A Complete Guide to Planning a House Swap Vacation

May 31, 2022 • By THIRDHOME


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Are you considering a house swap vacation? There are many great benefits of choosing a house swap for your travel plans! A house swap offers a budget-friendly way to travel, the opportunity to live like a local while there, a great way to utilize your second home, and more. 

Is this your first time planning a house exchange? If you’ve never conducted a home exchange in the past as part of your travel plans, then it’s not surprising if you have a few questions. A house swap/exchange is a bit different from booking a hotel room or even booking a stay at someone else’s house. 

A house swap is a unique travel experience. For this reason, it’s beneficial to do your research and know how to plan the perfect house swap before getting started. In this guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know about doing just that. 

Continue reading to start planning!

What Is a House Swap?

A house swap is a simple way to save money when traveling. While you’re staying in someone else’s house at your travel destination, that person is staying in your house. As the name suggests, you swap houses for the duration of your vacation. 

You can also have someone stay in the second home of yours while you stay in theirs, and there’s even an option to stay with the hosts still in the house as well. How can you find someone who lives at the destination you’re going to and who also wants to come to your house at the same time? A home exchange platform is the best way to find these people. 

After choosing a reputable house exchange platform, you’ll then need to consider a few factors. 

Key Factors to Know 

A house swap is very different from other methods of vacationing. If you’ve never conducted a house swap before, then it’s ideal to do some research before finalizing your travel plans. Here are a few things to know about the process. 

The Cost of a House Swap

The first thing to note about the cost of a house swap is that it’s much more affordable than choosing a more traditional accommodation. Here’s how the pricing works. You’ll need to create an account with the house swap platform to become a member. 

Once you’re a member, you’ll enjoy perks given to members only. These perks might include travel concierge services, discounts on travel-related services and products, access to small-group adventures, and an awesome referral bonus when you find friends to join. 

You’ll start by paying a one-time initiation fee, and then you’ll pay a weekly fee depending on the house swap you choose. Weekly fees range from $495 to $1,395. 

Communicating the Swap

Before you finalize your swap, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with a dedicated associate who can help you throughout the process. Proper communication with your house swap partner is essential to ensure both parties receive everything they’re looking for in the house swap. 

Some platforms might even offer translation services when needed t communicate with the other party. You’ll have time to get to know the other party first to determine if the swap is the right choice for you and them, which makes the experience unique. 

Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Swaps

A traditional swap is when both parties are traveling at the same time. For example, if you live in Florida and want to travel to Paris for a week, then the owner of the house in Paris will need to travel to Florida to stay in your house at the same exact time. However, this isn’t the only way to swap. 

If two parties can’t agree on the same travel dates, then there’s no need to worry. You can plan a non-traditional swap where you visit their house at a later time. Because ThirdHome uses second homes for their platform, you can easily allow someone to stay in your second home at a different time than when you stay in theirs. 

Your Swap Expectations

Before you list your second home on a house swap platform, you need to consider your expectations. What will you allow and not allow in your house? You also want to include an accurate description of the house along with photos that represent the house correctly. 

You can also ask a few questions to get an idea of what’s required of your guests as well. Both parties should have a clear understanding of the rules and expectations when staying on the other’s property. Hiring a professional cleaner before and after the swap is also beneficial and expected by many swappers. 

The Preparation Process

How can you start planning the swap process? The first step is to ensure your house qualifies for a swap. At ThirdHome, your house must meet the community’s standards. 

The location must be well-appointed and ideal. Once your house is approved, you’ll have access to the platform’s inventory of houses available for a swap. An associate from the platform will help you throughout the process to ensure your club experience is personalized and enjoyable. 

Then, you’ll choose a location and house to stay in for your vacation. 

Planning Your House Swap Vacation

Are you ready to plan your first house swap vacation? ThirdHome provides a luxury experience each time you travel. When using ThirdHome, you’ll have the option to choose from a home exchange, a small-group adventure, or a premium rental. 

To get started planning a simple and safe exchange, contact ThirdHome today for more information. 

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