Filling Out Your Exchange Agreement

Because some members have reported difficulties with the exchange agreement process, I’m doing an in-depth section about it in the FAQ.

It started with a question from a member about how to start an exchange agreement.

Todays post is to announce a new article with all the details about filling out the exchange agreement form. Click on over and let me know if you have questions or suggestions for improvements.

Coming soon: Sending and Reviewing Exchange Agreement Terms.

Home Swapping - Abundance of Choice in France

At Lorient Airport

Intervac member Connor Power and family at Lorient Airport

Dreaming of a holiday in France this year? What would you say to a roomy flat with a swimming pool in the centre of Cannes? How about spending a relaxing couple of weeks in a farmhouse in the rolling countryside in Normandy, waking up to the distant lowing of contented French cattle? Or a 3-bedroom apartment in Paris in the Latin Quarter, with tall ceilings in a grand 19th-century building?

And the best part is that you can have them all at a cost of nothing at all, except for little more than your transportation there and back. Sounds too good to be true?

Read the whole article at tootlafrance.ie

You too can enjoy experiences such as these through a Home Exchange Holiday with the help of Intervac International! Please don’t hesitate to contact your local INTERVAC Organiser/Agent if you need any assistance in organising your home exchange holiday.

12 Reasons to Visit Canada this Winter

Wow, we’ve been busy around here lately making improvements to our new system, bringing back functionality that you, our members have told us you miss, and faster than greased lightning, here it is the middle of December. I know it happens this time every year but this year it seems extra surprising. Yes, exactly: Like every year.

A friend of mine sent me this clever Canadian version of the 12 Days of Christmas and I thought, for anyone who needs more reasons to visit Canada this video is for you.

Canadian Homes Available for a Winter 2014 Exchange

By the way, if you are looking for a home exchange in Canada, we’ve got you covered! Here are three to get you started and have a look at our listings page for plenty more.

We Exchanged 3 Times A Year for 20 Years!

Gérard Bousquet's new Guide to Home Exchange

Gérard Bousquet’s new Guide to Home Exchange - Click to order

That is the title of the new book, written by Gérard Bousquet a French member of Intervac. Published in May 2013 it is available for order with Intervac France at info@intervac.fr or contact form

In this book, the author tells you, with warmth and humor his numerous exchange experiences and describes in a pleasant prose, the completely fascinating lifestyle of the holiday home exchanges.

With funny, surprising, sometimes audacious but always interesting exchanges, Gérard Bousquet shares a multitude of real-life anecdotes which will arouse the interest of the novices and will amaze the most experienced.

This book is a treasure of practical tips and good advice: it will serve you as much as a guide as a reference with your friends.

To make the right choice and the right decisions, how to proceed successfully and organize your exchange, welcome and meet your guests, your stay by your correspondents, the return in your home… the implications and consequences of the exchange: everything is there.

About the Book

  • Written in French language,
  • 240 pages,
  • published in May 2013 by Editions de l’Aube.
  • Sale price reserved for Intervac members only: € 14,00
  • Public retail price € 15,20)

To order your copy, please contact Intervac France at info@intervac.fr or follow this link: Commande livre sur les échanges.

Everything Old is New Again

Intervac International New Homepage

Photo credit: Intervac International New Homepage

Well, we rolled out an entirely re-written online system yesterday and everything did not go all that smoothly. Those of you involved in software know that existing-system re-writes are like a lot of things that look pretty simple: Absolutely not.

What I can tell you is that even though updates are being rolled out every other hour, it will probably be a couple of days until everything is up and running.

If you are one of our few member who have experienced missing favorites or problems with wrong categories on photos, we want to reassure you that these are being restored/updated continuously.

No data will be lost in the transfers from the old system.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Helsinki in October

What better way is there to make your vacation memorable than to attend a special concert or cultural event? Below, Elegant Helsinki offers plenty to do in October.

Music and Culture - Helsinki October, 2013

5 October UMO Jazz - Ville Ja Valle - Kulttuuritalo

Ville Ja Valle is a musical for children. It is based on a classic Finnish children’s album Muusa Ja Ruusa (1972) by composer and saxophonist Eero Koivistoinen. The performance starts at 15:00 (3:00 pm) and is sure to make a special afternoon for the kids. This is a charity concert with proceeds going to New Children’s Hospital 2017 Foundation.

5 October Ane Brun at The Circus

Ane Brun -This Voice 2013 (Official Video HD) from Ane Brun on Vimeo.

In the evening, give the kids to a trusted babysitter, ask your home exchange partners to recommended one, and off you go to the opening concert of Ane Brun’s 2013 tour celebrating her new retrospective album Song 2003-2013. Tickets start at €30 and you have to be 18 years old.

