Updated: Feb 24
Preparing for a trip can be stressful. From packing your bags to traveling to your destination, the process can be exhausting. Add preparing your home for an exchange to your to-do-list, and you may feel a little overwhelmed. You may also have some anxiety about exchanging your home. Particularly if you are exchanging a primary residence. In this blog article, we'll discuss tips for preparing your home for an exchange. Following these tips will help ensure your home meets your Xcapers expectations, and should also help alleviate any anxiety you may have.
1. Clean your home thoroughly and ensure its condition is consistent with your listing.
Your listing should be an accurate representation of your home. The way your home is depicted in your listing is the way it should be presented to your Xcaper. Preparing your home for an exchange involves thoroughly cleaning your home. Housekeeping can be time consuming, so don't wait until the day of the exchange to tidy-up, as doing so may only make preparing for your trip more stressful. Start preparing your home for an exchange a few days prior to the day of the exchange. Doing so will help ensure that no stone is left unturned.
2. Provide white linens
There’s something to be said for fresh, crisp, white linens. They give an overall perception of cleanliness, as stains are generally visible to the naked eye. Although white linens are a standard in the hotel industry, the same cannot be said for vacation home rentals. White bed and bathroom linens increase a guest’s confidence in your home’s cleanliness. For this reason, 2Xcape requires Xcapers provide white cotton sheets (200 thread count or higher) for every usable bed and a supply of white towels for each bathroom. The initial expense of acquiring enough to get through a few days should not be too substantial. The linens do not have to be decorative. You can buy white linens for a reasonable price at a number of retailers, including Costco, Amazon, Walmart, Kohls, Target, Overstock and Wayfair.
3. Store valuables in a secure location
The main concern many people have about renting or exchanging their home is the potential for their belongings to be damaged or stollen. While this is a valid concern, there are steps you can take to secure your belongings during an exchange. You will be able to relax and appreciate your trip more when you’re sure that your valuables are safely stored and nothing can happen to them. Storing your valuables in a safe, for example, is the best way to prevent damage or theft. The safe should be large enough so that it cannot be easily transported from your home, thus you'll want to avoid compact safes or lock boxes. Home safes aren't cheap, so If you don't already own a safe, you may consider storing your valuables in an unused room or garage to which only you have access. Note that doing so may require purchasing a keyed entry door handle. You may even consider placing an indoor camera in the room where you plan to store your valuables. Be sure to remember to update your profile to reflect whether there are inaccessible areas in your home. In addition, you may consider storing your valuables outside of your home in a bank safe deposit box, for example, or in a storage unit.
4. Take photos of your home
Take detailed photos of the interior and exterior of your home on the day of your departure and on the day you arrive home. Doing so will provide a record of the condition of your home at the time of the exchange. Likewise, take photographs of the home of your Xcaper upon arrival and departure for your records.
5. Protect items that cannot be reasonably stored
If you have furniture you would like to keep clean, protect those items with sofa covers, mattress covers, tableclothes, and chair leg socks. Provide coasters to protect your furniture from liquid damage and scratches. In addition, if there are areas of your home where eating or drinking is not permitted, be sure to communicate this to your Xcaper.
6. Notify your neighbors
If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period, it's a good idea to notify a trusted neighbor so that they can keep an eye on your home while you're away. Inform your neighbor that you'll have guests and ask them to report any suspicious activity (e.g., theft), loud noise, or parties (if parties aren't allowed) to you directly or to law enforcement if circumstances warrant it. Be sure to provide your neighbor with your contact information to contact you if necessary.
7. Create a portfolio or record a greeting message
Creating a portfolio or recording a greeting message is an excellent way to welcome your Xcaper to your home when they arrive. Your portfolio might include a picture of yourself, your family members and pets, along with a brief description of each person’s interests. You can recommend sights to see, restaurant options, places to shop, parks, and recreational activities. You can also use your portfolio or greeting message to reinforce any expectations you have regarding the care of your home. And if you create a portfolio, you can use it again for future Xcapes!
8. Establish and maintain open communication with your Xcaper
It's important to establish and maintain open communication with your Xcaper prior to and during an exchange. Not only can it enhance trust between you and your Xcaper, it can help avoid misunderstandings and reinforce expectations, leading to a successful exchange. Your Xcaper may have questions upon arriving to your home and getting settled in, such as where to locate a specific item, for example, so you'll want to take care to respond to any inquiries from your Xcaper in a timely manner. And especially in case of emergency, you'll want to be responsive to your Xcaper.
Now that you have booked your Xcape and prepared your home, it is time to immerse yourself into your chosen culture! In keeping with our mission, we encourage you to develop an open relationship with your Xcaper to facilitate cultural exchange. Likewise, we urge you to spend some time learning about the history and the people of your temporary home.