Intervac

Become the next Intervac Ambassador

We are always looking for experienced members interested in helping us spread the word about Intervac and home exchange.

Can I become an Intervac Ambassador?

If you are an experienced Intervac member and would like to help us spread the word about Intervac and home exchange, we invite you to become an ambassador.

Are there any Ambassadors in my country already?

The current Ambassadors can be seen in this post. Even if there is already an Ambassador in your country, do send in your application as we can accept more than one per country.

What is an Intervac Ambassador supposed to do?

We expect each Ambassador to:

  • send one (or more!) exchange stories that we can share on our blog, newsletter, and social media
  • tell their friends about Intervac (ah, you were doing this already, right?)
  • answer questions from new members
  • be available for interviews by journalists in their country

Are there any benefits?

Yes!

First of all, you get 3 months free on your membership when you become an Ambassador.

And you get a special badge on your listing ūüôā

 

 

Where do I start?

Simply fill this form!¬†And if you want to send us the longer version of the exchange story with¬† one¬†or more pictures right away that is great, send it to editor@intervac.com, If you don’t have it ready, don’t worry.¬†Send us the application now and the exchange story can come in later.

Become an Intervac Ambassador
Year
Please tell us when the exchange took place and where. What made that exchange special? Write a short version of it here, we will get in touch to know more and ask you for an illustrating phot.

 

Intervac

Home is your world… the world is your home

If your home is your world… share your world!
Sharing friendship helps you grow
Sharing journeys makes you happy
Sharing experiences makes you sensitive
Sharing culture warms your heart

Live like a local, in an affordable and sustainable way.

Intervac – The original home exchange community, since 1953

Home exchange guide, Your Listing

All about your listing’s photos

Pictures are a very important part of your Intervac listing. They show what your home and neighborhood is like and they present your family to our Intervac community.

There are 4 categories of photos in your listing:

  1. Home
  2. Neighbourhood
  3. Family
  4. Lifestyle

All of these pictures show in your picture slideshow, following precisely that order: Home, Neighbourhood, Family, Lifestyle. If you have more than one listing, the photos in the Family and Lifestyle categories will show in all your listings.

 

Please note that when logged in you can view all the photos other members have on their slideshow. If you are not logged in, you will be considered as a Visitor (and not a Member) and for that reason only be able to view the ones selected by the member as Members & Visitors photos.

Adding more photos to your Intervac listing

Adding more photos is a great way to provide more information to potential exchangers and increases the chances of you getting the home exchange you want.

To do this log in, and go to Member Home > My Listing > Change My Listing

Choose the category you want (Home, Family, Lifestyle or Neighbourhood)

You can add new photos by clicking the Upload photos button, you can add new pictures in the chosen category.

Please note photos need to be no bigger than 10MB. If your photo is bigger, we recommend that you use an online resizer tool to reduce its size to a maximum of 10MB (that is 10240 KB or less).

You can reorder the photos within the category by using the 4-headed arrow on the right and dragging the photo to where you want it.

If you click on Show to members only, the photo will be shown only to logged in members. If you click on Show to everyone, the photo will be shown to both members and visitors.

Member Questions

 How about the main photo?

The main photo has a blog post dedicated to it. Read all about how to handle the main photo of your listing.

How can I delete photos?

To delete photos, simply follow these instructions.

 How can I rotate photos?

To rotate photos that appear sideways or even upside down, follow these instructions.

 Where did my neighborhood photos go?

All your photos show in your picture slideshow They appear in the order of the categories you uploaded them in: Home, Neighbourhood, Family, Lifestyle.

  I see you have a caption on your main photo. How can I add one too?

Clicking the Edit Caption link will open this little dialog. Just type in the text you want for your caption but keep it under 128 characters. That’s the limit.

Home exchange guide, Your Listing

How to delete your photos

You know your listing looks much better with photos and the odds of getting that exchange you are looking for greatly increase. But maybe you want to delete some of your photos to upload new ones, more up-to-date.

Note: If you are considering deleting your photos because they are upside down or rotate, you don’t need to delete them. See here how to rotate your photos.

Deleting photos step-by-step

1 – Log in to your account and click on Change my listing

2 РClick on Home Photos & Texts

3 – Next to each photo you will find an icon to delete it (as shown in the screenshot below)

4 – Repeat for as many photos as you wish to delete

5 – Repeat also in the sections

Deleting the main photo

¬†You cannot delete the main photo. You can replace it with a new photo you¬†upload or with one of your other photos. If you don’t want to have a photo of your house, you can use a photo of your area taken from the Internet.
The instructions on how to change the main photo are here.
Home exchange guide, Your membership

How to upgrade your Intervac membership

If you are a trial member and want to upgrade to a full membership, here are step-by-step instructions.

1 РLog in at https://www.intervac-homeexchange.com/service/login

2 РFollow the Upgrade membership link right at the top of your dashboard/member home

3 – Select the duration of your membership. Please note that a full membership always starts at the end of your free membership period. To select the duration of your choice, press one of the blue Select buttons.

4 – Once the duration is selected, a yellow Go button will show further down. Click on that button to proceed.

5 – After this, the options will vary depending on the country and duration of membership selected. But if you wish to pay online, you can do so with your credit card or your PayPal account by selecting the blue with credit card button

 

 

 

If you still have questions, please contact your national representative. You’ll find their contact details here.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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 ūüôā¬†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 ūüôā

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‚Ķ 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‚Äôt 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¬ģ 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:

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

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

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

Р          Take pictures

Р          Games

  1.        I Spy, with my little eye
  2.        Simon says Рclap your hands, touch your nose, count to 10, stick out your tongue, stand on your tippy toes
  3.        Animal Charades
  4.        The Alphabet Game Рfind objects around you (eg clothing and signs) from A-Z.
  5.        Character Alphabet  Рlist characters from A-Z (villains, princesses, cartoons, etc.)
  6.        Botticelli Рtake on the persona of a well-known person, give other players the initials. Players ask yes/no questions.
  7. ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Sweet and sour ‚Äď wave at a stranger and see who waves back
  8.        Peruse the Shoes РCount 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 РYou 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‚Ķ loads of fun in spite of the ‚Äúscary‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúonly‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôt 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 ūüôā

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.