So many homes. So little cost.

Swap with thousands of inspiring homes worldwide

Start my free trial
Start my free trial

Great news! You’ve organised and confirmed your home swap. Now what? If you have a while to go, then queue the excited holiday online shopping and making packing lists – but if you’ve got a week before you depart, then best make sure your home is ready for your guests. Here’s our 10 top tips for getting your home swap ready.


1. Let them know what’s included in advance

Whether this is your main home or a holiday home in another country, it’s important to let your guests know what to expect from their home exchange. We always recommend discussing this as far in advance as possible to give yourself enough time to agree on expectations.

Fresh linen, towels, washing up liquid and detergent are often standard practice. However, added touches such as a universal power adapter, different phone chargers some playing cards and candles can go a long way in creating a comfortable stay.

If you don’t intend to provide certain items that are often considered essential, do make sure to let your guests know well in advance.


2. Declutter and clean

Before making any other preparations for your home, it’s always a good idea to start by giving your home a good clean and putting away any unnecessary items.

Some members (especially those who are swapping their second or vacation home) choose to use a professional cleaner, but this is a personal preference and should be something to discuss with the members you are home swapping with. Many members simply clean their home before guest arrive by polishing surfaces, tidying living areas, vacuuming carpets and mopping floors.


3. Clear some space for your guests

As home swappers, your guests understand that they are often staying in someone’s home, not a hotel. However, this doesn’t mean that they should feel like they’re invading your personal space.

We always recommend creating some space in the wardrobe with some spare clothes hangers, as well as an empty draw so they can unpack. It’s also a nice idea to clear a cupboard in the kitchen, as well as provide enough room to hang coats and place shoes in the entrance way.


4. Stock the kitchen cupboards

After a long, tiring trip, it’s always nice to arrive at your accommodation with some refreshments and not have to worry about immediately running to the nearest supermarket. This doesn’t mean a full stocked refrigerator, however a selection of hot drinks, snacks and some chilled beers and bottled water in the fridge can go a long way.

Another nice touch may be finding out if your guests have any special dietary requirements, such as Halal, Kosher or Gluten intolerance, as some of these foods may be hard to find in an area you don’t know well.

5. Make a welcome pack

Many members put together a small information folder, so your guests can make full use of your home and navigate the surrounding area.

Essentials are WiFi passwords, codes to any household alarms and where they’re located, a spare pare of keys. Other touches could be including a map, things to do nearby as well as the nearest supermarket, coffee shop and bakery.

If you live in a city, make sure to leave a maps of public transport routes, how to buy tickets to get around plus any good phone numbers of taxi companies. If you live in a suburban area with non-manned rail system or metro line, we recommend providing a pre-paid transit card for your guest. No need to put much money on it, just enough to get them started.

It's always a good idea to send this welcome pack as an e-copy via email so that your guests have time to read it on their way to yours, and a physical copy somewhere easy to find in the home, i.e. the kitchen table.


6. Leave Instructions for household appliances, WiFi, alarms etc.

When having guests stay it’s important to leave instructions in an easy to access place. You can either bundle instruction manuals together in your welcome pack, leave the beside the appliance or write your own summary. Some items could be the security alarm, dishwasher, heating and gas, washing machine, dryer, coffee machine and TV. Also if you have any logins like Netflix or Spotify these can be useful too.


7. Write down and share important contact details

With apps like WhatsApp it’s easy to chat to your guests on the go and be at hand. However, it’s also a good idea to leave a few numbers if you’re away on a direct swap. Your neighbour, a nearby relative or friend are great options, as well as emergency numbers for plumbers, electricians, fire department, police and doctors are helpful too.  


8. Let your guests know what they need to do

Will you have pets staying in the home during their stay? Or maybe you need a garden and household plants needing attending to? Leave clear instructions on what is expected of your guests, as well as where to find items like cat food or plant feed, watering cans etc.


9. Let your neighbours know about your swa

It may be a shock to next-door if they suddenly see strangers unlocking your front door for the next two weeks, so it’s best to give them a heads up that you’ll be having guests stay and you won’t be present, especially if this is your first time home swapping. If it isn’t your first time home swapping, it’s always good to give an update.


10. Do a test run

Think you’re all set? The best way of figuring out if you have your home ready is to picture yourself in the shoes of your guest. Stay in the rooms they will be staying in and suss out if there is anything missing. Is it too hot? Have a fan on the side. Too cold? Make sure you have some throws available if needed.


And that’s it! We hope you have an amazing home swapping experience and let us know if you have any top tips for preparing for the ultimate home swap using the hashtag #howtohomeswap and share on on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or drop us an email at



Join the world's favourite home swapping club

Sign up today and start your free 14-day trial

Start my free trial
Start my free trial

Have your say

Related posts