The first HomeExchange experience is usually the one that stays with you the most. It’s the defining moment when you decide to broaden your horizons by redefining the way you travel.
As you step into the unknown, you discover trust, sharing, generosity and many other human values brought out by home exchanging. We are proud of our community and its values— don't hesitate to take the plunge and join us!
We asked our members about what surprised them the most during their first home exchange
The ease of organizing the home exchange
Organizing an exchange can seem frightening, until you just go for it. Lack of time to organize an exchange or the fear of not being satisfied can create apprehension that prevents you from getting started. However, exchanging your home is much easier than you think and offers many advantages.
The key to any successful exchange is communication.
Contact the members with homes you love, let them know your availability, the type of exchange you are looking for, and your criteria. If you find what you are looking for, all you have to do is pack up and go!
Make sure you talk about the logistics of where to pick up the keys and other practical things with your host. Thanks to regular communication, you will get to know your exchange partners and have the confidence to leave your home and travel in peace. It's not uncommon for home exchange partners to develop great friendships.
In these uncertain times, communication is all the more important. It is necessary to keep your hosts informed as your travel plans evolve, and they will do the same for you.
“Ease of organization... for the record, it was in Iceland, they left their car in the airport parking lot with the keys "hidden" in the sun visor 😂”
"Our host’s friendliness, his kindness, his listening and his availability to prepare our first exchange. A real joy: 1st reciprocal exchange in Brussels 🥰"
The exchange hosts’ generosity and trust
Trust and generosity are two important values at HomeExchange.
Opening your home to "strangers" and leaving them everything they may need (car, bikes, etc.) to feel at home, that’s the beauty of HomeExchange.
Many of our members leave little gifts at the end of their stay to thank their exchange partner for the exchange or to give them a warm welcome. A HomeExchange guestbook, maps of the area, and recommendations for where to visit often await guests upon arrival.
These personalized touches differentiate HomeExchange from simple rentals or hotel rooms. Seeing the generosity of our exchange partners puts people at the center of home exchanging.
“We got super cool little notes from the whole family 😍It was very touching. And of course the shared trust, and the stew that was waiting for us in the refrigerator.”
-Valérie- 11 exchanges
“The trust that we give each other without even knowing each other. It's simple and human! ”
Coraline- 6 exchanges
“Confidence given, the fact that a door is opened up for us so easily without expecting anything in return.”
-Marlène- 23 exchanges
“In a world where everything is ultra secure, where trust is so difficult to grant, we leave our keys with someone with whom we have exchanged a few messages on a website and then we go... I was unsettled the first time around, and I continue to be. It's unsettling, but it's absolutely wonderful!”
-Valérie- 5 exchanges
The impeccable cleanliness of my house when I returned
Leaving their house to another family can cause some people to hesitate on their first home exchange. Will I find my house in the same condition? Will my hosts respect the premises? Do I have to clean my house, drawers, cupboards, from top to bottom before welcoming my guests?
As with many aspects of home exchange, there is no rule: with good communication between you, you will avoid any unpleasant surprises and will find your home just as you left it.
Here, you will find how HomeExchangers deal with the household issue.
In addition, the rating system allows you to learn about your potential future guests.
The experience was authentic and everything went smoothly
Sometimes the home exchanges you browse are so beautiful they seem too good to be true. But they are very real, just as much as the experience you will have if you go for it.
HomeExchange offers the possibility of staying in real homes, each more authentic than the last. Some by the sea, others in the countryside, in the mountains, in the woods, or in the city center. All the homes have their charm and their history, and this is what makes HomeExchange so beautiful. Your home is beautiful too.
“It was 10 years ago, we gave the adventure a chance in Corsica with our baby. I was terrified that I would find myself on the street. But we danced with joy when we saw the sea view from the terrace of the super well equipped apartment!”
-Corinne- 81 exchanges
“Access to a house that was so large, beautiful, and modern that I could never have rented it.”
-Charlène- 7 exchanges
“Incomparable with a rental. HomeExchange is 10 times better.”
-Jessica- 11 exchanges
Try it for yourself! Once you start, you won't be able to travel without it
During their first home exchange experience, our members had many pleasant surprises that made them want to continue the adventure with HomeExchange for years to come, and even stop traveling any other way.
“I remembered my first exchange in 1982 through Sejours. I was in Fontainebleau, in a magnificent house. I was very young. It was a real experience and a great discovery. And after so many years, I'm still here, going on exchanges.”
-Ramona- 37 exchanges
“My first home exchange in 2013 was my dream exchange: two months in London in a Tudor style home built in the 1910’s. They were experienced exchangers who held my hand throughout the entire five month long planning process. It was a giant leap of faith for our first exchange to be an overseas one (from US to UK), especially for that length of time, but they taught us so much. Even though we have done dozens of exchanges since then, it remains our all-time favorite dream home exchange.”Discover HomeExchange
-Sarah- 36 exchanges