Home exchange stories, Intervac

82ND – Wintertime in Greece!

As we have just retired, exchanging houses is on top of our bucket list! So we have had the opportunity to exchange houses with a Greek family.

Evdokia and Minas from Kavala near Thessaloniki had contacted us just before our New Year’s exchange in Leeuwarden, European cultural capital of 2018.

We booked our flights and were lucky to exchange cars also. And so we arrived in the middle of winter at Thessaloniki Airport. 

After searching car keys and texting each other where to find the cars, we were ready to explore Thessaloniki.

An amazing city full of culture, Roman and Byzantine and a lot of hidden spots we hadn’t expected. We admired the beautiful churches and “The Rotunda”! In ancient times its mosaics must have been as splendid and impressing as the ones we had been able to admire in Ravenna during a former exchange.

Soon it was time for our first Greek coffee and surprisingly, even in wintertime, we could enjoy a frappe! Love it!

In the evening my wife and I reached the lovely seaside village Palaio near Kavala. Thanks to the neighbours we had a very warm welcome and the great meal Evdokia had prepared made us feel most welcome!

During our exchange, we visited Filippi, the old town with the forum and its splendid theatre, all without the overpopulation of summertime visitors!

We loved the beautiful walks into the Nestos Valley, enjoyed wandering around unspoiled small towns like Drama, Amphelio and Kavala.

We took a boat trip to the island of Thasos, visited its beaches and white marble quarries. In Skala Panagias we witnessed inhabitants dancing in the streets.

Just Greece as we like Greece to be.

Happy people, enjoying life.

And so did we, being Greeks for ten amazing days!

Frans and Sonja / BE022

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This is part of the Intervac Home exchange stories series. Do you have a story yourself? We would love to hear about it! Tell us your story.

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Questions? Live chat support! 82 exchanges!

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Live chat support

On 17th January we launched our new support system. We hope to provide a better service for all our members.

When no support agent is available the system switches to offline mode. This means you can leave messages using a  form and contact us even after office hours. We will do our best to reply promptly.

 

And you can, of course, also contact your National Representative like you always did!


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Hotlist March/April 2018

Entries are only on the hotlist for four days. The members who enlist are actively searching for a house swap holiday within the next eight weeks.

Have a look at some of the entries

Mårslet, Denmark #DK1016090

Nice house in the small beautiful town of Mårslet only 6 km away from Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. The house is 120 m2 and consists of kitchen, bathroom, 3 bedrooms and a large living room.

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PARIS, France #FR050495

Nice flat in the centre of Paris only 5 mins from the opera and Galeries Lafayette. Two double bedrooms, bath and shower and a well equipped, large, sunny kitchen. Third floor with lift. Very convenient to visit Paris. Several Metro and bus lines, many shops.

Griffith, Canberra, Australia #AU1016062

Modern three-bedroom house in Canberra, Australia. The house is fully equipped and very comfortable – there is an expansive backyard (950m2) with outdoor deck and Weber BBQ, large lawn area with sandpit and trampoline for the kids. There is also a large organic vegetable and herb garden with products available for use during your stay.

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Member stories

Our exchange number 82- Wintertime in Greece!

Meet Sonja and Frans. They have just come back from their 82nd exchange, in which they visited Greece. After their recent retirement, they have included house exchanging in their bucket list. It seems to have been a success.Rotonde

Sonja and Frans have exchanged houses and cars with Evdokia and Minas from Kavala near Thessaloniki.They visited the amazing city with its beautiful churches and “The Rotunda”.

After enjoying Greek coffee and even a cafe frappe in the middle of winter, they arrived in their holiday home. Evdokia had prepared a greek meal for her guests and they felt most welcome.

Do you want to know what else they experienced?

READ MORE

Every home exchange has its own unique story. Share yours.


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Newsletter Archive

Des questions? Live chat vous répond! Echange #82 !

Intervac.com

Live Chat Support

Depuis le 17 Janvier nous avons installé un service d’assistance en ligne pour vous apporter une aide rapide et efficace avec le système du Live Chat.

Nous répondons à vos questions instantanément par Chat et si l’un de nous n’est pas disponible, vous pouvez toujours nous laisser un message lequel sera répondrons dans les meilleurs délais.

Vous pouvez aussi contacter votre représentation nationale.


Home is your world…. the world is your home!

Découvrez notre nouvelle vidéo and partagez la avec vos amis.


