G. Pétur Matthíasson, Iceland ambassador of Intervac
Many can’t wait to visit a hotel, check in and unpack and all that, because it means they are travelling again. It has been a long time now without travel, but we do see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, we don’t need to stay at a hotel, using Intervac to exchange houses is a much more interesting way of travelling.
The main thing is that we stay in areas where the locals live, we go to the supermarket, we visit the bakery just as if we were at home. We might have to prepare our own breakfast but then again, we probably make a much better breakfast than the hotel cafeteria.
The traveller staying at someone’s house will see a different aspect of the area he is visiting; he we will get the feel for how it is to live in that place. He gets a bigger and greater experience than if he is just following all the other tourists in the hotel areas of towns and cities.
If thinking about the cost as well it does mean that one can stay so much longer in an expensive city like Paris, to mention one, if staying with someone via Intervac. That means you can stay relaxed and enjoy so many more things and learn to know something about people’s daily lives.
I have exchanged houses in Denmark, Paris, Berlin, Bordeaux and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and all them have been enjoyable and exciting. I have become friends with the people I exchanged houses with, and they have visited me again and I them. Everything went smooth and everybody has been very helpful is assisting me to get settled and show me around.
The luxury of being picked up at the airport or driven back is just one of the perks of Intervac, when it is possible and as priceless as it is making new friends.
I have learned how it is to be a Parisian and at the same time seen all the beautiful tourist landmarks. My experience has been so much fuller this way and I can’t wait to organise the next one. The question is – where to go next?