Travel has changed over the last few months and will continue to change and adapt for the foreseeable future. Home exchangers have different needs in light of the global pandemic, and we are here to meet those needs. We heard your questions and have worked hard to put initiatives into place that answer your questions and reassure you.
Here is a recap on everything we have put in place over the last few months to help you facilitate exchanges going forward.
You need to be able to travel with flexibility
We have robust HomeExchange guarantees that make sure you can travel with peace of mind, even during uncertain times. You have our Member Support team at your fingertips 24/7 with assistance in case of cancellations and property damage coverage. As always, we guarantee that if you don't find an exchange during your first year of membership, your second year is free.
We adapted our cancellation policy to COVID-19 times, giving members even more flexibility. Now, if you have to cancel an exchange because of the coronavirus, you will receive a full GuestPoint refund, and your host will keep their points as well. This measure is currently valid for all exchanges until the end of August. Cancelling or rescheduling an exchange has never been easier.
You need the option to travel local
We believe that now, more than ever, is a time for us to rediscover the beauty of our own countries and the places around us. We're committed to providing information on local travel.
We created an interactive world map with travelers' recommendations of food and drinks, nature, and lesser-known regions. Explore this map and discover local, non-touristy things to do anywhere in the world.
You need to be able to travel close to home
You don't have to travel far from home to get away! We adapted our homepage with a new category, showing homes that are less than 300 kilometers away from yours. We've gotten great feedback from members who love this easy way to discover exchange opportunities within driving distance.
You need to be reassured and be able to travel safely
Our members' safety is our top priority. We encourage you to have conversations with your potential exchange partner to make sure you are both comfortable with the terms of the exchange and the cleanliness practices.
We've also compiled household cleaning tips from official sources to help you prepare your home for an exchange safely and have partnered with GoCleanCo to give further recommendations on cleaning your home effectively to make sure your exchange is safe.
You need to find homes that are available for exchanging
Thousands of homes are becoming available for exchange every day as members begin to feel safe to travel again. Our calendar can be used to search for and easily find homes that are available on your desired dates.
Check if you need to update your calendar! Many members are dreaming about vacation. Your home could be the best place for them to relax after these difficult months. Whether you're thinking about traveling or would rather stay home, it's important for the HomeExchange community that you update your calendar. This way, members can understand your preferences and you will receive more accurate exchange requests.
Members are also starting to find exchange partners on our Facebook groups. We have a group for non-members and ones for members in English, Spanish, and French. These groups are a fantastic resource to find travelers who match your needs!
You need to be able to find travel that fits your budget
HomeExchange is the best way to travel on a budget. For just $150 a year, you can enjoy unlimited exchanges, including weekend getaways, long stays, and vacations near home. One family we recently spoke to said they saved $30,000 in the last year alone by using HomeExchange.
In addition, we want members to be able to travel with flexibility, so members who have already hosted can borrow GuestPoints if they don't have enough in time for a trip. GuestPoints provide flexibility and freedom in planning your exchange. Contact us to learn more about borrowing GuestPoints.
We're constantly working on finding ways to make home exchanging more affordable for you— stay tuned to learn about future updates!
You need advice on adapting your home listing during COVID-19
We created a detailed article with advice to help you update your home description to match the current situation. We've shared details you can add to your profile and information to give prospective guests to make sure everyone can feel comfortable and safe during their stay.
You need a platform to interact with other home-exchangers
It's important to have a source of information about what is happening in other regions and to talk to other home exchangers to help each other get through this time. Our Facebook groups have been an amazing source of fostering information, discussions, and even travel memories. If you're not a HomeExchange member yet, join us here, and if you are, join us in English, Spanish, or French.