People often ask – Is it possible to barter homes for vacation purposes? The answer is absolutely! This is how it works.
- Make a wish list of places you would like to go
- List several possible dates – This will also be the dates you can advertise your home to be available.
- Try to be very flexible, this will help the house swap actually happen.
- Do NOT book any flights until everything is finalized for certain!!
So, lets continue.
Give yourself at least 4-6 months to set up the transaction! It is important that you keep your expectations “real”. The first time you do a house swap will take a long time because you haven’t done it before and you don’t have the experience behind you. So be patient!
Once you know where you would like to go, list your home on TradeAway and make sure you have a very detailed listing. It could go something like this:
Title: Beautiful home in Salem WI for Vacation Swap
We are looking to travel to Italy and need a place to stay. You stay in our home during that time. Our home sleeps 12 comfortably, some of that is pull out couches in living rooms and we have 2 full baths with 1 half bath. We are centrally located between Milwaukee WI (45min) and Chicago IL (1-1/2hr). Lake Geneva is also a wonderful place to spend time and that is only 20 minutes from our home. We have an acre fenced in yard with a fire pit in the back. Deck with benches all the way around and two picnic tables. We have WiFi, cable TV, Jeep that sits 5 and a car that also sits 5. You provide insurance.
Our home is not small child friendly but we can try to put breakable things away if need be. We do have 1 pack n play available but no crib. Please do not smoke in the house but feel free to smoke outside on the deck.
We have several close by attractions (give links to them) that are fun for the whole family.
We have several dates to choose from but really, our schedule is open so if you are interested, so please let us know if you think this is a fit for your vacation wishes.
Don’t forget to fill the wish list section at the bottom of the listing. Be specific as to what you are looking for.
Then when someone contacts you the fun begins!
Set ground rules and expect to spend lots of time on the phone and/or emailing to set up the trade. Clear out a few closets and drawers for them to use and make sure they know if they can eat food in the freezer or fridge. If not let them know where the closest store is. Should do that anyway.
Give them a list of people to call if things go wrong and for heavens sake let your family and neighbors know that someone will be staying in your home while you are gone. This will avoid many possible problems. Leave a homeowners guide with numbers for them to call if need be.
Provide maps and lists of places close by that they can go like restaurants, pharmacies, attractions and such.
What about the pets. Do you need to board them or are you swapping pet care too. The possibilities are endless.
Time to plan your next vacation!