Not a worry in the world. That’s what vacation is all about.

Strömming (Baltic Herring Festival) - Market Square

6-12 October Strömming - it’s the last herring catch of the year. Winter is coming and the Finns know what to do about that: Party!

Otherwise known as The Baltic Herring Festival this celebration dates back to 1743. Here are 7:34 of Strömming Festival as a little appetizer - complete with charming musical accompaniment.

Joe Bonamassa 13 October at Hartwell Areena

Let me say that again: Joe Bonamassa in Helsinki. Oh. Man.

Helsinki Open - 19-20 October

And for you romantic dance fans, The Helsinki Dance Open is just for you.

20-26 October Helsinki Book Fair

Did some one say Book Fair? Have you ever been to one? My friends who have tell me that they are a book lovers paradise. With over 700 different program events Helsinki offers something for everyone. This year, Germany is the guest country.

Dates: 24-27 October

Fleetwood Mac at Hartwall Areena - 25 October

Can’t make it to Helsinki till the end of the month? How about some Fleetwood Mac? After been 3 long, dry years for Fleetwood Mac fans, Stevie Nicks and … are back on the road and rumor has it with new songs.

There have been complaints about ticket prices (between £50 and £125), but home-exchangers won’t care as their vacation budgets are not stretched to the limit with hotel and car expenses. So, if you never caught Fleetwood Mac at home because it was just too expensive, consider it at your home away from home.

Just to whet your appitite, here is an hour long documentary: Biography: Life Story (Full Document)

The National at Helsingin Jaahalli - 31 October

Helsinki Is Looking For An Exchange

Winners in our 60th Anniversary Competitions

Best Home Exchange Photo

The photo category was no doubt most popular with members who took part in our 60th Anniversary competitions.

4 winners who get 1/2 YEAR INTERVAC 2013/14 MEMBERSHIPS are:

  • Julien ANDRIEUX, France
  • Guida Santos, Portugal (PTOC0710)
  • Gosia Maj, Poland (PL047)
  • Gitte Frende, Denmark (DK101206)

TRAVEL guides & albums go to:

  • Krystyna Stanisłąw Bogdanski, Poland (PL093)
  • Joanna Ossera, Poland (PL196)
  • Blasa Moro Martin, Spain
  • Inge Marie Hansen, Denmark (DK987225)

DISTINCTIONS go to: Marie Jedryka Andreux, Elena Diaz, Viviana Melo, Lucia Castelli, Lauren S.Kahn, Mauro Balili, Bea Froehlich and Petra Viberg

Congratulations to all of you ♥ Thank you for being such wonderful ambassadors of a home exchange idea All your photos & posts can be found on the Intervac Facebook fanpage. Do please contact your national organizors on how to collect the award.

Best Home Exchange Film/Video

1/2 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP in the category FILM goes to dedicated Intervac Poland members Krystyna & Janusz Moszyński (PL025)

Congratulations! Thank you for being a fantastic Intervac ambassador and your contribution in crossing international cultural barriers. ♥

Best Home Exchange Story/Essay

3 best reports awarded with 1 YEAR 2013/14 MEMBERSHIP belong to:

  • Inge Marie & John Hansen, Denmark (DK987225)
  • Kurt & Gerda Schneider, Austria (AT92157)
  • Molina Hernandez family, Spain

1/2 YEAR INTERVAC MEMBERSHIPS go to:

  • Antoine Jean-Christophe, France (FR050552)
  • Zofia, Stanislaw Bogdanski, Poland (PL093)

Do please contact your national organizors on how to collect your award please. Your reports can be found on new Intervac website to be launched soon www.intervac-homeexchange.com Congratulations!

Home From Home - Intervac In The Irish Times

Irish Times Logo Home From Home is an engaging account of an Irish family’s first home exchange. The writing is clever and the author gives a clear picture of the unusual types of fun available to home exchangers. There’s nothing like it!

DEIRDRE VELDON and family swapped Dublin for Stockholm on a home exchange holiday

The trip is the upshot of blowing the entire annual holiday fund on a desperate sun-seeking trip to Portugal earlier in the year and nights upon nights spent fiddling about on a home exchange website. Failure to follow through can be a problem with house swaps, but nothing paints up a proposition and focuses the mind like a tiny budget.

We plump for Sweden because it’s cheap to get to and it seems a wallet-friendly way to see a country with a high cost of living. Crucially, we have found a Swedish family who seem half interested in the package we’re offering.

Read the rest of the article

Twenty Years of House Swap

A wonderful thank you note from long-time Intervac Austria members.

