As many of our loyal readers know, we had our the Director of our Home Exchange Department (HED) do a home exchange over the holidays to evaluate how it worked. He is pleased to report that it was a total success. People who are reluctant or unwilling to do a home exchange cite the worry about how their home will be treated. Here is the big irony: Any trepidation you might have about how your home is being treated is eclipsed by the nervousness you feel in treating the home you are in. As it turns out, at least in this one test instance, it is clear that both homes are left as neat and clean or even neater and cleaner than how they were at the moment before the exchange took place. The only difference is that neither you nor your exchange partner will remember exactly where everything is supposed to go back to, so each of you will have a fun scavenger hunt type adventure for 3 things upon your return.
The advantages to doing a home exchange over an Airbnb rental are substantial. First, of course, is the tremendous cost savings. Second, the ability to communicate in real-time with the owner makes the stay go much easier, as any issue or question that does arise can be immediately addressed. Third, to not worry upon arrival to have to do a major stocking of staples (from butter, to coffee, to mayo, to bread, etc. etc. etc.) is a great convenience. And fourth, for security purposes and peace of mine, it actually is an advantage to have someone in your house while you're away where you trust such person(s) to care for the house, and it's clear given the externalities of an exchange, your exchange partners will care.
Link to HomeExchange.com