FAQs on home exchange and house swap holiday accommodation in Australia

FAQs - Home exchange holiday accommodation
 

TESTIMONIALS

We are about to embark on our first international houseswap to Seattle Washington. We fly out in 2 weeks today for 7 weeks in the US. Will let you know how it goes on our return. Regards Sue and Mick (Coffs Harbour, NSW)
We love the house swap site. We have 3 swaps arranged. Thank you so much for your organisation. Di

More testimonials (137)

 

FAQs

Start here with any question that you may have about Aussie House Swap.

REGISTRATION

It's always free to browse the listings.

If you would like to CONTACT a member, or list your home so others can contact you, then you need to become a registered member.

VIEW MEMBERSHIP PRICES

Most people choose to pay using our secure eWay online credit card option but we also have PayPal if you would prefer.

You can also pay by cheque or money order through the post. We can also organise direct deposit or credit card payment over the phone.

Please email us for further details on payment options.

On registration, you should have received your welcome email and some instructions on how to proceed.

The next step is to login and create your profile. Once your profile is complete, you can then contact other house swappers and start organising your first swap.

IF YOUR WELCOME EMAIL HASN'T ARRIVED
Check your junk or spam folders. Make sure that you add our email addresses to your address book or contacts list.

admin@aussiehouseswap.com.au

messages@aussiehouseswap.com.au

You can retrieve your login details by going to the Login page and typing your registered email address within the ‘Forgot your password?’ section.

If you don't receive an email within a few minutes, please check your junk mail folder. If you still can’t find this email please contact us and we will create new login details for you.

You need to have an email account to use our system.

This is how we provide your registration information and important administrative communications. It is also the only way you can receive initial enquiries from other members.

If you do not have an email address you can easily create a free one with Hotmail or Yahoo or Google etc. These webmail accounts can be accessed online and are very easy to use.

GENERAL HOUSE SWAPPING

This pretty much depends on both parties. You might want to allow at least 6 to 8 weeks so you and your swapper have enough time to converse and work things out. However, some members have informed us that they have arranged a house swap a few days before the swap! And many have organised swaps in a week.

Mostly people like yourself! Of course house swappers come from all walks of life, seniors, families, couples, singles. From our experience the average profile of a house swapper is a well-educated, adventurous and open-hearted person who wants to expand their experiences in a different location. Regular house swappers are savvy people as they take advantage of the many benefits (both financial and otherwise) that house swapping offers.

Yes. Although the large majority of members are looking for shorter term holiday swaps there are others who love the idea of a long term swap. You have the ability to search under ‘Swap Length’ which includes ‘long term’.

Not necessarily. Those who own holiday homes may have them vacant for a long period of time throughout the year. This means they could swap with another holiday home owner at anytime during the year.

You may also be able to organise non-simultaneous swaps during times when you know that you will be vacant from your property - and vice-versa for your swap partner.

Some people also like "hospitality" swaps, where you might host your swap partners in your home, and they do the same in return at another time.

Definitely! Most people find that "size doesn't matter" - it is the quality of the HOLIDAY that counts. In most cases the accommodation is only used as a home base from which to explore the holiday destination.

You would be surprised where different people would like to holiday, whether it be bush, beach, hot, cold, country, city etc. Most places, big or small, have their own appeal to some potential holiday makers. So don't be afraid. There are bound to be many other Aussie House Swap members who are keen to holiday in your area.

Sure - you can enjoy home exchange holidays by swapping anything that you can sleep in! This might be a house, apartment, unit, cottage, cabin, holiday home or unit, duplex, farm house, motor home, caravan, B&B, hotel or motel, houseboat, yacht and anything else you can think of!

Yes, but you will need to get permission from your landlord.

Home exchanges are perfect for families. Gone are the days of overloading your car with cumbersome baby accessories! You are able to swap houses with another young family and use each others baby or child items. Just think how much easier your travelling would be without worrying about packing cots, highchairs, bikes, etc.

This is entirely up to you and your swap partner. Some people are often happy to mind a dog, a cat, a canary, etc, or water plants. Others might prefer not to, and in this case you would need to make other arrangements. Check our Pet Owner's Checklist.

Again, clear communication beforehand is essential, so that each party knows exactly what is expected of them. Just keep in mind your house swap partner is on holiday as well, and taking care of pets and gardens may not be their idea of relaxing.

Yes! This can be a very popular part of the swapping experience, especially if you are flying to your destination and have no transport. You are sure to find another member who is keen to swap with you.

It is advisable however to be clear on rules and regulations and perhaps to contact your insurer. Again clear communication between both parties allows this to go smoothly.

We have provided a draft car swap agreement for our members as a starting point.

HOUSE SWAPPING DETAILS

From our years of experience, the VAST majority of house swaps go really smoothly and are extremely enjoyable experiences for both parties.

For peace of mind you may like to inform your insurer, store valuables in a secure location and just take time to get to know your exchange partner.

We also have a house swap agreement you may like to use, and our House Swap Checklist is an excellent resource.

Many first time house swappers feel wary about the idea to start with, and this is understandable. However there are over two hundred thousand successful house swaps happening each year worldwide. Generally you find that other house swappers are people like yourself, who are after an interesting holiday in another location without paying expensive accommodation fees. Remember that you not only swap houses but mutual concerns for each others property. It is a relationship of two way trust and respect.

