Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Lots of Search Filters

There are plenty of filters and convenient ways to find your next home-exchange partner.

House filters – Sleeping Capacity

House Filters – Facilities

  • No smoking
  • Lift/Elevator
  • Suitable for disabled people
  • Car necessary
  • Use/Exchange of car
  • Seclusion/Privacy
  • Use of boat
  • Pet care wanted
  • Pets are welcome
  • Small children are welcome

House Filters – Indoor

  • Free internet access
  • Computer available
  • Hot tub or jacuzzi
  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Baby equipment
  • Toys and games
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Clothes dryer
  • Television
  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Other musical instruments

House Filters – Outdoor

  • Garden
  • Terrace or deck
  • Balcony
  • Park/playground
  • BBQ
  • Sauna private
  • Garage
  • Private swimming pool

House Filters – House Type

  • Single storey home
  • House
  • Flat
  • Caravan
  • Holiday home

Environment Filters

  • In the city
  • In the suburbs
  • In a small town
  • In the country
  • By the sea
  • In the mountains


  • Beach
  • Boating
  • Golfing
  • Forest
  • River
  • Sea
  • Lake
  • Shopping
  • Mountains

Exchange Filters – Dates and  duration

  • Exchange filters – Exchange Dates
  • Exchange filters – Length of Stay
    (minimum number of weeks)

Exchange Filters – Exchange Types

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Hospitality wanted
  • Long-term exchange wanted
  • Non-simultaneous exchange
  • Home exchange
  • Hospitality exchange
  • Youth exchange
  • Renting possible

Family Filters

  • Number of adults
  • with children / without children
  • with pets / without pets
  • experienced exchangers only
  • spoken languages

We keep track of the filters you have chosen in the bar above the listings cards.

Search Preferences

Reverse Search: You can also choose to show only listings belonging to members who have your area in their Destinations Wishlist.

Exchange Filters: If you want to see only listings open for exchange, put a checkmark in the box next to “Open for exchange”. This will remove all offers not currently open for exchange from your search results.

Hotlist: You can also choose to show only the listings of members looking for a last minute exchange.

And you can sort the listings that you see by:

Most recent: These are the newest and freshest listings in our database and this is the default sort order. You can be sure that the listings you see first, no matter what your search criteria are the newest we have to offer.
Country: This is useful if you have not specified a country for your search.
Listing number: Especially good if you are looking for your own listing. You can place your search and sort by listing number to make it easier to find your listing in all the others.

My Saved Searches

Yes, you can save and name your search criteria for quick access to the latest listings! Read all about Saved Searches.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

How to handle your messages

Intervac is known to have the most responsive members. It is important that you also do your part and reply to all messages.

Keep in mind that there are several ways to quickly reply to your messages.


Your Intervac messages go to your Intervac Inbox. The Inbox actually stores all the messages exchanged with other members. It includes both the ones started by them and the ones started by you.

In this Inbox there are 35 unread messages

Exchange requests and conversation messages

When you receive an exchange request or a conversation message from another member, you also get a notification via e-mail. This notification goes to the primary e-mail address that you have on your account. It also goes to the secondary e-mail address if you have indicated one. Please note that you can indicate a secondary e-mail in the Emails and Logins section.

If the other member sent message as a conversation message the notification will simply show a summary card of the listing that is sending you this message and the message sent.

Conversation message

To reply to this message you either use the Reply function of your e-mail client or you click on the link provided to go into your Inbox and reply there.

If the message was sent as an exchange request, you can still reply using these two ways but the notification will have buttons that also allow you to reply.

Exchange request for a Portuguese member with Yes (“Sim”), Maybe (“Talvez”) and No (“Não”) buttons

The quick reply buttons correspond to the Yes / Maybe / No options and they are shown in the language of the person who is receiving the offer.

Clicking on the green Yes button will send a short message on your behalf. Below each button, you can see the text of that message. The same happens for the yellow Maybe button and the red No button.

You can see all these messages when you log in to your account and go to your Inbox.


If you prefer to send your own message but would like to use the same one multiple times, you can do so by using templates. A template is simply a model message that you can reuse. When you use a template you are able to change its text a little if you want.

Inside the Messages section you can find your Templates

On the right side, you can find the list of templates, with a link next to each one to allow you to delete that template if you no longer need it.

List of templates

Also on the right side, you will find the Create template button. Clicking on this button will allow you to create a new template you can use later when sending your messages. The name you choose for each template should make it easy for you to know which template it is.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Archiving and deleting messages

Archiving messages

When you no longer want to see a specific message in your Inbox, you can archive it. Archiving a message will archive the conversation, that is, the original message and all replies to that message.

