Direct Exchange: Also referred to as a mutual home swap -- You and another member exchange homes with each other. You vacation at their home, and they vacation at your home. The dates of travel need not be simultaneous. Since all of the homes in our Network are vacation homes and second homes, they are available a good portion of the year.
Indirect Exchange: Also referred to as a non-mutual home swap -- Another member allows you to stay in his or her home, but he or she decides not to use your home. The member allowing use of his or her house receives an Exchange Credit which is applied as payment when arranging an exchange with any other member. This non-mutual type of housing swap is exclusive to The Vacation Exchange Network. It means that your vacation is not dependent on finding someone to use your home.
Probably the most important factor in arranging a house exchange is flexibility. While the Vacation Exchange Network has hundreds of vacation homes and second homes in well-known resort areas, we also have many properties located in less known areas that are just as beautiful, but not as congested. The greater your flexibility in your travel destination, the more success you will have in making an exchange for your vacation.
Even if you rent your vacation property during peak season, you may want to forego a week's rental for a chance to visit your dream location. Housing swaps have the potential to save you hundreds or thousands of dollars on your next vacation. See our Affordable Travel page for details.
Don't be afraid of initiating contact with a member who owns a larger home. Often times, the other member is interested in just where your home is located and doesn't need the extra room.
Try to arrange your home swap as far in advance as possible; 3-6 months is recommended. Conversely, don’t be afraid to ask for a last-minute swap if necessary. Many of our members are happy to arrange a last-minute indirect exchange if their home is available.
The more contacts you make, the greater your chance of arranging an exchange. Once you select a vacation area, make initial contact with a minimum of three members who own homes that meet your needs.
While the contact information on each listing provides both telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, many of our members use e-mail for the first contact. They find e-mail less time consuming and less intrusive. See our Sample of E-mail Message for help with your initial contact. Once you receive a favorable reply, you can then discuss the specifics of your exchange via phone.
As a Vacation Exchange Network member, you will both initiate and receive contacts regarding home swaps. When receiving a contact, it is good manners to reply, even if you're not interested in the exchange.
Agree on the number of guests each of you will allow to stay in your vacation home.
Plan how keys and alarm codes are to be exchanged and returned at departure.
Discuss arrangements to pay for telephone, cleaning, etc., as well as use of special facilities such as pools, beach access, tennis courts, golf, and other costs to be incurred by each member.
Discuss the Do's and Don'ts: children, smoking, pets, etc.
If you rent your vacation home, coordinate the home exchange with your Property Manager. Prior to making a swap final, contact your Property Manager as to the availability of your home. Once the house swap is arranged, notify your Property Manager that your home will be in use that week and not available for rent.
Home swap partners should have each others’ telephone numbers during the exchange week, in case of any questions or emergencies.
If you have to change the dates of your home exchange, notify your home swap partner as soon as possible.
Most home insurance policies provide personal and property protection for guests visiting or using the property. Verify with your insurance company.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones:
We saw your vacation home listing on The Vacation Exchange Network's website and noted your interest in the Northwest area. We are interested in your property in Myrtle Beach, SC, either for an indirect or a direct exchange. We would like to vacation January 17-24. We have a three-bedroom ski-on, ski-off home in Breckenridge, CO., which is listed as property CO1234 on The Vacation Exchange Network's website. Our property is available all year for this exchange. Please let us know if you are interested in this house swap.
We look forward to your reply,
Allan & Laurie Miller