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Boasting a stunning terraced garden and seafront views, Sandy’s recently renovated home is garnering a great deal of interest from staycation fans…

Sandy has been a member of Love Home Swap for two years, but having spent most of that time renovating her beautiful Bognor Regis home, she has only recently been on her first swap. Revealing that she undertook the house renovations with the aim of making her home more suitable for swaps in the future, Sandy has recently hosted her first LHS guests. We caught up with Sandy to find out how she found home swapping during the pandemic. 

 

Sandy and her family on their first swap in May 2020

 

How did you first hear about home swapping as a way to travel?

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, as my parents had a 3-month home swap to Australia about 25 years ago. It’s always been in the back of my mind, so when we were converting the house, we did it in a way that would make it easy for us to put our belongings away, and make it easy to swap. Also, when we were renovating, we added a lift to make our stunning views accessible to everyone. "

 

How did you feel about welcoming members into your home during this time?

“I felt fairly safe about it, as you get to know who they are beforehand. Also, when we did our second swap, hosting, back in June, most people had been sheltering and not going far. I just left plenty of hand wash and gels around the house for our guest Marie. She came to stay with 4 friends, and they were great. They left the place really tidy, with all beds stripped and bins emptied. I certainly think Marie enjoyed the yoga on our balcony.”

 

And how did you feel about staying in someone else's home?

“I think you have to trust that they will clean to the same standards as you do! Our first swap was with Bridget in Somerset. We stayed at a 3-storey house in Somerset with lovely views across the water towards Wales. There was plenty of room for the 5 or us, and we enjoyed being able to spend time with our family in a homely atmosphere. We made the most of sitting in the hot tub and star gazing whilst enjoying a bottle of bubbly!”  

 

Do you think home swapping is a better than hotels or holiday rentals, particularly during Covid-19?

“I do yes, as you relax a lot more. Hotels are lovely, but if you’ve paid for breakfast, you have to get up at a certain time, and you always have someone coming into your room and cleaning. If you’ve got a home to yourself, you can do as you please and get up when you want to. You’ve also got the kitchen where you can cook if you want to, so it’s a lot more relaxing. Also, you get a much better feel for the area.”

 

Do you think home swapping is something you'll continue to do?

“Oh definitely, yes, I’m looking forward to it! I haven’t used our Points yet, but I am open to all types of home swaps in the future. My son is in Canada, so we’re hoping to spend a lot more time out there. Most homes out there seem like holiday homes, so they’re probably going to be more likely to want to Point Swap.”

 

Do you have any thoughts or advice for anyone who may be thinking of trying a home swap?

“I’d say go for it. I was very nervous to start with, as even though we have a beautiful home, you still see the flaws and wonder if it’s good enough for other people. The first time, I went overboard and cleaned out all of my kitchen cupboards which I really didn’t need to. I will be a lot more relaxed about it next time – but my standards will still be high!”

 

Would you consider home swapping for anything other than a vacation?

“My partner is still working so wherever we go, he will be working – so it would have to be somewhere that has good Wifi! We definitely want to travel more. I’m retired and my partner will be soon, so we are intending to do a lot more while we’re still fit. Love Home Swap is going to play a big part in that I hope.”

 

Sandy’s stunning beachfront property in West Sussex

 

If you'd like to share your swap story, get in touch with us. And don’t forget to share your swap snaps on our social channels using #welovehomeswap.

 

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