Frequently Asked Questions

We have split these FAQ's into two area's because without doubt there are many more questions relating to Home or Hospitality Exchanges than for Holiday property lets (rentals), which we will deal with first. Please appreciate that these questions and answers should be understood as being a guide ONLY. You should always confirm the answer with the listing party you contact.

HOLIDAY LETS (RENTALS) questions

  1. Do I make arrangements for a holiday let through 3rd Age Holidays?
  2. Does 3rd Age Holidays vet properties listed on this site?
  3. I want to list my rental property on this site, do I have to be the owner of this property?
  4. How are payments for rentals made?
  5. Are payments refundable?
  6. Are property owners terms and conditions available?
  7. How accurate are property descriptions?
  8. How accurate is the availability calendar?
  9. Can I provide feedback about my holiday let?
  10. Does 3rd Age Holidays make any travel arrangements?
  11. Can I list more than one property?

EXCHANGE OF HOME OR HOSPITALITY questions

  1. What is a home exchange?
  2. What is non-simultaneous home exchange?
  3. What is hospitality exchange?
  4. What are the benefits of home exchange?
  5. Why is your website targeted at the 50 plus age group?
  6. Can I join more than one home exchange website?
  7. I would love to exchange but will my home be safe?
  8. How do I become a member of 3rdAgeHolidays.com?
  9. How much does it cost?
  10. How do I pay for 3rdAgeHolidays.com membership?
  11. Can I list more than one property?
  12. Can I list my holiday home for both rental and exchange?
  13. Will my address and contact details be displayed on your website?
  14. How do I contact other members?
  15. What kind of people exchange?
  16. How do I find and arrange a property to exchange?
  17. What is the procedure if someone wants to exchange with me?
  18. Can I make more than one exchange each year?
  19. Can I arrange multiple swaps for one trip?
  20. What about my home insurance?
  21. What about children?
  22. What about pets?
  23. What about valuables?
  24. Can I take family or friends with me on the exchange?
  25. Can I exchange within my own country?
  26. Will anyone be interested in my modest home?
  27. What if my home is not in the best location?
  28. What can I do to increase my chance of an exchange?
  29. How much time do I need to arrange an exchange?
  30. How long does an exchange last for?
  31. Will I need travel insurance?
  32. Do you need a signed contract for an exchange?
  33. At what stage should we book our travel tickets?
  34. Who pays for what during the exchange?
  35. What about exchanging keys?
  36. What if something gets broken or damaged during an exchange?
  37. How can I make sure that my personal possessions are safe?
  38. What about cleaning?

HOLIDAY LETS (RENTALS) answers

Please note, in the context of the answers given below, a 'Listing Party' will be a member of this website and as such will have paid a membership subscription. When search results are shown we indicate whether or not the listing party is a U3A member but please be aware that we cannot validate such membership.

1. Do I make arrangements for a holiday let through 3rd Age Holidays?

You can make a rental enquiry through this website BUT all arrangements for property lets are made between you (as the renter) and the listing party. 3rd Age Holidays facilitates the listing of properties that are available for rental and interested parties initially contact owners through our enquiry system. However, the letting transaction is carried out directly between a renter and owner, 3rd Age Holidays has no involvement in this transaction other than being the method of introduction.

2. Does 3rd Age Holidays vet properties listed on this site?

No, we do not. When you make an enquiry about a holiday rental we forward your enquiry to the property listing party by email. We suggest that in your enquiry you request a landline contact number and before you make any payment, obtain the full postal address of the renting party. We encourage and welcome feedback from anyone who rents property listed on this web site so that we can modify our listings in the light of any information that causes concern. User feedback is the best way of gaining validation of property descriptions but, as a relatively new site, many properties will be shown only with the description provided by the listing party. In these cases we ask that prospective renters get clarification from the listing party about any queries or concerns they may have.

3. I want to list my rental property on this site, do I have to be the owner of this property?

Absolutely!  We do not accept rental listings from partries who are not the owner of the property they are listing.

4. How are payments for rentals made?

Payments for Holiday rentals are made by the renter directly to the party who listed the property on this site and NOT through 3rd Age Holidays. Any Rental Contract is made directly between a Renter and the Listing Party and 3rdAgeHolidays.com has no involvement in that Contract.

5. Are payments refundable?

Since 3rdAgeHolidays.com is not involved in the rental transaction we cannot answer this question. When you make a rental enquiry ask about this issue with the listing party.

6. Are property owners terms and conditions available?

Such terms are not published on this website so if you are a prospective renter then you should ensure that you obtain a written copy of the property owners terms before proceeding with any booking or payment. You should request a copy of these terms in your initial enquiry.

7. How accurate are property descriptions?

All property descriptions shown on this site will have been entered by the listing party and the only way we have to validate the accuracy of these descriptions is through feedback from renters (which we actively encourage).

8. How accurate is the availability calendar?

The availability calendar (on this site) for each individual property is maintained directly by the listing party. If a booking has been made through the booking facilities on this site, our system will automatically update the availability calendar once such a booking is confirmed by the listing party. However, it may be that the listing party also obtains bookings through another site and in this case the listing party will have to manually update this system so the availability calendar may not be fully up to date. So, when you make an enquiry, or reservation, request confirmation of availability from the listing party (all enquiries or reservation requests are emailed by our system to the listing party).