La Hot List de Mars/Avril 2018

Les annonces placées dans la Hot List restent 4 jours seulement. Consultez cette liste pour trouver un échange imminent dont la date de début commence d’ici moins de 8 semaines. Si vous aussi vous recherchez activement un échange, affichez votre annonce dans la Hot List et renouvelez tous les 4 jours, tant que nécessaire.

Quelques exemples d‘annonces de la Hot List

Mårslet, Danemark #DK1016090

Nice house in the small beautiful town of Mårslet only 6 km away from Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. The house is 120 m2 and consists of kitchen, bathroom, 3 bedrooms and a large living room.

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PARIS, France #FR050495

Nice flat in the centre of Paris only 5 mins from the opera and Galeries Lafayette. Two double bedrooms, bath and shower and a well equipped, large, sunny kitchen. Third floor with lift. Very convenient to visit Paris. Several Metro and bus lines, many shops.

 

Griffith, Canberra, Australie #AU1016062

Modern three-bedroom house in Canberra, Australia. The house is fully equipped and very comfortable – there is an expansive backyard (950m2) with outdoor deck and Weber BBQ, large lawn area with sandpit and trampoline for the kids. There is also a large organic vegetable and herb garden with products available for use during your stay.

 

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Où trouver la Hot List?

Sur le blog (en anglais)


Histoires d’échanges ember stories

Notre échange n°82 – Hiver en Grèce !

la Rotonde

Rencontrez Sonja et Frans qui reviennt juste de leur 82ème échange, au cours duquel ils ont visité la Grèce. Jeunes retraités, ils se sont convertis aux échanges de maison et c’est un véritable succès.

Sonja et Frans ont conclu leur accord avec l’échange/prêt de voiture avec leurs partenaires, Evdokia et Minas résidant à Kavala près de Thessalonik. Ils ont ainsi visité cette ville magnifique et son impressionant monument de la Rotonde.

Après avoir dégusté un café grec et même un café frappé, ils sont arrivés dans leur maison d’échange où Evdokia leur avait préparé un authentique repas grec pour leur souhaiter la bienvenue. Quel bel accueil!

Voulez-vous savoir ce qu’ils ont vécu ensuite?

Lisez la suite (en anglais)

Chaque échange est une histoire unique.

 Partagez la vôtre


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Newsletter Archive

Fragen? Live Chat Support! 82 Tausche!

Intervac.com

Live Chat Unterstützung

Am 17. Januar haben wir unseren neuen Live Support aufgeschaltet. Dieser unterstützt alle Webseitenbesucher bei Fragen. In Englisch und je nach Supporter in anderen Sprachen.

Wir hoffen unseren Mitgliedern damit einen besseren Service zu bieten.

Wenn kein Supporter frei ist, wechselt das System in den Offline Modus. Webseiten-Besucher können mit Klick auf den Button eine Nachricht hinterlassen. Wir bemühen uns um eine prompte Antwort.

Natürlich können für Fragen wie bisher die nationalen Organisator kontaktiert werden.


Home is your world…. the world is your home!

Schau dir das neue Video an und teile es mit deinen Freunden.


Hotlist März/April 2018

Die Einträge auf der Hotlist sind nur für vier Tage gültig. Mitglieder, welche sich in die Hotlist eintragen suchen aktiv nach einem Haustausch innerhalb der nächsten acht Wochen.

Nachfolgend stellen wir ein paar Einträge vor.

Mårslet, Dänemark #DK1016090

Nettes Haus in der kleinen schönen Stadt Mårslet nru 6 km von Aarhus, der zweitgrössten Stadt Dänemarks, entfernt. Das Haus hat 120m2 und verfügt über Küche, Bad, 3 Schlafzimmer und ein grosses Wohnzimmer.

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PARIS, Frankreich #FR050495

Schöne Wohnung im Zentrum von Paris. 5 Minuten zur Oper und ein Galerien Lafayette. Zwei Schlafzimmer mit Doppelbett, Bad, Dusche und eine grosse sonnige Küche. Die Wohnung befindet sich im dritten Obergeschoss mit Lift, sie liegt nahe an verschiedenen Metro- und Buslinien und Geschäften. Die Lage ist praktisch, um Paris zu erkunden.

