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FAQ's

1. What exactly is a vacation home exchange?

2. How does the Hospitality Concept work?

3. This sounds intriguing but how does it work?

4. I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with the idea of a stranger being in my home.

5. What is the cost of your service? Once I’ve joined are there any other costs?

6. Why should I choose the "Home Schooler's Home Exchange Neighborhood"?

7. But with only one income, will anyone want to stay in our modest home?

8. How long is a typical exchange and who makes the arrangements?

9. I prefer not to pay with my credit card online. Are there any other options?

10. Will my personal information be shown in my listing?

11. I live in a rented property. Can I still participate?

12. What about exchanging cars? Should I check with my insurance agent?

13. What if something is damaged? Who covers that?

14. What do I do with my personal possessions?

15. We have pets! What do we do with them?

16. How did the concept of home exchanging get started?

17. What if I don't have a digital camera, how can I add photos?

18. Who can join the your site?

 


1. What exactly is a vacation home exchange?
It is fairly simple…two families agree to exchange the use of their homes to vacation in the other’s area. (I stay in your house while at the same time you stay in mine). 

Our site provides a database of adventurous, like-minded families making it easier for them to find each other and help them travel more affordably.
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2. How does the Hospitality Concept work?
Some of our members have extra space like a spare bedroom to full apartments in their basements, some even have RVs they are happy to share! They offer use of these to other members. 

Hospitality is great for those times when you need to visit an area for a seminar, competition, wedding, or just because! We humans are social creatures, and Hospitality exchange goes beyond vacationing, it connects people for exchanging of ideas, cultures and goodwill. 

Hospitality can be reciprocated, but doesn't have to be...as long as all involved just keep paying it forward!

As a host, you may do as much or as little as you desire. In your listing let others know the accommodations you have to offer. It may be a bed for mom and dad, and a sofa, cot or sleeping bags for the kids. Breakfast would be a nice touch for the visiting family (if only cereal and milk!) You can simply provide a little information, maps/directions and point the way...or you may want to escort your visitors to a special place near your home. It is up to you! 

As a visitor it is very important to be as considerate as possible. Offer to bring home dinner for everyone one night. Call to see if anything is needed from the store before returning. Remove sheets from the beds, and leave rooms that you've occupied better than you found them. Make your host family thrilled that they offered to host you and blessed by your visit
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3. This sounds intriguing but how does it work?
-Explore the listings on our site to see how things work.

-Join our community.

-Create a listing for your home, telling about all the great things to do in your area.

- Choose several places you are interested in going and contact those families. 

-Build a friendship with the family as you figure out the details of the exchange.

-Enjoy your vacation!! 

Check out our “ABC’s and 123’s of Home Exchange,” we give you more info on how to get started.
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4.  I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with the idea of a stranger being in my home.
While at first thought it may seem uncomfortable to think about someone you don’t know staying in your home…just remember, they are probably having the same thoughts about you.

Mutual respect and trust are the main foundations of a home exchange. This is established as you become familiar with your home exchange family. As you can imagine there are several details that must be worked out before such an exchange can take place, this means emails, phone calls and most likely exchanging more pictures. Survey after survey tells us that by the time the details are complete, most exchangers are no longer strangers. They become friends, are put on the yearly Christmas card list, and kept up with through the years.

NEED SOME MORE CONVINCING??

Think of it this way, it doesn't really seem logical that someone who would misuse your home would take the time to sign up with an exchange agency, create a listing, build a relationship with an exchange partner, and spend the money to get to that partners home in order to misuse it!  That's too much trouble...especially considering that you would have their name, address, phone number and keys to their house!  Undesirable people usually want to remain a little more anonymous.

In the 50 years that home exchanging has been around, according to surveys of 1000's of users, the worst that usually happens is that things aren't put back exactly as it was left (which my kids do to my house every day!!) or that something was broken.  Minor complaints for what you get in return!  The chance to travel like never before!

With prices rising everywhere in today's world, you owe it to yourself and your family to do some more research on this great travel alternative!
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5. What is the cost of your service? Once I’ve joined are there any other costs?
Our fee is $29.95 to list your home, including photos, for one year. 

Once you have paid your listing fee, there is no other cost involved. You are free to use our service to arrange as many exchanges as you like for the year! 
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6. Why should I choose the "Home Schooler's Home Exchange Neighborhood"?
We believe that the home and hospitality exchange process becomes more simple when you have more in common with your exchange family.   The advantage you receive from becoming a member of "The Neighborhood" is that we help narrow the options of home schooling families to their greatest common denominator...other home schooling families!!

And with the number of home schoolers growing every year you can be assured that if we all help spread the word about "The Neighborhood"...we'll soon have the ability to visit our "new" home schooling friends all over the world! 

