Whether the home be a very large property on a grand scale, even a castle, or a small city apartment or terrace house, anyone can participate in a home exchange programme provided that they are willing to enter into an arrangement which is based upon reciprocal trust of each other. People most likely to exchange homes are early retirees who are free to travel as and when they choose, and who often wish to stay longer than the conventional holiday period; families with young children who prefer the freedom and comfort of a real home and the opportunity to make new friends with their temporary neighbours and their children; young professionals often interested in shorter term weekend exchanges to exciting cities; and many others who have reasons for wanting to be in a particular place for a specific reason – for example to retrace their roots, immerse themselves in a new language, follow a short course of study, see a cultural performance or be present at a specific event.
Who Acts as Agent?
In the case of Green Theme International Home Exchange, no one acts as agent as our members make the arrangements between themselves. We feel that this is preferable to having an agent act as a go-between because the actual process of communication and setting up of the exchange enables exchangers to get to know their exchange partners and establish the feeling of trust and confidence that they are the right people for them to exchange with.
About Green Theme
In business since 1989, Green Theme International Home Exchange was established with an ethos of consideration for the environment and a philosophy to encourage the greater use of a form of tourism which is sustainable and which does not encroach upon peoples and their traditional rights as often happens when tourism is associated with big business and it becomes the major source of income for a developing country.In those early days, we were listed in The Daily Telegraph “Good Tourist Guide”.
We are available by phone or e-mail to answer clients and prospective exchangers’ questions. We currently have in the region of 2000 listings: they are constantly updated, not expired or inactive, so we know that members on our lists are ready, willing and able to exchange homes and respond to exchange requests.
We offer online advice to all new members, providing recommendations, hints, sample agreement forms, and everything members need to know to help them make arrangements for a successful exchange.
When and Where
Home Exchange takes place all year round and there is no specific time attached to the concept.The only thing to bear in mind is in connection with long-haul exchanges where the seasons will be the opposite to those at home: often the fairest compromise in these circumstances is to make arrangements for the Spring or Autumn, so that each exchange partner can expect some reasonable weather during their trip.
The countries most familiar with the idea of home exchange and therefore with the largest numbers of people participating are in Australia, Canada, UK, Europe (with a greater preponderance of countries in the West rather than the East – although the latter are beginning to participate), and New Zealand. Other more exotic destinations such as Mauritius, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Central and South America also feature in our programme.
What to look out for?
Probably the most successful exchanges occur when ‘like’ exchanges with ‘like’; ie between seniors, between families, between young professionals etc; and when the standard of accommodation offered by both is similar. But this rule is not written in stone and if a particular destination is the crucial factor in making the decision to exchange, compromise will often be accepted in relation to other factors such as size of property etc.
If exchange partners are experienced exchangers, they should not hesitate to ask each other for references from their former exchange partners if this makes them feel happier about their arrangements.
What to avoid?
People should try to avoid exchanges made in haste and give themselves enough time to document all the arrangements made between them – a simple record of all communications and agreements made will suffice. They should also appreciate that if enough time is taken over this process that it allows them to establish a rapport with their exchange partners which will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the exchange.
Ask for and take note of any advice/warnings which your exchange partners are able to give as a result of their local knowledge. Some localities in their area may be regarded as perfectly safe, but there may be other areas and times in which specific areas should be visited with caution. People should remember that they are travelling as independent travellers and therefore any advice given for their protection and to ensure their safety should be welcomed and observed.
Press Contact: Email: Green Theme International Home Exchange