 

Griffith, Canberra, Australien #AU1016062

Ein modernes Haus mit drei Schlafzimmern in Canberra, Australien. Das Haus is voll ausgestattet und sehr komfortabel. Ein grosser Garten (950m2) mit Terrasse und Weber Grill, grossem Rasen, Trampolin und Sandkasten lädt zum Verweilen ein. Ausserdem dürfen sich die Gäste im biologischen Gemüse- und Kräutergarten bedienen.

 

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Wo finde ich die Hotlist?

Infos im Blog (Englisch)


Erfahrungen unserer Mitglieder

Unser 82. Tausch – Winter in Griechenland!

Wir stellen dir Sonja und Frans vor. Sie sind kürzlich von Ihrem 82. Tausch in Griechenland zurückgekommen.

Nachdem sie beide kürzlich pensioniert wurden, haben Sie sich vorgenommen mehr Haustausche zu geniessen. Sie sind dabei ziemlich erfolgreich.

Sonja und Frans haben mit ihrem Haus auch gleich das Auto mit Evdokia und Minas aus Kavala, in der Nähe von Thessaloniki, getauscht. Sie haben die erstaunliche Stadt mit den wunderschönen Kirchen und “The Rotunda” besucht.

Nachdem Sie einen Griechischen Kaffee und sogar ein winterliches Kaffee-Frappe genossen hatten, sind sie in ihr Ferienhaus gereist. Evdokia hatte für Ihre Gäste sogar eine Mahlzeit vorbereitet. Sonja und Frans fühlten sich herzlich willkommen.

Möchtest du wissen was sie ausserdem erlebt haben?

Mehr lesen (Englisch)

Jeder Haustausch birgt seine eigene Geschichte

 Teile deine


Intervac, Newsletter Archive

Happy 2018 Find your exchanges now!

Welcome to the new year!

Where will you travel this year? Did you make an exchange agreement yet?
This is the perfect time to sit down and start planning. We offer you tips in this newsletter

Find your destination now


Remember our Christmas gift?

20% discount for your friends and relatives with the promo code NEW2018. They simply need to use the code as they sign up for one year or more here (Ends 31st January 2018). Share with your friends and family.


Refresh your listing

You want to present an updated profile to potential exchange partners. Remember to refresh your pictures, details, destination wishlist, list of favourites etc.

Refresh your listing


The Disneyland Paris experience

 

Ana has visited Disneyland Paris with her royal family. They have shared their experience and hints with us. Find out how to make the most of time spent in the queues, where to find the best picnic spots and how to save cash. Read the full story


Home exchange stories, Intervac, Travel

Disneyland Paris

As parents of two little princesses, we had been dreaming of going to Disneyland for some time.

As we live in Europe, Disneyland Paris, formerly known as Eurodisney, was our choice.Sleeping beauty castle in Disneyland Paris

The problem was the budget for it: Disney tickets alone are not cheap, looking for a Disneyland hotel or even a Paris hotel booking is a nightmare and then there were also the plane tickets.

We live on an island (Madeira Island, Portugal), so avoiding airfare costs was not an option. Fortunately, we found reasonable prices with the low-cost airline Transavia that flies directly to Paris from Madeira, but also from around 40 other locations in Europe.

Disneyland Accommodation

The accommodation problem was the easiest for us to solve. I think most people start planning their Disneyland trip by analyzing Disneyland Paris packages. But not us 🙂 Were we going to look for Disneyland hotel deals? No! We had been Intervac members for many years and knew home exchange was the way to go. We just had to decide exactly where we wanted to exchange to and start sending out offers.

The decision was eventually for the area around Place de la Nation. This was the best for us because using the RER-A train we could get to Disneyland Resort Paris in about 30 minutes.

We could use the same train line or the subway to get to the tourist attractions of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc de Triomphe in 15 to 30 minutes.

RER-A train map - how to get to Disneyland Paris

So that was the area we did a home exchange too. And that came with the added benefit of being in a residential area. We had several small supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants around our exchange apartment and even a very nice playground right out our door.

Doing a home exchange was a brilliant solution: it allowed us to stay in Paris for 2 full weeks and to go to Disneyland for 6 days. On the other days we explored Paris at the leisurely pace you take when you are on holidays with kids.

Disneyland Tickets and Passes

But let me get back to the Disneyland Paris tickets. If you are considering going to Disneyland Paris for 3 days or more, I highly recommend that you buy their Annual Pass (Passeport Annuel). It might seem an overkill to buy an annual pass to visit for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days, but it actually pays up if you do the math. Check out all the information on the official site Disneyland Paris http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/annual-passports/ and please note that the names and conditions for the passes changed on March 29, 2017.

