Home Swapping

      It's a great way to save money on your next vacation. Sara Tetreault of the blog Go Gingham, joined us to share her experiences with home exchanges. She's an expert, having done a dozen over the past decade. Here are a few of her tips for home swapping:

      1. Use a reputable service or website.

      2. Remain "open-minded" with destinations.

      3. Assemble a travel binder - activities and events to do and see in your area.

      4. Compile a "house tricks" manual and share what doesn't work and what's close.

      5. Make arrangements for key pick-up and drop-off.

      6. Put away (and lock) valuables, financial records, and private documents.

      7. Make space in pantry, closet, and bathroom.

      8. Have a "welcome to our home kit" to welcome your guests.

      9. Leave staple foods - milk, orange juice, fruit, or bread - for the first day/night at your home.

      10. When you leave, write a thank you note and tell your partner what you did at their home.

      11. Be a good guest - leave the house nicer than how you found it.

      For more information on home exchanges, visit Sara's website.