Usually people exchange with compatible counterparts i.e. if you have children you may choose to swap with a similar sized family, seniors may choose to swap with other seniors, a couple may choose to swap with another couple etc. but you certainly don’t have to stick to this formula. Remember that it is entirely up to you who you swap with, and clear communication beforehand (including checking references) will ensure that your needs are met.

Complaints are few and far between. Most of the feedback we receive is extremely positive. The most common complaint however is the differences in peoples' standards of cleanliness. However, honest and clear communication usually prevents this from occurring.

Once you have planned and committed to a house swap you should try your very best to follow it through. Remember that your exchange partner has taken a lot of time to get to this stage and would no doubt be excited and looking forward to the forthcoming holiday. However, if a cancellation is totally unavoidable please inform the other party as soon as possible, and be totally honest with them.

Generally you keep paying your own home bills and your exchange partner pays theirs. You may like to see if your house swapping partner would like to use the phone and allow a certain maximum limit eg. $20 worth of calls (and leave details of the telephone plan you are on). For long term swaps of around three (3) months or longer both parties usually agree to pay for the expenses of the house they're staying in.

This all depends on what you and your swapping partner have agreed on. Talk about things like TV, video, DVD, stereo, computer etc. Generally you need to replace whatever you use eg tea, coffee, sugar etc. Make sure you organise things beforehand so each of you knows what to expect.

To make your house swaps a whole lot easier we have created the 'Handy House Swapping Form', a simple form you can fill out and leave in your house for your house swap guest.

This form will save you a lot of time and save your swap guests a lot of potential confusion by informing them how to operate things like the TV, dvd, stereo, oven, washing machine etc, as well as leaving them emergency contact numbers and more!

Simply click on 'Handy House Swapping Form' within the Member’s Area.

Yes - using an agreement can prevent potential problems. Both parties can state what is expected and the terms of the house swap then sign it.

Aussie House Swap offers a house swapping agreement within the Member’s Area that can be changed to suit your needs.

We also offer a Car Swapping agreement.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP AND HOUSE PROFILE

Once you have registered and completed your profile, you will be able to contact other swap members immediately. This can happen in as little as 10 minutes.

You click on a listing and then click the 'Contact this member' button. A message box appears, you simply type in your enquiry and click on the 'Send message' link.

Your message goes directly to the other members personal account - and they receive a notification email (with the text of the message included).

The entire conversation is stored in the account section of each member.

No. The enquiry message you send automatically creates a reverse link back to your profile. So the swap member who receives your enquiry can simply click on this link and find your house profile easily.

Yes please! Even if you only say ‘no thanks’ and nothing else then that is better than having no response at all.

It’s nice to let people know so they know where they stand. If we are all considerate to one another within this house swap community then we are all going to be a lot happier.

Fill out the ‘Current Bookings’ fields to indicate when your house is not available between certain dates. This is displayed on your profiles.

Login to your account, click on the links in the My Account menu to update the different parts of your profile. On each page click ‘Save changes’ once you have added or changed your data. The changes will be visible on your profile instantly.

Yes - homes displaying photos get more enquiries. Many swap members don’t even look at profiles that do not have photos attached. A picture tells a thousand words, and if you display the house and garden well, expectations will be much better aligned, leading to a smoother swap experience.

It’s also a good idea to place a photo of yourself, to give other members a sense of who they are communicating with.

You are allowed a maximum of 12 photos.

Aussie House Swap allows you to add up to 12 images of your house.

  • Login to your account and click on the ‘House photos’ link.
  • Click the ‘select files’ button and select your image(s) from your computer.
  • You can choose which of your photos will be the feature image that appears in your search listing (the default image will be the first one uploaded).

We do not publish any of your contact information.

We strongly recommend that you use our messaging system for your communications - it is safe, secure and you can hold back your personal contact information until you're ready to share it.

The other benefit of the messaging system is that all your conversations are available to you on your phone, so you can access them securely from anywhere.

You may need to check that your location data has been entered correctly.

Login to your account and check your "Home Details". Next to your street address will be a confirmation map. Check that the REGION shown on the map is correct (the maps will not show street address for privacy reasons).

If the map doesn't show the correct region, you should re-enter the suburb or town and choose the correct name from the auto-complete list that appears.

Membership Badges are displayed on members' profiles to indicate how long they have been listed with us. The Membership badges are:

 

  • Silver:         Completed one year of membership
  • Gold:          Completed 2 years of membership
  • Platinum:   Completed 3 or more years of membership

Each badge automatically earns a Reward Credit, which reduces your next year's subscription. The longer you are a member, the bigger the reward, and Platinum members continue to get their reward every year.

AUSSIE HOUSE SWAP

Generally we reply to email enquiries within 4 - 6 hours but please allow 48 hours depending on demand.

As far as Aussie House Swap is aware all the houses listed on our website are active. All members have the ability to login and fill out the ‘Current bookings’ fields to inform that their house is not available between certain dates. This is displayed on their profile. Members can also email us to remove their listing.

Yes - we email reminder notices a few weeks before your membership expires.

Go to the house search page and type the member's Swap ID# into the box provided and their listing should appear.