You definitely have a head start! But a quick search through the listings will give you an idea of the many attractive offers available. Even members with attractive offers should take the initiative and contact all others whose listings are of interest. Make an effort to search out possible matches, be as flexible as you can be about destinations and dates - and you should have no problem arranging an exchange.
Check out 'Organising home swaps' for more detailed information.
Although of course you are at an advantage if you live in a popular area, many members want to avoid tourist areas. Look at your local attractions from a visitor's viewpoint and provide potential exchange partners with lots of information. Give distances to the nearest cities, airports and well-known attractions.
Most members are simply looking for a base for their holiday, large enough to accommodate their family comfortably. It is not necessary to exchange like for like but do be honest in your description of your home and facilities.
Home exchange is a mutual exchange of homes or holiday homes, usually at the same time, for an agreed period. This enables both parties to the exchange to have rent-free accommodation during the exchange. Your exchange partner may live across the country or across the world. Your homes may be similar in size and type or totally different - all that matters is that you are both happy with the exchange arrangements you have agreed in your arrangements before the exchange takes place. You can take an unlimited number of holidays with other home exchanges during your membership.
Each exchange is unique; a relationship of trust should develop as you get to know your exchange partners through e-mail and phone calls.
The First Home Exchange Alliance (FHEA) is a business organisation founded in 1999 by established independent home exchange agencies that had worked together co-operatively for over 15 years. Radio Time Home Swap is a founder member of FHEA. Other members include:
- Guardian Home Exchange
- Invented City
- Green Theme International
Yes. You may pay by PayPal, cheque or international money order in pounds sterling or give credit or debit card details by phone. You may also pay your subscription fee directly into our bank account. Contact Home Base Holidays service provider, Home Base Holidays by e-mail or phone +44(0)20 71934903 for further information on different methods of payment.
Payments are made on a secure site which uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology to encrypt credit and debit card details whilst in transit. When you have been transferred to the secure server to enter payment details the site address will show 'https://' rather than 'http://'. You will see a golden padlock appear at the bottom of the screen when a secure site is entered.
An 'open' or 'free' system unfortunately may attract some people who are not well motivated to spend the time and care that's needed to arrange a trouble-free home swap. Home Base Holidays members want to be contacted by others who, by paying a small subscription fee and including their own exchange offers on the site, demonstrate a genuine interest in arranging exchanges. It is also reassuring to be able to view all exchange listings in full on the website before responding to offers. Importantly, for added security, Home Base Holidays do not publish complete address details leaving it up to the exchangers to communicate this with any potential swappers when they feel close to an exchange. Many free-to-list sites publish addresses on the internet for anyone to browse. Home Base Holidays offers a more secure set-up thus greater peace of mind.
Search listings by country on the main search page to easily see the number of current listings available. The total number of listings will vary throughout the year, with none more than two years old.
Looking only at the total number of listings is, however, not the best way to determine how likely you are to arrange an exchange. Considering the balance of offers in each country with the numbers of destination requests and how long listings are kept in circulation are both as important as total numbers of listings. Being based in the UK, and with our association with agencies and reps in other countries, Home Base Holidays is fortunate in attracting members both from the UK and from all over the world.
Yes. We only show active members on the site. As soon a listing expires it is automatically hidden on the site. In this way we try to insure that all home swap offers are current and actively seeking a home swap.
We have several membership options including 3 month, 6 month and 1 year memberships. The best value option is our 1 year membership option at 35. We proud to provide our service at a price that is right for our members.
As a member you can add your home to the site and start contacting other members to arrange your home swaps and enjoy free vacation accommodation worldwide. By choosing to home swap you can cut the cost of going on vacation in half.
We're based in London, England and for nearly 30 years we've been helping people to arrange home exchange vacations. We also work with The Guardian newspaper to provide a home swap service to their readers.
A common arrangement is for both parties to arrange for a friend or another family member to meet the exchange family at the airport and drive them to the exchange address. If this is not possible, send each other very clear instructions on public transport. Occasionally members will arrange to collect a car at the airport; if not arranging to meet at the airport, you must arrange to get a message to the exchange party on the exact location of your car in the airport car park.
Yes. It is important to ensure that your insurance policy remains in effect while your guests are living in your home. Make certain your insurance company is aware that your exchange partners are non-paying guests. Most insurance companies now acknowledge that your home is at lower risk from burglary when occupied; however, theft claims may not be met if there is no evidence of forced entry.
Members usually agree to continue to pay their own household bills during the exchange but often arrange to have a separate phone bill for the period of the exchange - each will then be responsible for paying for phone calls made at their exchange home. *Note: many members now agree not to use the household phone but rather use their own mobiles while on exchange. There may be additional bills in one home such as for regular domestic help, a gardener, etc. Members must agree in advance who will be responsible for any extra payment to ensure fairness to both parties.
Look for listings in the areas you have selected as desired destinations. Or you may see an interesting listing in an area you hadn't considered. Members' preferred destinations and available dates are indicated in the listings to help narrow the possibilities. Don't totally ignore members who haven't listed your area in their destinations - an attractive offer may well persuade them to consider an exchange with you.
To give yourself the best opportunity for a successful exchange, contact a number of possible exchange partners, expressing interest in a trade and describing your home, area, family, and preferred dates. New listings are added to the on-line database every day - check often for the latest offers that may suit your needs.
Meanwhile, you will probably be getting enquiries from your listing (it's so nice to get mail from so many wonderful places around the world!), offering even more choices. From these contacts, you will gradually narrow the possibilities to those that interest you most and where dates and other details seem to fit for both parties. Don't forget to let anyone else you have been in contact with know if you are unable to pursue an exchange so that they can get on with other exchange plans.
Click here to view the "Organising Home Swaps" guidelines.
Please reply to all enquiries, even if it is just a short note of regret that you cannot take up the exchange offer at this time. This is just courteous and allows members to get on with pursuing other exchange possibilities.
No. You can arrange more than one exchange if you wish. Some members arrange short breaks close to home as well as longer holidays abroad. You may also change any information you want in your own website listing at any time during your membership period.
In both the brief and full descriptive listings you will see the dates members want to exchange. Unless the member is flexible on dates and has indicated 'open to offers', these dates include both the months and year a member can exchange. Members can update this information whenever needed.
Access the main search page by clicking the "Search swaps" link in the menu bar. Only countries where there are current listings are shown from the drop down country list (this is automatically updated as members join). Choose any country you are interested in to browse the complete list of current listings.
Click the big blue "Join Today!" button in the menu bar and then complete the membership form. Make sure to include as much detail as you can giving an appealing (but honest) description of your home, facilities and local attractions. You can add photos and also a video to your listing to make your offer stand out.
As soon as you're payment has been made your listing will be live on the site so that you can start contacting other members to arrange your exchanges. You'll be able to update your listing's details and photos at any time.
If you have images, edit them if needed, save as jpeg files and store in a folder on your computer (remember what you called them and where you put them!) Pictures will be automatically re-sized once uploaded but should be at least 300 pixels in height to minimise loss of quality. Pictures in landscape format (wider than they are tall) work best. Log on to your member area and click the "Edit details" link and then select the photos tab to edit/upload photos. Alternatively do always feel free to email your photos to us and we will upload them for you.
Have any questions?
Radio Time Home Swap 7 Park Avenue London, N13 5PG England