9. Can I provide feedback about my holiday let?

Absolutely, and we encourage such feedback. We copy listing parties with this feedback and invite them to provide a response but if 3rdAgeHolidays.com becomes aware of any fraud or serious mis-representation in property listings we reserve the right to remove such listings from this web site - see 3rdAgeHolidays.com Terms & Conditions

10. Does 3rdAgeHolidays.com make any travel arrangements?

No, we do not make any travel arrangements whatsoever. You will need to make your own arrangements with ABTA or ATOL travel operators as you require.

11. Can I list more than one property?

Yes, but we charge an additional £15 for every additional property. So to list 3 properties for example, the cost would be (i) Standard Membership £30.00 plus (ii) 2 x £15 = £30 so the total payable would be £60.00 (which includes annual membership of this site).

EXCHANGE OF HOME OR HOSPITALITY answers

12. What is home exchange?

This is when you swap your main residence, or holiday home with others for a mutually agreed holiday period, with no money changing hands. It's up to you, but you could also include bikes and sporting equipment as part of a home exchange. Home Exchanging can provide a more rewarding travel experience and can be a great way to see the world at low cost. The key is to get to know your exchange party well before the exchange date.

13. What is non-simultaneous home exchange?

This is when both parties enjoy each other's property but at different times, which gives you greater flexibility when planning your trip. This can happen if either, or both parties have holiday homes, or are away elsewhere, perhaps on business or visiting friends or relatives.

14. What is hospitality exchange?

This is when you become a guest in someone's home whilst they remain in residence and then you reciprocate at a later time. This works particularly well if you are sociable and really want your hosts to show you around a new area. It is also a great way to make new friends in the UK and around the world.  A Hospitality Exchange could be as little as a B&B arrangement; most people are open to suggestions so contact your Hospitality partner and discuss what arrangement you would prefer.  The Hospitality Exchange can be for any period that suits you and your exchange partner - could be simply a weekend, or week or two, it's your mutual choice.

15. What are the benefits of home exchange?

 

No accommodation costs.

 

Saving money by not having to dine out every night.

 

Potential savings on sporting equipment hire.

 

You get to live like a local for the duration of the exchange.

 

You get a low cost change of scene, perhaps exchange a city for the countryside, or countryside for the beach, winter for summer, skiing for golfing, English for any other language etc. etc.

 

Freedom to do what you want and when you want to do it, just like when you are in your own home.

 

Security - your home is occupied whilst you are away.

 

Local knowledge - provided by your exchange partners, where to shop, eat out, visit etc.

 

Make new friends - both your exchange partners and perhaps their friends and neighbours.

16. Why is your website targeted at the 50 plus age group?

Most exchangers prefer the idea of exchanging with others with similar tastes and common interests with age being a factor. This is also why we have a focus on U3A members who tend to be aged 50+ and who may have ceased full time employment. This age group has more time to travel, is more flexible on dates, duration of exchanges and may take several holidays per year. Finding an ideal exchange partner using a web site such as this (which is focused on a certain age group), is therefore easier and less time consuming. Do some searches, and look for potential exchange partners, it's fun!

17. Do I need to be the legal owner of the property I list for Home Exchange?

Yes! To exchange a home you MUST be the legal owner of the exchange property.

18. I would love to exchange but will my home be safe?

Most of us are apprehensive about having strangers in our homes, but remember you will also be in theirs and they will have similar concerns. We recommend that you get to know your exchange partners before the exchange takes place, and don't forget your property should be safer and more secure than if you left it vacant. If however you do not feel comfortable with your proposed exchange partners, go with your instincts and find another exchange partner.

19. How do I become a member of 3rdAgeHolidays.com?

Click on the Register button on the top of this page. It should only take a few minutes to become a member and you can always complete the procedure, ie add photographs and other details about your property listing etc. at a later time.

20. How much does it cost?

If you want to list your property for a Home Exchange or Exchange of hospitality, the annual membership fee is £30.00

21. How do I pay for 3rdAgeHolidays.com membership?

Our preferred method of payment is through Paypal (details are on our Membership sign up page).

22. Can I list more than one property?

Yes, you can list as many as you want although we charge £15.00 per additional property you list, on top of standard membership.

23. Can I list my holiday home for both rental and exchange?

Yes, we include both Rentals and Exchanges on our website to help our members get the maximum benefit from listing on this site. To list the same property for both Rental and Exchange all you need to do is become a Standard Member. However, if offered for rental the property must not be the owners main residence (unless it is a B&B rental).

24. Will my address and contact details be displayed on your website?

We do not reveal your name or street address in your exchange listing BUT, if you select 'Show On Map' when you list details of your property, then the location of your property will be included on a Google Map displayed on this site. If you do not wish to display your property's exact location then simply enter the area only under the 'Address' listing tab. Your contact details (email / phone number) will not be displayed on this site. All enquiries relating to your listings will be forwarded to the email address you included with your registration to 3rdAgeHolidays.com and it is then up to you to directly respond to enquiries.

