- Introduction to the Lifestyle
- Travel and Accommodation
– Getting the Best Flights and Sourcing Top Accommodation
Our recommendations and tips on finding a hotel/ rental home plus the best way to book your flights.
[Read and Review – 40+ minutes]
– Rental Negotiations Cheat Sheet
How you can you save money when organising your short/ long term rental.
[Read – 20+ minutes]
– Air Miles Exposed!
Coming Soon! The ultimate low down on how you can fly for free.
– Home Exchange Starter Pack
Looking to stay somewhere with all your home comforts but in an exciting new destination? Can’t afford hotels or renting when you have a mortgage to pay at home? Like the idea of living like a local? Need reliable internet and somewhere to set up your laptop? Home exchange could offer the perfect solution to keeping a base at home whilst travelling the world. Here we provide the complete guide to getting started with your first home exchange.
[Read and Review – 1 hr + ]
– Rental and Home Exchange do’s and don’ts
We made the mistakes so you don’t have to!
[Read – 10 minutes]
– Keep your Costs down Check List
An essential check-list for keeping the costs down while away.
[Read – 20 minutes]
- Your Video
Home Exchange and Renting Do’s and Don’ts Checklist
Some of the rental tips below are also applicable to home exchanges- we have indicated this with an *
|1.||Get more information before dismissing the idea. It isn’t for everyone but if you do overcome any reservations it could work out really well||Feel that having a pet prevents you from doing home exchanges. Some families will seek guests who are willing to look after cats, chickens etc (although they are likely to also have a back up for when you may go away exploring)|
|2.||Leave plenty of time to prepare your home exchange pack. You will probably add to it with each exchange.||Be too fussy about everything having to be exactly as you left it. It won’t be, and you want your guests to enjoy their stay instead of worrying about minor things|
|3.||Make some space in your bedroom for your guests to unpack their clothes||Avoid the issue if you would rather your guests didn’t take your car to certain places or to certain distances. Remember, you are likely to go exploring in theirs, but if it is important it is always parked in the garage overnight, or you would prefer they don’t drive it long distances, for example, you need to say so.|
|4.||Leave your home clean and tidy. It’s also a great incentive to have a usually long overdue clear out!||Leave old food in your fridge unless it is labelled (they won’t know how long it has been there if you left a while before they arrived)|
|5.||Think about your local area and its hidden gems. Leave directions, information about these for your guests to enjoy||Feel like you have to throw away all foodstuffs. Most people leave staple food like pasta, rice, cereals, tins etc and the freezer partially stocked|
|6.||Leave a few bits in the fridge i.e. milk, bread etc, especially if they will be arriving late||Leave anything out which you wouldn’t be happy to be used up.|
|7.||Write clear instructions if there is anything in your home that doesn’t quite work as it should i.e. a lock that needs to be jiggled in a certain way or an ongoing issue which needs occasional maintenance||Agree to exchanges with a family with lots of young children or pets if you are very particular about your home and its furnishings|
|8.||Be clear if you need plants watered or fed||Be surprised if you lose a few plants if it is very dry while you are away- your guest family may not always be around to water them|
|9.||Leave clear instructions how to work the heating, TV remotes, the internet, BBQ etc. The more comprehensive the information you leave, the less questions you will be asked||Forget to be clear if you don’t allow smoking in your home|
|10.||Leave emergency contact details of neighbours or family who can be called upon||Ignore your host’s instructions- if they have outlined preferences, even if you don’t see the point, follow these to the letter|
|11.||Get confirmation of your guests flights so you know exactly when they will be arriving and leaving||Forget to remove or lock away financial information like credit card statements, cheque books etc. It can’t hurt to be cautious|
|12.||Just use the rooms you need- for instance if it’s just 2 of you in a 4 bedroom house, close those bedroom doors so you won’t have to clean them!||Forget to ask if it’s ok to have visitors or guests of your own come to stay in their home|
|13.||Make up their bed with clean sheets when you leave||Forget to trust your instincts. If you see a potential exchange that you think seems too good to be true, you may be right|
|14.||Leave a welcome gift in your home for your guests’ arrival e.g. bottle of wine, flowers, chocolates, something typical of the local area||Forget to clean their car before you leave if it was spotless when you collected it|
|15.||Leave a thank you card in their home when you leave||Leave dirty bed linen or unwashed towels|
|16.||Expect to find unusual foods in your kitchen which you wouldn’t normally buy when you return home!||Forget to write an honest reference if your home exchange website operates this scheme|
|1.||Find out about local amenities. If your accommodation is quite remote you may need to consider hiring transport*||Expect there to be any of the basics in the cupboards i.e. herbs, spices, flour etc. You are likely to need to buy or bring most things|
|2.||Just use the rooms you need- for instance if it’s just 2 of you in a 4 bedroom house, close those bedroom doors so you won’t have to clean them!*||Forget to check whether bills are included or you will need to pay for electricity. This may have a bearing on how much you use the air con or heat the pool!|
|3.||Find out what the cleaning policy is i.e. if you need to clean before you leave or whether a clean will be done after you leave||Be surprised if there are power cuts (especially in remote or rural locations). Make sure you have a supply of candles and know where to find them in the dark!|
|4.||Put away anything you don’t think you will need and suspect may be costly if it gets broken*||Forget that there may be mosquitoes in hot countries. Take some mosquito coils with you and buy some citronella candles- but watch out for where the wax and hot embers fall*|
|5.||Move things around if it makes it more comfortable but remember where it was originally so you can put it back*||Pay through western union if you can avoid it. There is no come back if there is any fraud|
|6.||Check if there is an inventory and go through it to make sure you have everything in the property which is on the list||Only consider renting in peak season- this is when it will be most expensive. You can get better deals out of season|
|7.||Expect to pay a substantial deposit. This will be returned when you vacate the property if there have been no breakages etc||Forget to find out when refuse is collected or what the recycling rules are*|
|8.||Replace small items yourself which get broken*- it is likely to be cheaper to do it this way than have the cost deducted from your deposit||Overlook the importance of having a contact name or number in case you encounter any problems*|
|9.||Check through the rental agreement or contracts||Always wait for someone else to come and fix a problem. Sometimes its quicker and easier (if it’s something reasonably simple) to sort it out yourself*|
|10.||Negotiate. There is usually room to manoeuvre on cost||Be surprised if you are left hanging when trying to work out a rental agreement. Time differences or simply different levels of urgency can result in frustrating delays*|
|11.||Ask for recommendations of where to shop, eat, drink, visit etc*||Forget to get a clear map and directions of exactly where the property is. Even if it isn’t a bit off the beaten track, it can be difficult to get your bearings in a new place, especially if you are a tired or jetlagged on arrival*|