The pandemic has allowed weary travellers who do not want to travel to hotels and other accommodation to swap their homes with reputable hosts. Picture: John Tekeridis/Pexels
The pandemic has allowed weary travellers who do not want to travel to hotels and other accommodation to swap their homes with reputable hosts. Picture: John Tekeridis/Pexels

4 things you should do when you decide to house swap

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Feb 8, 2021

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House swapping has been around for decades, allowing travellers to swap homes anywhere in the world.

Couchsurfing, Love Home Swap, Home Exchange, to name but a few, have become popular house swapping sites.

The pandemic has allowed weary travellers who do not want to travel to hotels and other accommodation to swap their homes with reputable hosts, whether they are travelling to Cape Town, Dubai or New York.

Like many accommodation spots, house swaps are relatively safe and affordable.

Here are four things you should do when you decide to house swap:

Research the destination

Depending on where you are travelling, ensure that you have researched the destination, including possible travel restrictions and safety concerns. As tempting as that villa may look, it's best to get all the facts before you choose to swap.

Take insurance

Allowing 'strangers' into your home can cause concern, which is why taking insurance on your household items and car helps with unfortunate accidents like damage or even theft. If it is the latter, do lodge a complaint with the house swapping site. Try to store valuables somewhere safe.

Draw up a contract explaining expenses and other valuable information

Discuss all the household costs before the swap. These include food, internet, telephone and any other household expenses that the guests will incur during the stay. Not signing a contract could lead to unexpected costs for both parties.

On arrival, sanitise the place

While this is a requirement during the pandemic, taking extra precaution is essential when checking into any accommodation. If you are swapping your home, ensure that it is sanitised and cleaned before your guests arrive.

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