« Organisation and planning »
Avoid last minute cancellation
In order to avoid last minute cancellation from your host, ask him to confirm his flight booking or train booking. Especially if it’s a long term swap. A nice way to obtain this information is to send first your own confirmations.
Some website, like tripit.com, help you to share informations about your trip. It’s a funny way to be informed about schedules of someone else, without having to ask him.
Get on to the other family again, as often as possible. Period of silence between the two families shouldn’t be too long. Especially if the date of departure is far ahead. The more you keep the others in contact, the less surprise you can meet.
From your side, the cancellation, if happens, should be the sooner. And for good reasons. If you have no choice, try to find a plan B for your host: friends, neighbour.
Never consider a simple mail with a whish as a contract. Home exchange clubs on line have told us that most problems come from misunderstanding between members, one side considering that the deal is done when the other was just expressing its interest.