Gestern haben wir unser selbst zusammengestelltes Fotobuch “20 Jahre Haustausch” bekommen und die Arbeit hat sich wirklich gelohnt. Dadurch ist uns wieder einmal so richtig bewusst geworden, wie viele Traumurlaube wir schon erlebt haben.

Unseren ersten Tauschurlaub machten wir, als unser Sohn ein Jahr alt war, in Spanien, dann folgte Irland, Frankreich, Californien, wieder Frankreich, Florida (bereits mir unserer Tochter), Spanien, Australien, Florida, Island, Hawaii, Dubai, wieder Frankreich, Colorado, Florida, Brasilien, Österreich, La Reunion… und heuer geht’s nach Mexico – Baja California

Diese mehrwöchigen Urlaube mit unseren Kindern wären niemals möglich gewesen, wenn wir nicht getauscht hätten. Abgesehen davon haben wir Freundschaften geknüpft: Ein Ehepaar aus Florida kam nach 10 Jahren auf Besuch, nachdem sie in der Schweiz waren, oder voriges Jahr verbrachte unsere Tochter eine Woche bei ehemaligen Tauschpartnern in Frankreich und anschließend kamen die zwei Töchter der Tauschfamilie zu uns …

Wir haben in wunderschönen Häusern gewohnt und die Länder von einer anderen Seite kennengelernt… weg vom Tourismus. Unsere Tauschpartner haben sich alle wohl gefühlt und den Urlaub in Österreich genossen.

Jetzt sind unsere Kinder schon fast erwachsen und machen ihre eigenen Urlaube, aber wir bleiben trotzdem überzeugte Haustauchfans.

Im Schuljahr 2014/15 haben wir ein Sabbatical geplant, mit der Absicht, auf Reisen zu gehen. Wir können es kaum erwarten, dieses Jahr mithilfe von Intervac zu planen.

Wir sind froh, dass es diese Organisation gibt und möchten uns auf diesem Weg bedanken.

Gerda und Kurt Schneider AT92157

A little Google Translate, some clean-up on the text annnnnd - English!

Yesterday we got our photo book “20 Years of House Swap” and the work has really paid off. As a result, we are once again really aware of the many dream vacations we have experienced.

We did our first exchange holiday when our son was a year old, in Spain, followed Ireland, France, California, France again, Florida (already with our daughter), Spain, Australia, Florida, Iceland, Hawaii, Dubai, France again, Colorado, Florida, Brazil, Austria, La Reunion … and this year it’s off to Mexico - Baja California

These long vacations with our children would never have been possible if we had not exchanged. Apart from this, we have made ​​friends: A couple from Florida came after 10 years to visit us. They had been in Switzerland. Last year our daughter spent a week with former exchange partners in France and afterwards the two daughters of the French family came to us.

We have lived in beautiful houses and experienced other countries from a new side … away from tourism. Our exchange partners have all felt comfortable in our home and enjoyed their holiday in Austria.

Now our kids are almost grown and take their own holidays, but we remain convinced home exchange fans. During the school year 2014/15 we are planning a sabbatical, with the intention of traveling. We are looking forward to this year of planning with Intervac.

We are glad that this organization exists and would like to say thank you.

Gerda und Kurt Schneider AT92157

Travel Report: Unforgettable Moments

Travel images from FR010521

Photo credit: Travel images from Members Anne-Marie et Yves G. de Générac (FR010521)

Cette année encore Intervac nous a permis, en France et à l’étranger, des rencontres et des échanges extraordinaires. Malheureusement, on ne peut pas passer tout son temps à voyager, mais ce sont des moments privilégiés et inoubliables. Nous devons accueillir « en différé » au cours du printemps 2013 deux des couples avec lesquels nous avons fait un échange non simultané l’an dernier (île de Vancouver et Massachusetts). Et malgré une liste importante d’obligations à régler avant de repartir à nouveau, nous allons sous peu envisager d’autres échanges pour l’été automne 2013. Regardez notre diaporama de photos de notre voyage en 2012 et celui de 2011 ici Anne-Marie et Yves G. de Générac (FR01052)

Télécharger (Download)

English Translation

This year Intervac allowed us, in France and abroad, extraordinary meetings and exchanges. Unfortunately, we can not spend all our time traveling, but these are our special and unforgettable moments. In the Spring 2013 we will welcome two couples “offline” with whom we had a non-simultaneous exchange last year (Vancouver Island and Massachusetts). And despite a list important obligations to settle before leaving again, we are already considering trades for Summer and Autumn 2013. Watch our slideshow of pictures from our trip in 2012 and also in 2011