Archive for décembre, 2012

Exchange ethics

Renting Your Home

Enjoy your vacation in your exchange partner’s home and when it is time to depart, leave it exactly as you found it. Replace food and other supplies you have used. It is a kind gesture to leave a little surprise gift to show your host how much you have enjoyed your vacation-many home exchangers form lasting friendships! Remember that you are free to contact as many members listed in the directories and on the Internet as you wish. You can arrange more than one exchange vacation in a year (some home exchangers arrange short weekend breaks near home) and perhaps, with the later directories, begin making plans for exchange vacations next year.

Hospitality Exchanges

Hospitality exchange is a reciprocal arrangement involving providing accommodation and meals in your home for a guest in return for the same. Although not as popular as home exchange it can definitely be an enjoyable and inexpensive way of visiting another country, particularly for single people and teenagers. Again, for a successful exchange, care should be taken in selecting compatible partners.

Hospitality exchanges involve no exchange of money and members of home exchange clubs often find it a viable alternative when full exchanges cannot be arranged to fit their schedules.

Renting Your Home

Renting Your Home

Renting Your Home

People Travel the World is an Exchange organization. All items listed with us must offer Exchange. Anyone proven to be using a membership with People Travel the World as a means of advertising properties used exclusively as rentals will be canceled immediately and all fees paid forfeited.

Preparing For Your Guests

Leave your home clean and tidy with free storage space in the bedrooms and kitchen for your guests’ needs. Make up the beds which will be used with clean bed linen and provide clean towels.

If your guests have agreed to feed a pet, leave an adequate supply of food. If the pet is a cat or dog, is it a gregarious type of animal which normally gets along well with strangers? If it is more inclined to be timid, it would be a good idea to have a neighbor come by and feed it for a few days prior to your departure. That way it will already be used to an altered routine.

Attach simple operating instructions to appliances and your air conditioning and heating systems.

Most of your household equipment will likely be left for your guests’ use, but if you have any expensive items or other articles you don’t want used, either lock them away or make certain that your guests are aware of what is « out of bounds ». Irreplaceable antiques and personal items should be put securely away, especially if some of the guests are small children. Lock up any personal papers or records.

Clean out your refrigerator and stock it with just a few basic foods for your guests upon arrival so that they do not have to rush out to the supermarket immediately. Leave a supply of staples in the pantry; the general rule of thumb is that guests’ replace whatever they use before departure.

Don’t forget any « guest privileges » you may have promised when setting up the exchange. Leave any promised tickets or passes in a pre-arranged place and make guest arrangements at your golf club, etc.

Leave three sets of keys with your agent (friend or neighbor), and make certain that she or he will be home to welcome your guests. Let other friends and neighbors who would enjoy meeting your exchange partners know of their arrival-home exchange members are generally adventurous and independent and are very likely to enjoy the chance of meeting the « natives »..

Information Package

Real Estate informations

Leaflets, maps, recommended local restaurants, bus and train timetables may add considerable information to the local links and travelling links you already listed when registered.

Your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau will be able to help with local items and your state Office of Tourism will supply you with a statewide packet. Use a local street map to mark locations and routes for your guests to places of interest, recommended restaurants, supermarket, mall, etc.

Real Estate informations

Real Estate informations

Instruction leaflets for appliances, TV, VCR, air conditioning and heating systems. Indicate the location of your electric panel and gas and water shut-offs. If you are located in an earthquake area include appropriate leaflets. If you have a burglar alarm system, leave a copy of the instructions in the folder and also give a copy to your agent so that they can familiarize your guests with necessary procedures before any false alarms are triggered.

If your guests will be caring for pets and/or plants leave clearly written instructions.

If you are exchanging cars, leave copies of your insurance and registration (not originals). Also leave a booklet obtainable from your DMV outlining driving rules and regulations for your state.

List arrangements for trash collection, milk or bottled water deliveries, etc.

If you have arranged for yard and/or pool maintenance leave details so that your guests will not be surprised by their arrival.

Your home exchange agent

Home exchange agent
Home exchange agent

Home exchange agent

Try to arrange to overlap with your exchange partner, if only for a few hours, as both parties will feel more assured if they have been able to meet. If possible it is a good idea for one of the exchangers to meet the other at the airport, although in reality this does not often happen. Arranging departures and arrivals so that they overlap by a couple of hours can make a brief meeting possible, in which case arrange to meet your partners at a pre-arranged place in the airport.

Failing this, make sure that a friend or neighbor who is prepared to act as your home exchange agent, welcomes your guests and is available to help with any problems they might have. She or he will retain a set of house keys and will be responsible for passing two sets of keys to your guests.

Risks of Home Exchange

Cover risks

People Travel the World accepts members’ listings on trust. It would be impossible to thoroughly vet each member and at the same time keep the cost of membership at a realistic level. Generally though, it is much safer to have your home occupied while you are away.

Cover risks

Cover risks

The most likely cause for concern is cancellation of a firm agreement. However, if you have arranged adequate insurance and have done all the groundwork before finally agreeing to an exchange, you should have few problems.

Although damage to property can happen, this is rarely a serious problem – having someone in your own home is a great incentive to treat your exchange partner’s home with care. Should any accidents or damage occur, the rule is straightforward enough: whoever caused the damage is responsible its replacement or having it repaired.

