members’ holidays are mainly focused on traveling with their family to enjoy unique moments all over the world.
What is your way of welcoming guests?