Tips for New Members
Set Up Your Listing
As soon as you have completed the registration process you can log-in to your intervac listing and begin setting it up. It is important to repeat that until you have actually finished filling in your listing, it remains invisible to other members. So, let's do that...
- After you have logged in, on the member home page, in the left-hand column just underneath the orange navigation box you will see a set of links titled "My Listing". Begin by clicking on "Edit My Listing"
- Fill in the form with your desired travel dates, information about your family, your home, and your surroundings. Don't forget to save your changes by clicking the orange button at the top, or the bottom of the page.
Your Destinations Wishlist
Using the "My Listing" navigation click on "Destinations Wishlist" to begin to alert other members to your wish to visit their area. By default "Open for All Countries" is chosen, but you can enter as many countries, regions, and cities as you like. The more you choose, the better your chances of getting offers from people in those places using the Reverse Search to find potential exchange partners.
Place your Google Marker
Using the "My Listing" navigation check the position of your Google Maps marker by clicking on the link "Place Google Marker". If you are offering a second home, or want to use latitude and longitude to place the marker more exactly there are forms and instructions on this page for doing so.
Additional Text and Photos
Take some time and look at other member's listings. Then gather together photos of your home, your family and pets, your neighbourhood, and your region. Now you are ready to upload them and to write (unlimited) free text to fill in your listing. You can do both of these things by clicking on "Add Text and Photos" in the "My Listing" navigation.
Contacting Prospective Partners
Our messaging service allows you to send an inquiry by clicking on the "Send Email" link you will find on every listing when you are logged in. You will automatically receive a copy of messages that you send through the Intervac online system.
Logging in to answer your mail has advantages! You can compose unlimited templates for use and re-use when contacting new exchange partners, answering offers from other members, or during the agreement process.
- For each holiday you are planning, compose a contact template introducing you and your family to potential exchange partners. Include interesting information about your home and neighbourhood, and be sure to include the dates you are available for an exchange.
- Prepare a couple of answer templates for replying quickly to offers you receive. You can write one for offers that you are not interested in, and another for offers that interest you but for dates when you already have an exchange or are not available. When you receive a message from another member, you can easily load one of these templates into the response box online and edit/personalise the text for that response before sending.
- You could also prepare a contact template for use in the initial agreement phase. More tips about the Exchange Agreement can be found in the document: Reaching an Agreement.
Gather Information For Your Exchange Partner
- Visit your local Tourist Office and prepare an information pack with brochures from local museums, theatres and fun parks. If your town doesn't have a tourist office, sometimes you can find these brochures in the lobby of a local hotel.
- Take some time to think about your community from a visitor's point of view. Where is the local charm? Collect a list of local restaurants, with information about the food and service. Add to that a list of grocery stores, and shopping centers. One of the joys of home exchange is frequenting places that the locals do.
- Consider your home from your guest's point of view. Are there simple improvements that could make it more comfortable? Is everything in working order?
- Contact your insurance companies for household insurance and for your car (if you are swapping cars) to make sure everything is adequately covered.
- Browse the internet and bookmark the homepage of your local cinema so your guests can find out what is playing during their visit.