The most common problem which can occur is simply a difference in housekeeping standards. It is irritating if you have worked hard to ensure that your own home is clean and tidy before your vacation, only to arrive at a home not nearly as well kept. However, rather than let it spoil your vacation just reflect upon the advantages you will still enjoy even the most modest « lived in » home is sure to provide greater space and comfort than a spotless hotel room.

But having said all that, one overriding factor remains: if you would be so concerned about your home being lived in by strangers that you would not enjoy your vacation, please do not even consider a home exchange vacation.

Exchange Agreement

Exchange Agreement

When you are fully satisfied with all the arrangements agreed with your partners, you may wish to write a short exchange agreement stating the dates of the exchange and listing all decisions taken. Sign it and send two copies to your exchange partner. Ask him to return a signed copy if he is happy with the agreement.

Exchange Agreement

Exchange Agreement

At this stage you have made a binding agreement to go ahead with the exchange. Withdrawal would cause great inconvenience and expense to your partners. Any members known to have broken a firm agreement will be excluded from any future listings.

If you should get an attractive exchange offer after already agreeing to an exchange, why not suggest an exchange at a later date? Just breaking an exchange agreement because a better offer comes along is taboo among home exchangers.

In the case of unavoidable cancellation (death, illness, redundancy in the family), telephone your exchange partner immediately. If at all possible arrange an exchange at another time, or failing that arrange for a friend or neighbor to take your place.


If you are offering to exchange cars or yachts, check that your auto insurance covers your exchange visitor. As with home insurance, auto and yacht insurance is usually in force for thirty days, but this must be checked with your insurance agent. Also, check with your exchange partner whether his insurance will cover you fully for liability and property damage.

When booking your flight, check that your insurance will cover you for cancellation because of illness, etc.

You may also wish to arrange additional insurance cover against your exchange partners canceling for similar reasons.

Special insurance may need to be obtained from your agent for driving or sailing in other countries than your homecountry.

How do you arrange everything for the better

Bills – sort out and agree which bills you and your partner will pay. Many home exchangers find it generally works well to continue paying their own household bills apart from the telephone bill.

If you normally employ domestic help, then you should continue to pay for that service whilst your exchange partners are in residence. However, if the guest exchanger hires someone for the duration of his/her stay, payment is his/her responsibility.

Repair to household appliances – may agree to reimburse your exchange partners for small emergency repairs, but ask them to consult with you before arranging expensive repairs.

Plant care – if your guests agree to water your plants for you, stick to simple requests. Unless you are setting up a long term exchange, plants will survive without fertilizers, foods and supplements until you return.

Yard and garden care – few people want to spend hours of their vacation tending someone else’s yard. This is one instance where the homeowner should definitely arrange for outside yard and pool care so as not the burden the guests.

Insurance – check that your home insurance remains in effect while your guests are there. Normally home insurance is in effect for up to thirty days of guest occupancy. If the proposed exchange will be for longer than thirty days you may have to make some alternative arrangements. Check with your insurance agent.

What is Home Exchange

We offer you the opportunity to register and exchange your private home, cottage house, motor home or yacht!

The principle of exchanging, bartering or swapping your house is well know – the principle of exchanging your motor home or yacht gives you even more options and variety.

What you get is a free stay and a different vacation living more or less as a local. Saving your accomodation-, car- or yacht- rental expenses makes it possible for your travelling dream come true. Or maybe you want to travel some more for the same amount of money!

You can choose to exchange your private home with another person or familys private home which is great.

But sometimes its hard to make the time period match and sometimes you would like to try something else! Say having a yact in Norway and feeling like a summercruise in a motorhome in Australia? Or having a timeshare apartment in Lanzarote and feeling like a metropolitan vacation in London?

Or what about the person or family whos only consideration and desire is walking distance to the beach? Or the opportunity to hike or play golf? Or the access to kitchen appliances and hot and cold water?

Searching the database of People Travel the World could surprise you. Maybe you did’nt know golfing was great in Norway? Or surfing was great in Switzerland?

Contingency Plans

Home Exchange

One of the most critical parts of home exchanging is understanding that once you make a firm commitment, people miles away are counting upon you to honor that arrangement. If they have committed themselves to actually purchasing tickets, then their financial outlay has been considerable and once that point has been reached, it would be reprehensible for you to cancel.

Home Exchange

Home Exchange

When embarking upon setting up a home exchange, it’s always wise to have a contingency plan, ready to be implemented should a genuine crisis occur. Ask neighbors, family members and colleagues if they would be interested in an exchange vacation; research property management companies in your area who might be able to offer a short-term rental.

But most important, before you begin making any contact which could lead to a home exchange vacation, please think very seriously about the commitment you are about to make and if there is even the slightest chance that you may change your mind at the last minute, stop right now. Obviously home exchange is not for you for the time being.

The vast majority of home exchanges usually take place without any problems whatsoever, probably because most people are responsible and realize that they are dealing with homeowners just like themselves and not a tour company.

Should a legitimate emergency arise such as a serious illness or a death in the family, if you have already made contingency plans, implement them immediately, otherwise make every effort to make suitable alternative arrangements for your exchange partners.