Our Annual Passports were our Disneyland Paris cheap ticketsThese passes all need to be bought inside Disneyland itself. You can get a 10% discount if you have a sponsor (an Annual Passport holder). You can get all the information on this on the DLP Guide website http://www.dlpguide.com/planning/booking/annual-passports/ We also used their forum MagicForum to find a sponsor http://www.magicforum.eu/

After getting to Disneyland here is how we got our passes: we bought 1-day tickets at the gate, went to the Bureau Passeport Annuel, met our sponsors there and got our Annual Passes with the discount. The price for the 1-day tickets was fully refunded. The full process took us about 1 hour, but it was totally worth it: we went back in the Summer 2017 and used the same passes again 🙂

After getting in, we got our Disney Paris map (which includes the two parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios) and the programme for the shows and parades. They are both essential but the programme is the only one you can check online in PDF format (it changes weekly) http://download.disneylandparis.com/Disneyland-Paris_Shows-and-Parades.pdf.

The map can only be checked online in an interactive version (you won’t be able to print the Disneyland map if that is what you had in mind…).

A great addition to the map is the mobile app. Of course, you will need to have a tablet or smartphone with you (and Internet connection). Disneyland Paris mapWe used the app a lot to check the wait time for attractions and decide where to go next http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/mobile-app/

The wait time shown at the entrance of the attractions and on the app seemed to be accurate and that was quite useful.

I have some more tips if you are visiting Disneyland Paris with kids.

Disneyland Shows and Parades Tips

  • Do all the shows in the Walt Disney Studio parkMickey and the Magician in the  Animagique Theater was our favourite, but the Moteurs… Action! car stunt show was also great. Disney Junior Live on Stage is geared towards young kids but it was a bit more challenging because our kids don’t speak English or French. Art of Disney Animation, in turn, was geared towards the adults and we loved it!
  • Disney Stars on Parade in the main park is the new parade that started in March 2017. It is a must see and happens only once throughout the day, so ensure you take note of the time. Great views are available anywhere along the parade route, and additionally from the Main Street USA railroad station. In both cases, you should steak out your spot about 15 minutes prior to the start of the parade for unobstructed views, but any more than this is usually unnecessary.
  • Disney Illuminations is a multimedia nighttime show, featuring fireworks, water effects music and video. Great for both the kids and the adults! It uses Sleeping Beauty’s castle as its projection screen, so is best viewed as straight on as possible. To claim a perfect spot for this, you will need to try at least one hour in advance of the show during high-season. Please note that anywhere on Main Street will provide a good view. Simply check if you can see the whole castle.   

General Disneyland Tips

  • Meeting Snow White at the Princess Pavillion in Disneyland ParisKids dressing up seem to get lots more attention from Disney characters. Also if your girl is dressed up as Snow White your party won’t have to queue for the Snow White ride, the group can get in through the exit (or sometimes through the Fast Pass entry). Just speak to the Cast members at the exit and they will promptly let you know how to get in. The same goes for Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and other characters. Another advantage of having your kids dressed up is that they have a good excuse not to buy them the overpriced (but beautiful!) costumes at the Disney stores throughout the park.
  • Queues for the Disneyland Railroad are significantly longer at the entry gates (Main Street USA) than at other stations. If you just want to ride it for the grand tour of the park get on at the Frontierland or Fantasyland stations which even include seating areas (although limited).
  • Use the FastPass for the attractions that allow it and have longer queues like Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and Ratatouille: The Adventure. You can only have one FASTPASS® ticket at a time per person. Another ticket can only be obtained once the previous one has been used or 2 hours after the previous one.
  • When visiting with small children, always take advantage of the Baby Swap service on rides for which children are too small. This will allow one of the adults to queue, while the other adult waits with the child, and can then enter through the exit or Fastpass queue as soon as the first rider leaves.
  • It is often quicker to meet Mickey Mouse at the Toon Studio (in the Studio Park Backlot) than at his home in the main park. Queues for other characters near Mickey at the Toon Studio are often even shorter. Also, if you are not up to queuing you always take a picture from a distance in no time!
  • Contrary to popular belief, you are welcome to take outside food or drink into the park, and eat there.
    Gazebo at the entrance of Disneyland ParisThe security check will not confiscate outside food and drink. Simply make sure you don’t take alcohol, or drinks in glass bottles. Sandwiches, snacks, drinks can be brought into the park and eaten. Restrictions would only apply to anyone taking up a lot of space in the park for an extended period of time. Our favourites were the pre-prepared salads from the supermarket: there is quite a variety and having the salads at hand meant no queuing for lunch.
    Our favourite area for eating was right at the entrance, both to the left and right you have a green area with several seats with shade and some even with a beautiful gazebo.

