Subletting your home or apartment while you're on vacation can be a very lucrative venture--a nice way to justify having a few extra margaritas on the beach. It can also be nerve-wracking, conjure images of your local locksmiths working overtime, your sofa on the front lawn, or worse, in the pool.
1. How do you find the perfect strangers to occupy your home?
On the internet, where else? There's Craigslist, yes, but if you prefer to draw from a smaller crowd, a crowd that requires a little bit more verification to participate, you can check out sites like Sabbaticalhomes.com or Couchsurfers.com or 1sthomeexchange.com.
Bonus: if you don't have a specific vacation planned, a great option on some of these sites is the home swap. How about a week in Slovenia? Barcelona? Boston? You're likely to find responsible guests for your home if you happen to be in their home at the same time.
2. Check references. Ask for three, and not just personal ones. Speak to the references, and make sure you get a good feeling from them. You can spend $30 - $40 and do a background check, if you want to take it a step further.