Upgrade your swapping game, with member Plym’s insider tips.
Plym only joined Love Home Swap two years ago, but she and her husband have already been on twenty “absolutely wonderful swaps, where not a single one was a disappointment”. Swapping both their holiday home in Spain and their main home in Devon, UK, the couple have enjoyed a huge array of amazing travel experiences. Plym revealed that they have stayed in a range of different and unique places through the site such as “a chateau in France, a riad in Morocco and so many more in twelve different countries".
Plym enjoys all forms of home swapping. Admitting that their second home has put them in “a very fortunate position” she says: “We’re able to do staggered swaps and the majority have been either for Points or non-simultaneous swaps.”
Plym on one of her swaps
Plym’s home swapping journey began with an unexpected visit to a country that she hadn’t anticipated visiting:
“Our first experience after joining was with a request for our home in Devon, to go to a house on the beach in Kenya. We had no plans to go there, but once I’d seen the house, we couldn’t say no. We then contacted every other property on the Love Home Swap site in Kenya and arranged a month’s worth of swaps in different parts of the country. Each place was wonderful. Three were for Points and the other non-simultaneous swap is due to happen soon. The trip included two different places on the coast, two national parks and a few days in Nairobi, so we saw a lot of the country, and we have never looked back.”
With such a wealth of experience under her belt, Plym is perfectly placed to provide advice on how to make the most of home swapping:
Read the details of the listing carefully
Tailor your message to each member to show that you’d be compatible swap partners! For example, if you are looking for a holiday home that is suitable for children, consider contacting members with family-friendly homes. “If you find a family with school age children, they are probably looking for a school holiday exchange” Plym says.
Be open to different places and experiences
If you can be flexible, then you could benefit from the most incredible holidays. “Don’t set your heart on one particular destination,” Plym says. “Be open to all sorts of places!” Plym has also benefitted from staying in homes that she thought might be out of her reach. “My place goes for 200 Points per day, but some homes range from 100-400 Points. Some of the houses on the site are very glamorous and you may feel your own home doesn’t match”. The moral of the story? Be brave in your ambitions!
Plym's converted rectory home
A Moroccan riad that Plym did a Classic swap with
Keep your message requests succinct
Plym suggests that members should keep their initial requests “quite short and to the point” in order to be more successful when requesting swaps. That’s not to say that you won’t build up a great rapport with other members once you’ve stablished initial contact! “I often exchange many emails about all sorts of things, building up a friendship even before the swap has taken place,” she says. “And many of those friendships have persisted.” One of these friends includes an American lady named Ana who lives in Italy. She was doing a swap in Cornwall, but “because of travel restrictions she was unable to get home” so she stayed in Plym’s empty coach house for a bit of time. They have since become good friends and Plym is looking forward to going to visit Ana in Italy next summer!
Put yourself in their shoes – and have fun!
“The experience of staying in a home rather than a hotel or even holiday accommodation is infinitely preferable” says Plym. Explaining that you will get more out of the home swapping experience if you are “open, flexible and trusting”, she adds: “When you’re asking for a particular home, try and imagine what it is that the other family are after. Communicate with others on the basis of trust, and get an understanding of other people’s needs and priorities. It takes some time, but it is the best kind of work. So far, this approach has had great results for us”.
We love hearing about our members’ incredible home swapping experiences. If you’d like to share your story with us (and our friendly community) then please get in touch!