We’re lucky: now that we’re sort-of-retired empty nesters, we can pack up and leave any time we want, and go anywhere we want to go. But we have our preferences. We’d rather travel when the weather is good where we’re going. We do our best to avoid peak tourist season. We like to stay in the same place for at least 2-4 weeks or more. We’re always open to an exchange in cities like Paris, Rome, Istanbul, or New York, but our destination might be as vague as “somewhere in southern Italy” or “a warm spot in January.”
Think about when you want to travel – which is when your home will be available. For a home exchange, also think about where you might like to go.
The timing: When can you travel? For how long?
Are you limited by a set vacation schedule or school terms? Are you traveling to attend a wedding or other event? Unless you already have firm travel dates, think about what time of year you’d like to travel and how long you’d like to be away. The more flexibility you have, the easier it will be to find an exchange partner or tenant. For now, choose some possible dates or times of year – you can always change them later.
For a home exchange, where do you want to go?
You might think, “I’ll go anywhere!” But it’s a big world out there. Starting with some priorities will help you create your listing and respond to inquiries.
Four questions to help narrow down the options:
- “Do I already know exactly where I want to go? Am I traveling to visit friends and family, see a particular tourist site, or attend a particular event?”
- “What countries, cities or areas of the world would I like to visit? Are there any I would rule out?”
- “Do I want to travel only by car or train, or will I consider destinations that are reachable only by air?”
- “What do I like to do when I travel? Relax on a beach or play golf? Visit museums and go to theater and concerts? Shop? Sightsee? Experience a different culture? Explore the wilderness? Have an adventure?”
What’s Next: What does your home have to offer?