Exchanging your home with another family can make the basis for a wonderful family holiday or break – see our feature on a Hampshire/Long Island NY home-swap to read about the pleasures and benefits of swapping lives for a week or two.
Swapping homes can be very cheap – the price of listing your home with an agency (see below for suggestions). And if the owners of the house you’re ‘borrowing’ have kids of a similar age, you can take advantage of things like cots, toys and even their babysitter or other
support. You’ll get invaluable 'insider' tips from your exchange family about where to go and what to do, and perhaps also the use of their car. Another benefit is that your house may be less susceptible to burglary if it's inhabited, and you’ll also get a free pet-sitter.
You do need to plan a long time in advance on the basis that unless you are super flexible it will be hard to find a ‘match’ in terms a suitable property that also happens to be available when you want to travel – and whose owners are interested in your property at the same time. Note that you live in a 'sought after' family neighbourhood for other families, you’ll increase your chances of exchanging for a highly demanded location in the UK or abroad.
To make the initial contact, ask friends and colleagues for possible contacts or register with a home-swap website – it’ll cost you on average £30 for a year’s sign-up.
Get to know your fellow swappers in advance – by telephone and email. If you’d feel more comfortable actually meeting the people who are
going to stay in your home, try to arrange an overlap.
Swap with people who have children roughly the same age. Their houses will be geared up to your needs, and they will probably have all the gadgets and gizmos that you make their place a ‘home from home’.
It might be time-consuming, but try to do a ‘life inventory’ – a list not only of where everything is in the house and how it works but also recommended restaurants, shops and places of local interest.
Don’t let it spoil your holiday if your hosts’ lifestyle is different to yours. Go with the flow. So what if their house is bigger or their garden is a wilderness? This is about swapping experience – and it’s only for a couple of weeks.
Contact your car insurer and ask your host to contact theirs to find out how to get a temporary ‘guest’ driver put on your respective policies if needed.
A fun-filled family snow programme for children from 4 years old, including an afternoon with Santa.
Unique highlights such as visiting a moose park, snow sculpting and a tour of the famous ICEHOTEL®.
Despite Nellim’s remote wilderness location you are assured of a warm and genuine Lappish family welcome.
A magical winter wonderland.
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