What to do while waiting in line in Disneyland?

And trust me, there will be waiting in line… Here are some ideas:

–          Decide where to go next using the app or the map

–          Talk: discuss how things were made or planned, ask the kids trivia questions about the Disney movies or shows they have watched

–           Look: notice things around you together; the details, colours, look for hidden Mickeys

–           Take pictures

–           Games

  1.        I Spy, with my little eye
  2.        Simon says – clap your hands, touch your nose, count to 10, stick out your tongue, stand on your tippy toes
  3.        Animal Charades
  4.        The Alphabet Game – find objects around you (eg clothing and signs) from A-Z.
  5.        Character Alphabet  – list characters from A-Z (villains, princesses, cartoons, etc.)
  6.        Botticelli – take on the persona of a well-known person, give other players the initials. Players ask yes/no questions.
  7.        Sweet and sour – wave at a stranger and see who waves back
  8.        Peruse the Shoes – Count all the shoes they see while waiting in line. How many people have on black shoes, open-toed shoes, gym shoes? Without socks? How many have laces? How many have velcro ties?
  9.        Walk the Line – You need a floor with either lines or stripes. Players have to keep both feet either on or off the lines.  3 chances to misstep before eliminating contestants. Winner gets to be line leader the next time.

Disneyland Attractions Tips

Finally here are some specific attraction tips:

Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux

Our girls found it a bit frightening due to the loud noise and effects.

Autopia- Disneyland ParisAutopia

The official minimum height to drive is 1.32 m, but smaller kids can control the wheel, as long as an adult controls the speed pedal. Long queues, but our girls loved it!

Big Thunder Mountain

Our girls loved this roller coaster and wanted to ride again! The adults also enjoyed it.

Crush’s Coaster

The vehicles spin during the main roller coaster section and it is lots of fun for kids and adults. Even our 4-year old loved it. The wait was quite big, but there is a specific app you can use on the waiting line(wi-fi and instructions available on-site).

Orbitron – Machines Volantes

Not that much fun… a basic ride and quite a long wait.

Plage des Pirates

There is a maximum height to play of 1.40 m, but that is not strictly enforced. Our girls both had fun here while the parents had a bit of a rest (the oldest one was a bit over 1,40m).         

Pirates of the CaribbeanPlage des Pirates at Disneyland Paris

Visitors may get slightly splashed from two small flumes… loads of fun in spite of the “scary” theme with lots of skeletons. We all loved this one!

Princess Pavillion

This always had the longest waits (usually 90 to 120 minutes). We eventually got in when the line was “only” 45 minutes long. The queue is all inside the pavilion, so no rain or too much sun issues. The thing is that in the end, you basically take a picture with one of 2 princesses (you have information on which ones at the entrance). The princess does talk to you a bit, but when you don’t speak English or French that is not of much use. Still, our girls loved meeting Snow White and finding out she has a very high pitched voice! However, we had a much smaller queue to take pictures outside with Jasmine & Aladdin and with Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty).Meeting Princess Aurora at Disneyland Paris

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith

This features an intense launch and three inversions. Even so, our 8-year old girl liked it because of the music and decorations.

Space Mountain: Mission 2 / Hyperspace Mountain

This features a very intense launch and many inversions. Our 8-year old girl hated it, she found it really scary. This one is definitely geared at those looking for a thrill.

Star Tours at Disneyland ParisStar Tours

Very good motion-simulated flight guided by C3PO. A must if you are a Star Wars fan… but very worthwhile even if you are not. And you get to wear 3D glasses while waiting at your boarding gate 🙂

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop

Our girls loved this drop attraction. A bit of wait, but having a Toy Story related theme helped.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Our girls hated this drop attraction. It was definitely too scary for them. The toy soldiers one is more kid-friendly.

 

 

This is part of the Intervac Home exchange stories series. Do you have a story yourself? We would love to hear about it! Tell us your story.