Also, "The Neighborhood" is operated by a home schooling family with a heart for other home schooling families.  For this reason we provide our services at a greatly reduced rate over other home exchange sites.  (Most sites are in the neighborhood of $50.00 -$100.00) Our fee is half the cost of one night in a hotel room.

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7. But with only one income, will anyone want to stay in our modest home?
It is important to be honest with the description of your home and emphasize the advantages it and the area has to offer, but remember your humble home, small though it may be, will always be more spacious than any nice hotel room. 

Plus, as a homeschooling family you will have many amenities that are desirable to other homeschoolers, i.e., games, puzzles, toys and let’s not forget BOOKS! This is as big a plus for the teaching parent as it is for the children. (My favorite activity when I make a new homeschooling friend is to peruse their bookshelf! I bet it’s one of yours too!)

And don’t forget how much having a kitchen means to a traveling family! The major hindrances to traveling with a family are hotel expenses and eating out. With the ability for someone to stay in your humble home, you provide them the comfort of your home, convenience of your kitchen, and the blessing of activities for the children that don’t have to be packed in a suitcase!!!

Also think about where your humble home is located. Be creative in presenting all the wonderful things to see and do in your immediate and surrounding area. Even if your partner has a grander home, they may be glad for the convenience of not having to stay in a hotel.

One experienced exchanger puts it this way, “…She always trades her 3200- square-foot place for a small two-bedroom apartment. That way, she doesn’t spend her vacation straightening up a big place after her two kids.” So larger may not always be better!
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8. How long is a typical exchange and who makes the arrangements?
Nothing is typical, it all depends on you and your destination. A long weekend…a week… 2 weeks…a month. Our site makes available to you a database of others wanting to swap homes; however, all arrangements are made by you and your potential swap partner.
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9. I prefer not to pay with my credit card online. Are there any other options?
Yes. You have several options, you can send a check or money order by snail mail, or you may use Paypal. Please use our contact page to tell us what you'd prefer.
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10. Will my personal information be shown in my listing?
No. None of your personal information will appear on the Website, not even your email address. We want to make sure that your privacy is maintained at all times. It is up to you to disclose this information with your exchange partner when the time is right and you feel sure that you will move ahead with exchange plans.
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11. I live in a rented property. Can I still participate?
Yes, you can, just let your landlord know that you will have guests staying in your home while you are on vacation. They will be glad to know that the home won't be sitting empty while you're gone! 
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12. What about exchanging cars? Should I check with my insurance agent?
About 60% of exchangers do swap cars. In our ABC’s and 123’s, you will find agreement forms and tips for making sure that everything is in order when exchanging your vehicle. In the U.S. most auto insurance covers anyone driving your car with your permission. However, it is best where insurance is concerned to double-check with your agent to be sure. 
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13. What if something is damaged? Who covers that?
If any damage occurs during the exchange, the party responsible for the damage is also responsible to replace, repair or reimburse the cost of repair.
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14. What do I do with my personal possessions?
If you have personal objects that you would prefer being left alone, you can do one of several things. Experienced home swappers tell us that a simple note left on Grandmother’s china will do the trick, but if you have something of particular value, the best thing to do is to lock it away while you are gone in a room that is declared private, or take it to a trusted friend’s home.
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15. We have pets! What do we do with them?
This will be up to your exchange partners. Some families will enjoy caring for pets and it will add to the enjoyment of the exchange. Some families might not want to be tied down by responsibilities of pet care. You just need to clearly communicate what pets you own and will need care for. Some might not mind a cuddly, sweet kitty but not really want to be left with the pet python that many homeschoolers have lurking in a tank in their basement. (My son, however, would be thrilled to exchange with a family with a pet snake!! Different strokes for different folks!)
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16. How did the concept of home exchanging get started?
During the early ‘50s the Swiss and Dutch teachers’ unions in Europe began contacting one another wanting to find a way for the teachers to travel inexpensively during their long holidays from school. The idea of a teacher swapping their home with another teacher was born. This provided a greater learning environment because instead of visiting the country as a tourist, the teachers would live in a real neighborhood and could learn firsthand about the culture and customs. Since the ‘50s, the idea has spread into the mainstream, and with the advent of the internet, people all over the world are benefiting from this idea with literally thousands of swaps being made each year. Now, with our agency, homeschoolers can enjoy these same benefits with like-minded families anywhere homeschoolers live!
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17. What if I don't have a digital camera, how can I add photos?
No Problem, all you have to do is send the photos by snail mail.  We will scan and post them for you.  Please write your name, address and member id # from our site on the back of the photo. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of your photos.
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18. Who can join the your site?
Any family that is currently or has previously homeschooled their children.
Grandparents of homeschooling families.
Homeschool graduates.
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