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When people first hear about the concept of home swapping, the first thing that often comes to mind is “but is home exchanging safe?” Trust and safety are a central part of home swapping with Love Home Swap, so in this 'How to Home Swap' guide, we'll talk you through all the ways to have a safe home swapping experience, prepare for your travel and how to protect yourself during your trip. 

Trust is key

The first thing to highlight before getting into the details is that home swapping (or home exchanging) is all about trust. As a community platform, Love Home Swap is more than just finding the perfect home for your next vacation (at a great price). It’s about the people behind those homes and treating these spaces with the respect you would a friend or family.

We have a host of guides on how to be a great host or a great guest when swapping, but the main thing to remember is that home swapping isn’t about staying in a complete stranger’s house, it’s about getting to know a community of like-minded travellers and enjoying the privilege of being welcomed into their homes (and vice versa).

 

How to home swap safely with Love Home Swap

 

Keep your swap conversations onsite

Love Home Swap has an on-site messaging service designed to allow members to discuss exchanges safely and securely.

By keeping conversations on our platform, you won’t be able to disclose personal details like phone numbers and email addresses until you have agreed your home swap. Not only is this safer for you, but it also means that our customer services team are able to trace back your conversations in case there are any issues arise during your home swap.

Most personal information will be automatically blocked by our safety system, however, we still recommend you to not share:

- Your full name
- Your address (your properties rough location will be displayed on our map feature)
- Your email address
- Your mobile or home number

 

Have a chat before swapping

Although we recommend not sharing your personal information with others before agreeing your home swap, once you have confirmed onsite you can share contact information. We always recommend arranging a call or even a video chat with your fellow swapper first. This can ease any nerves you have hosting your guests or staying in their home. This is a great way to get a feel of your guests/ host and could be the start of a great friendship.

If you have specific requirements for your home swap (i.e. need a crib or high chair) you can even video call your host to make sure that they have everything you need before your swap. For hosts, it can also be a great time to show your guests what they may need during their swap and where to find it (i.e. the cupboard where you keep the linens, where you keep the keys for the back door etc).

 

Make your profile personal

When searching for home swaps, it’s important to let other members know who you are. It’s important to be honest on your profile, whilst providing some personality to your listing. This not only saves you time, but it means everyone is aware of expectations.

 

Ask for ID verification

All Love Home Swap members have the option to add ID Verification as part of their membership.

This involves obtaining one valid form of photo ID (a driver’s license or Passport) and one recent utility bill from your listed property (Gas Bill for example). Once this has been vetted and approved by our customer services team, a verification icon will appear next to your name on your profile (see below)

Speak to a member of the team, we’re here to help

Home swapping is an amazing way to holiday, but it can be unnerving for those who are new to this way of travelling.

We have a customer services team on hand 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you have any doubts that a home or person on the platform is not genuine, or feel unsure of whether to agree a swap – we’re here to help. You can give us a call during our working hours (9-6pm GMT) or send us an email.

 

Don’t be afraid to say no

Sometimes it’s ok to say no when organising an exchange. If you have started talking to a member or they have enquired with you, it’s important that you feel safe hosting that member. If your swap partner is not providing enough information from their profile for you to make a fully informed decision, you can get in touch with our customer services team or ask the member to provide further information.

If you have viewed their profile and don’t think it’s the right fit, then you can politely decline their swap. We always recommend declining as soon as possible once you know you do not want to swap with a member to help them find a swap as quickly as possible (it’s ok to say no, but it’s not ok to leave members waiting.)

 

New to home swapping? Exchange with someone experienced

If you’re new to home swapping, the first time taking part in an exchange can be nerve-wracking. For your first swap it may be worth searching for someone who is a more experienced swapper and knows what they’re doing. This takes the stress off you a bit and means your first swap will go as smoothly as possible. 

You can search for homes with 'reviews only' and you will be able to read these reviews by clicking on the property profile. 

Want to chat about home swapping safely? 

Have more questions on staying safe when home swapping? Or maybe you have some top tips for other members? Get in touch with our team, we'd be happy to help.

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