In the example in the screenshot, the two messages in the conversation will be archived when clicking the “Archive this conversation” button.


You can also archive multiple conversations at a time. For that, you need to be in your Inbox home. You then select each message you want to archive by using the checkboxes to their left and click on the “Archive selected” button. This will archive all messages in all selected conversations.


Please note that archived conversations are still considered when you search, that is those members will also be considered as members you have already contacted.

Deleting messages

To delete a message, you first need to archive it as described above. You can then open the Archive section and delete them. The procedure is identical to the one described above for archiving multiple conversations: you should select the messages by using the checkboxes to their left and click on the “Delete selected” button. This will delete all messages in all selected conversations. Please note this cannot be undone.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Past Members – more exchange opportunities

When browsing the listings of Intervac members, you might have come across some that mention being Past Members. These members no longer have a current membership with Intervac.

You can tell it is a Past Member because it shows a yellow “traffic light” saying Past member.


What are the limitations for Past members?

An active member can contact a past member. The idea is to provide an extra exchanging opportunity for both parties.

However, Past members cannot start new conversations and their ability to reply is limited. They can only answer back with a standard Yes / Maybe / No response.

When receiving an exchange request from another member, the Past member has several options. He can renew his membership and proceed to an exchange agreement.

He can also choose to stop receiving these offers from other members.

How can I stop seeing Past members?

If you want to exclude Past members from your search, you simply have to activate the proper filter. Open the Preferences section of your filters and click on the checkbox Open for Exchange.


Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Destination Wishlist & Reversed Search

The reversed search is a member asking our system to Please show me other members who are specifically interested in visiting my area. Our system is specifically designed to help you and your next exchange partner find each other.


Destination wishlist

Use your Destination Wishlist to communicate with our search engine. List all the places you would most like to go. We will make sure that, when it is appropriate, your home is presented to members who live there!

Screenshot of the destinations wishlist

You don’t have to fill out your Destinations Wishlist but if you don’t, you will probably have to make all the first contacts. Raise your chances that members in living in places you want to visit can find and contact you too.

When members living in your wishlist countries use our reverse search, (and their other criteria don’t rule your listing out), our search engine will show them your listing.

If you wonder what it means when I say “when other criteria don’t rule your listing out”. I mean that the searching family might be searching for other dates or a specific feature.

Open for All Offers

Be sure to check this box if you are willing to consider offers from members who do not live in one of the countries listed on your Wishlist. We really encourage you to do this and be open to the spontaneous opportunities that will come your way.

Adding a Destination

Click the Add a Destination button and begin typing the name of the country, region or city that you would like to add to your Wishlist. Choose from the list of options provided by Google and your choice will be added to your wishlist automatically.

Removing a Destination

Wondering if your Destinations Wishlist affects other member’s reversed searches? It does.


The rules our search engine follows are:

  1. If your Destinations Wishlist is empty, your listing will never be displayed in another member’s reversed search.
  2. If you have a checkmark in the Open for all destinations box, your listing will always be included when another member makes a reversed search.
  3. Your Destinations Wishlist is taken into account whenever your one of your desired locations matches the location of the searching member’s home.

Let’s consider as an example, that you live in London, and have New York in your Destination wishlist.


  • If a member in New York searches for London and chooses Only show listings interested in my area – City he will find you.
  • If a member in Boston searches for London and chooses Only show listings interested in my area – City he will not find you.
  • If a member in Toronto, Canada searches for London and chooses Only show listings interested in my area – City he will not find you.


  • If a member in New York searches for London and chooses Only show listings interested in my area – Country he will find you.
  • If a member in Boston searches for London and chooses Only show listings interested in my area – Country he will find you.
  • If a member in Toronto, Canada searches for London and chooses Only show listings interested in my area – Country he will not find you.


Finally, all these members (New York, Boston, and Toronto) will find you on searches for London in which they choose Only show listings interested in my area – Continent. 

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

My Favourites

My Favorites are a convenient way to save notes and a link back to listings that are attractive to you. The My Favorites section is linked from the top section of the Member home navigation.

The Favourites Layout

In the screenshot below you can see:

  • The date you put this listing on your favourites page.
  • A checkbox, useful for removing multiple listings from your favourites page
  • The listing id and location of the member’s home
  • Photo of the member’s home.
  • Underneath the photo, you will find information about their next exchange dates or current exchange availability as well as contact history and button.
  • The headline on the listing
  • The number of people who can sleep in this home.
  • The adults -vs- children make-up of this family.
  • Other details about the home.

Listing notes are private and are deleted if you remove the listing from your Favourites page.

Adding and Removing Favourites

Besides using the red “Trash” button on any listing on your Favourites page to remove a listing, you can also click the Favourite or Remove from Favourites button when you are looking at another member’s listing.

