Yesterday, I received the following question from a new JewettStreet member:
“Hello from Philadelphia, PA in the United States. I’m new to home exchange programs. My husband and I are looking to exchange our home for the month of July (ideally in Italy). After reading up more on how it works, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s unrealistic in the time frame. Could you shed your thoughts?”
Welcome to Home Exchange and JewettStreet!
As you have already noticed, home exchange is a vacation alternative that takes some preparation time. A good lead time is at least six months up to a year. Even though your chances of finding an interesting home exchange match do decrease the closer your vacation dates near, I wouldn’t say it is impossible for you to still find a swap in Italy this summer. (For one thing, I noticed that Italians generally plan their vacations later than Americans or North Europeans. So, at least from that viewpoint your plan might be slightly favored.)
How to Increase Your Chances of Finding a Home Exchange Within a Short Time Frame:
Choose several home exchange clubs which you like most and which have attractive listings in the desired vacation area.
Knowyourtrade.com is a good source to find an independent view about the 60+ home exchange clubs worldwide.
Some clubs are free, but be aware that members of a fee-based club are often more committed and experienced in home exchanging. Therefore, it might be a good investment to pay a small membership fee to increase your chances of arranging a swap in due time. Try it out!
Create an attractive listing with pictures and plenty of information about you, your home and very important, your local tourist attractions. Travelers from afar might not be aware of the attractive sights near you that you take for granted. Also, check out your local tourist office for ideas.
Get proactive and start sending home exchange requests to possible swap partners right away.
But no more than 10 a day, and then wait a day or two for responses.
Be open to different regions or even countries.
Does it always have to be Tuscany? Why not look in the neighboring provinces such as Lazio, Umbria or Marche which are just as beautiful, but less crowded?
If your efforts don’t lead to a positive response within a short time, try considering alternative home exchange destinations.
Maybe you could consider a swap in your own country? Not to have to rush to get airline tickets at the last minute might be a plus of such an exchange. Also, this way, you could familiarize yourself with the home exchange process and you would be well prepared for your dream home exchange in Italy - next year.
Home exchanging is a big adventure. Try to be open and flexible and you will be rewarded in many unexpected ways.
Dear readers, how much time do you give yourselves for planning your next home exchange?