Member Stories: Lesley

Discover home exchange with GuestToGuest Members

Lesley is one of our most active members in the USA.  Her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a five minute walk from E. Passyunk Ave, one of Philadelphia’s most happening neighborhoods.  In her time with GuesttoGuest, Lesley has organized 8 exchanges and she was kind enough to give our other members a few insights into home exchange.

Lesley

Did you have any fears about exchanging your home?

Not many. I like and trust most people and did not fear the stealth or damages friends frequently bring up. The security deposit, insurance, and verification features allayed most worries. I was concerned that guests should leave the home as clean and ordered as they found it, and in every case but one, this has been the case.

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Lesley’s living room

Did you like the relationship you had with your contact (host or guest)?

Yes, all of my many guests have been friendly, helpful, courteous, and flexible as experienced through our multiple communications. (I have met only a few in person.) There was an incident in a guest in my home while I was there pressed to extend his stay longer than we had agreed upon, which I did not appreciate. In another, an otherwise delightful young woman who stayed in my house both while I was present and away, left it untidy.

What do you think is the best advantage of exchanging your home?

There are so many: It is wonderful to experience another person’s home for it reveals not only their individuality but the customs of their country. Staying in a home is generally far more comfortable than an impersonal hotel room; it provides familiarity when exploring the unfamiliar. The monetary advantage is huge: so few of us can afford hefty airfares as well as meals and lodgings, especially young families. The service has many of the best components of Airbnb which is so prevalent here now but additional benefits the commercial site does not: There are no cancellation fees; and there is the ability to connect via personal email and other contact info if members wish, in addition to communicating through the official website.

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Lesley’s Dog

For pet owners, a strong benefit is that in many cases guests are willing to care for a beloved pet who remains in the home during their stay.

What advice would you give to a friend that does not know about home exchange or is reluctant to join?

Be clear on what you want and what you need from such a membership. Is the primary desire to be a guest? to host? or to experience both options? Besides saving the cost of lodgings, will you enjoy interacting and guiding guests sharing your home while you are present? Study the website. Take advantage of your own and others’ questions with the online help provided by other GuesttoGuest users and the good team. Responses are usually within 24 to 48 hours.

Why did you join GuesttoGuest community?

Joining was almost accidental. I used other vacation rental exchange sites for several years never registering my own home, however, because of the additional fees.

Do you usually host other members or exchange as a guest?

I have always been a host never a guest. Both for reasons of finance, and family concerns, I’m unable to take advantage of the many lovely spaces offered as reciprocal exchanges.

Click here to learn more about home exchange.