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 »..