25. How do I contact other members?

To make contact with a member about an exchange you must be a registered member and your own property must be listed. As a member, you can make contact with any other member by forwarding messages through our system. Simply do a search for the type of exchange you're seeking and matching properties will be returned as a list. To view more information about a listing simply click on the property title or image if provided.

26. What kind of people exchange?

All types of people, from all walks of life. U3A Members have a common interest and the common age group of 50+ and people of this age are usually very responsible and reliable. Some people exchange simply for a lower cost holiday, others whilst visiting family and friends or perhaps want to get to know an area or country prior to moving there permanently.

27. How do I find and arrange a property to exchange?

Once you become a member of 3rdAgeHolidays, you simply search for a suitable property and contact other home exchange advertisers advising them of your interest in a swap. The momentum will gather from that point.

28. What is the procedure if someone wants to exchange with me?

Their enquiry will include an ID number and a link to their property. Have a look at it and, if you like what you see and it fits in with your own requirements, contact the member to confirm your interest. If however their property does not suit what you are looking for, you do not have to swap with them, but you must (out of courtesy) contact the member and let them know.

29. Can I make more than one exchange each year?

Yes, you can make as many as you can arrange.

30. Can I arrange multiple swaps in any one year?

Yes, you may arrange as many as you would like.

31. Will my home be insured during a home exchange?

Most insurers are happy to offer full insurance for up to 30 days if your house is occupied by guests. As no money changes hands in an exchange of home, your insurance should not be affected. You will however need to contact your home insurer to confirm the position before going ahead with any exchange.

32. What about children?

When you list for home exchange you should indicate if you're happy for the exchange to include children or grandchildren (set under 'House Rules' in the listing process).

33. What about pets?

Not all exchangers are pet lovers. When you list your home you should state whether a pet is welcome or not (set under 'House Rules' in the listing process).

34. What about valuables?

For your own comfort and to stop you worrying whilst on holiday, our advice is to lock away anything of value or remove such items altogether, if feasible. I am sure that your exchange partners would prefer that all valuable or fragile items were removed prior to their stay because it is one less thing for them to worry about.

35. Can I take family or friends with me on the exchange?

You must make your exchange partner aware of who will be staying with you and obtain their agreement.

36. Can I exchange within my own country?

Certainly, many exchangers do. You may want to swap homes for a city or golf break, or perhaps for a business trip, or simply because you want to see more of your own country.

37. Will anyone be interested in my modest home?

Yes certainly. When registering your property, make sure you highlight all the good points (every home has some) and don't forget to include the location which may be its most appealing feature. Be truthful with the description of your home, even pointing out some negatives. Including real positives in your description and including plenty of photographs will help you find the right partners. To some, the location will be more important than the property and many will be more than happy to stay in your home to avoid having to stay in a hotel.

38. What if my home is not in the best location?

Location is obviously important but, even if your house is not located in a tourist area or the best looking house in the neighbourhood, you will still have opportunities to find exchange partners. People travel for different reasons and it is not always to visit the tourist areas; it may be that they want to see relatives or friends who live near you, or perhaps they are on a business trip and your property may well be ideal for them.

39. What can I do to increase my chance of an exchange?

Flexibility is the answer. Be open to suggestions as to where and when to go and perhaps compromise (if need be) on the accommodation on offer.

40. How much time do I need to arrange an exchange?

The sooner you start the better. It generally depends on where and when you want to go and who you want to exchange with. Some exchanges can be arranged at short notice whilst others may take months to organise.

41. How long does an exchange last for?

It all depends on what you can mutually agree and what your home insurance cover allows.

42. Will I need travel insurance?

We recommend that all trips are covered by insurance.

43. Do you need a signed contract for an exchange?

It is not a legal requirement; however we do recommend one as it helps to set out the parameters and responsibilities, and may help to deal with any unexpected problems that arise.

44. At what stage should we book our travel tickets?

Prior to making any travel arrangements like booking a flight or a ferry, we suggest that both parties provide written confirmation of the dates agreed. Once this has been done, then book your tickets, forwarding a copy to your exchange partner for their peace of mind.

45. Who pays for what during the exchange?

Whatever is agreed between the parties. Normal utility bills are usually covered by the owner however, it may be best to pay for your own telephone calls or indeed try and avoid using the home telephone altogether. Include all such details in your pre-exchange discussions.

46. What about exchanging keys?

You could arrange with your neighbour or relative to hold the house keys with your exchange partner. If this is not possible, why not ask a friend to meet them? In any event it is important to inform your neighbours that an exchange is imminent.

47. What if something gets broken or damaged during an exchange?

It is possible for accidents to happen at any time and the best policy is to let your exchange partner know immediately. Suitable arrangements for replacement or repair can be made by amicable agreement.

48. How can I make sure that my personal possessions are safe?

We recommend for your own piece of mind that articles of intrinsic or sentimental value be locked away, if necessary in a locked room.

49. What about cleaning?

The best advice is, make sure you leave the property as you found it. Look after and clean the property as if it was your own.