Making Contact with a Favourite

To make contact with the owners of a listing on your Favourites page, click the green “Contact” button underneath the photo. This will open up the contact dialog. It looks like this:

Request an exchange or start a conversation – our system has two options available for you.
To close the contact dialog, click the “hide” button.

Contacting Multiple Members at Once

To contact the owners of several of your favourite listings at once, use the link “Contact multiple favorites” from the Favourites navigation. It is highlighted in green in the screenshot below.

Underneath the recipients’ list and the message form, are the listings for all the active members on your favorites list. Add them to your recipients’ list by clicking the blue “+” button – and remove them by clicking the “Remove” link.

After you have set up your recipients list, fill in the message form and send.

You Have Been Added as a Favourite

Did you get an email that looks something like this one?

No worries, you don’t need to respond to it. It’s only an informational email. We just wanted to let you know that someone is thinking about an exchange with you.

Please, Make Them Stop!

If you don’t want to get any more email when other members add you to their favourites list, you can adjust your contact restrictions on the Contact Information page.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Hotlist for Last Minute home exchanges

What is the Hotlist?

The hotlist is the perfect place to find a last minute house swap anywhere in the world. An entry in the hotlist is only valid for four days so the list is always current and these are all members who are actively searching for a house swap holiday within the next 8 weeks.

It’s a great tool for new members with upcoming vacations and also for finding a spontaneous weekend exchange. Once you’ve added your listing to the hotlist, it will stay there for 4 days and then be automatically removed.


Where Can I See the Hotlist?

It is fully embedded in our search tool as a filter. Have a look at our search page. You will find it in the “Last Minute Exchanges”


  1. An active Intervac membership.
  2. Exchange dates which begin within the next 8 weeks.

Want to know more about the hotlist? Like how to add your listing? It’s really easy.

Quickstart: Go To > Change My Listing


How To Add or Remove Your Listing

The switch on the “Change My Listing” page is a toggle. As you can see in the screenshots above all you have to do is click it and it changes.

To Add Your Listing

  1. Go to the Main Settings for your listing by clicking on “Change My Listing” in the member homepage navigation.
  2. Click the “Show listing in the Hotlist?” toggle switch and it will change from red to green.

To Remove Your Listing

If you have found an exchange and no longer want your listing on the hotlist, you can remove it easily.

  1. Go to the Main Settings for your listing by clicking on “Change My Listing” in the member homepage navigation.
  2. Click the “Show listing in the Hotlist?” toggle and it will change from green to red.

Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Are you new to home exchange?

Lots of questions arise when you are starting in home exchange. But we in Intervac are all here to help!
Here are a couple of questions from our members that you might find useful. And make sure you also check our guide.

awaiting photos

What would you say are the most important things I can do to make my listing attractive to other members?

Be sure to add lots of photos of your home and your neighborhood. Members that do have photos have an increased chance of getting the home exchange they want as they look more trustworthy to others.

Also, add photos of yourself and your pets. You can mark these to be visible to members only if you are uncomfortable with the idea that visitors to the Intervac site could see them.

Finally, it’s very important to keep your exchange dates and your destinations wishlist up-to-date so that our search engine can work to help you find the perfect exchange partner.

Member Question. Our exchange from last summer doesn’t show on our page. It was our first exchange and we would like to be sure our listing is complete.

If this should happen to you, the best thing to do is to contact your local representative. They can change this for you and will pass the general problem along to our development team for checking.

As always, we appreciate the time you take to let us know when something doesn’t work as you expect it will. Your feedback helps us to improve our online system every day.


Member Question. Is there an easy way to know if I already contacted a member about an exchange in the past?

Improved search returns make it easy to see if you already contacted a member about an exchange.

Yes, you can see that directly on the search returns.

Any time you see a listing with a green checkmark beside it, you know you have already been in contact with that member.

The green checkmark is your clue…


Finding an exchange partner, Home exchange guide

Saving Search Criteria

The Save Search dialog is found at the bottom of the search filters on the search page. You must be logged-in to use this option.

Saved Search does not save the results of the search you run today, it just saves the criteria. This way, you know that every time you re-use a saved search you will be looking at the freshest results our database has to offer.


Save search dialog

To Save a Search

  1. Set up your search, namely indicating the destination and filters
  2. Go to My Saved Searches
  3. Give your search a name
  4. Click “Save Search”

Use a Saved Search

  1. Go to My Saved Searches
  2. The searches you saved previously are links. Click the one you want to use.

To Delete a Saved Search

  1. Go to My Saved Searches
  2. Click the garbage can icon next to the search you want to delete.