Rene is a HomeExchange member from the United States who learned about the concept of home swapping through a friend. She was nice enough to share her experience as a first-time host doing a home exchange and give us some insight into hosting. Check out her story below!Discover HomeExchange
What were some of your biggest fears when hosting another member?
We had never hosted before, and although our eight chickens are almost entirely self-tending, we weren’t sure how it would go to have guests “looking after” them. We were worried that our chickens would escape from the coop and our guests would be running around our property trying to catch them! Luckily, that did not happen and our guests enjoyed fresh eggs for breakfast every morning.
How did you overcome this fear?
We left our guests very clear instructions about how to collect eggs and what to do if any chickens happened to get out. We left the chickens extra food and water to ensure they’d be comfortable while we were gone. Our guests seemed to truly appreciate the experience!
Have you hosted members from different countries?
Yes, we've hosted people from Canada.
Tell us about a memorable experience with a guest…
One of our guests got invited to a beach party on a nearby island. She and her friend had to be transported by boat with a neighbor to get there. They made it and apparently had a great time!
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What do you like most about hosting other members?
We love sharing our home and our town with people who have never been here before. We know we live in paradise, so to hear other people have had an amazing experience here with their families makes us even more proud to call this home.
How do you prepare your home for your guests?
We leave small gifts, we print off a thorough local guide and we make sure the house is way cleaner than it would be on any normal day!
Did you encounter any unexpected cultural differences?
Somewhat- one guest wanted to have the heat come on, but we are used to cool summers (and colder weather in general). We made it work!
What tips and tricks would you give to others who are hosting Guests?
If you’re nervous about hosting, ask to speak to the guests by phone briefly before their visit to answer questions. It can be nice to have some contact with them, even by phone.
What did you realize after you hosted for the first time?
Our guests truly treated the home as their own and left our house even cleaner than we ever imagined. We realized hosting is an amazing way to share our home and this area with others.
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