Home exchange holidays are becoming increasingly popular for anyone wanting to travel like a local and save money. Debbie Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap shares 10 tips for a happy home swap holiday.

1. Chemistry

This is a vital ingredient. You need to feel good about the exchange for it to work out for you.?

2. Communication is key

Members can exchange 10 to 20 messages via the site to confirm a home swap vacation, and a phone or Skype call can definitely help to to get to know each other and the properties involved. Agreement forms are also available, which members like to use.

3. Spend time making your listing look lovely

Add lots of photos – and sell your home. Think online dating as a comparison!

4. Be open minded about where you want to go

My swap to Morocco was opportunistic – and wonderful.

5. Remember home swaps are often non-simultaneous

Work the seasons. When I went to Sydney in April, the person I swapped with came to London in August.

6. Insurance

Inform your insurance company before you go. Most prefer for people to be staying in your home, rather than it being left empty, but take out any extra cover if you need to.

7. Be thoughtful

Ensure your home is tidy before your swap partner arrives and stocked up on basics such as nice kitchen staples and clean linen.

8. Be sensible

Lock away any precious items before you go. That said, you will have to be a little relaxed about things – you can’t pack up the whole house.

9. Assign a key-holder to check on the place while you’re away

My cleaner does that for me, or perhaps a neighbour or friend could help. She also makes sure it’s spotless when we return so it doesn’t feel like anyone has been staying there.

10. Enjoy

Home swapping is an amazing way to travel like a local and bag huge savings on holiday accommodation. Do it once and it could quickly become the only way you’ll travel.

Have you ever had a home swap holiday? Share your experience!