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Am i mad to consider an easter house swop with a florida family?

(41 Posts)
Theladyloriana Thu 26-May-16 11:39:39

Has anyone done this and it actually worked out well?! I'd like to take the dc to south Florida gold coast for a break... I live in a nice village which could temp people near some lovely places...

DefinitelyNotAJourno Thu 26-May-16 11:51:28

I've done this through a home exchange website, and swapped with a family in Paris. It worked very well!

KurriKurri Thu 26-May-16 11:57:37

Sounds like a great idea - is there anything specifically you are worried about?

Notso Thu 26-May-16 11:59:38

I'd love to do this but not sure anyone would want to visit where I live hmm

araiba Thu 26-May-16 11:59:45

why do you think you would be mad to do it?

HeyMacWey Thu 26-May-16 12:00:30

What do you do with all your stuff?
Do you pack away all of your clothes etc?

I'm tempted to do this as we're in a reasonable location - do you let them use your car too?

WalkingZed Thu 26-May-16 12:11:31

Nothing to contribute just interested in responses!

DefinitelyNotAJourno Thu 26-May-16 12:18:04

When I did it, no, we didn't pack away our stuff. I cleared a wardrobe for their use. They had one room off limits to me, where I presume they stored their clutter.

We both had cats, so left enough food and instructions on feeding.

We did not exchange cars as big are city properties anyway.

We bought our own food, but allowed each other to help ourselves to condiments, stuff in the fridge etc.

I mailed them my keys to arrive a week before while I met their cleaner at their place.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 26-May-16 12:22:34

Yeah, I've done it twice. Love it. Do it through a website where you have to pay a small fee to join, cuts down on timewasters. And be fussy - the first time we swapped I chose a house based on location rather than if I particularly liked the house and I was pretty miserable (it was exceptionally dark and cluttered, things I'd shrugged off in the excitement of getting a free holiday).

We have an office so we dump some clothes and toiletries in there to make space for our swappers, we didn't lock the door or anything though. And we either post keys ahead or meet people, depending on dates and stuff.

Dowser Thu 26-May-16 12:24:08

I did. We swapped our holiday cottage ( 3 bed) in n yorks with a couple who lived in London.
I let them have a week and we had 3 nights.
It was great.
They didn't move a thing. Nothing. Even down to the hair brush on the dressing table.
Told us to help ourselves to food from freezer. We didn't.
Our cottage ( being a holiday home) had no clutter anyway.
We didn't need to swap cars.

Went really well. Only downside is I would have liked to have met them.

shopaholic85 Thu 26-May-16 12:28:49

We had two very successful swaps with a family in Spain and one from France a few years ago through the Guardian home exchange website.

Spain: We did meet them before the swap as they were in the UK beforehand and we chatted via text in the run-up. By the time the swap came around, it felt like we were having friends to stay. We came back to find our flat as we had left it with the addition of a few lovely home gifts.

France: We were picked up by the family at the airport and shown around their home before they left to catch their flight. Again, we came back to find our flat as we had left it with a home-cooked French dinner in the fridge.

For both swaps, we locked up breakables, cleared wardrobe space and left spare towels and bedding. Everything else we left for their use, including our London Oyster cards.

We've been renting since, but as soon as we are home owners again, we will definitely return to home swapping. A cheap and fantastic way to travel, as you only pay the cost of flights.

Dowser Thu 26-May-16 12:29:51

Way back in the 90s with three kids we probably saved £300 on accommodation which will have gone towards food and petrol costs.

Dowser Thu 26-May-16 12:32:03

It's great how everything went well with people here. It shows how most people are basically good and kind and restores my faith in humanity .

Theladyloriana Thu 26-May-16 12:47:16

Me too and gives me a great deal of excitement! Any recommends on which site to use, and any thing to watch out for?

Theladyloriana Thu 26-May-16 12:47:50

Thanks shop for details

Theladyloriana Thu 26-May-16 12:48:43

I suppose I wonder if I was mad thinking of all those crazy stories about air b and b...

JuxtapositionRecords Thu 26-May-16 12:53:13

I'm interested in this too so thanks for starting the thread op!

For those that have done it, how would it work with your home insurance? Ie, say something did happen (something got broken/spilt/or worse case, stolen) - would this be covered?

Bogeyface Thu 26-May-16 12:53:33

I would love to house swap but ours needs too much work doing on it!

The thing to remember is that they have as much invested in the swap as you do. Its their holiday too, so its in the interests of both parties to make is a successful as possible.

I hope you find someone to swap with!

Theladyloriana Thu 26-May-16 12:54:01

Your welcome juxta, and yes that is a good point?

Theladyloriana Thu 26-May-16 12:55:02

You're grin

BeALert Thu 26-May-16 13:32:34

If you're swapping with a family then bear in mind Florida schools don't necessarily have holidays at easter. Spring break there is usually late March and is a week long.

Also think about cars. Will you swap those too, or hire a car out there.

shopaholic85 Thu 26-May-16 13:52:20

Juxta, I informed my insurance company that I had friends staying at mine while I was away. Because it was for 2 weeks each time, they said that this wasn't long enough to be a problem and I was still covered. I'm not sure what the cut-off point is. I'm with Aviva.

KERALA1 Thu 26-May-16 13:55:13

You would be mad - mad not to do it.

We've swapped about 12 times now. It's fantastic. We have seen so many places with our dds than we would otherwise. Brittany, Austria, paris,
Puglia,, Brittany just a few.

We started off using guardian site but too many Brits so we just use homelink. If flying def swap cars. Leave cars at airport then fly and collect others car. Most airports allow you to leave keys at information desk.

KERALA1 Thu 26-May-16 13:58:22

Tell your home insurers, we use aviva they are good about it. We are not covered if the swapees rob us, but are if something accidental happens say house burned down. Costs about £30 to put someone on your car insurance.

Warning - it is addictive! We fly to Berlin on Saturday nice swapee just texted to say it's 27 degrees!

misscph1973 Thu 26-May-16 13:59:33

I have been thinking about home swapping for years, but never done it. Is it okay to do it if you rent (I do)?

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