Welcome to our Fall 2013 edition of HomeLink home exchange Connection!
Autumn is upon us and with this season we are pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of our new website.
Our original launch date was set for this week, so we decided to hold off a bit on sending our Fall newsletter in order to incorporate a full introduction along with detailed instructions for getting through the transition period to the new site.
However, our final internal testing of the site uncovered some issues that need correcting prior to the launch. Therefore, the launch date has been postponed to mid – late November, so we will send the instructions closer to the launch when we are able to provide you with full information.
We will keep you informed on our progress and want to assure you our new state-of-the-art website will be worth the wait!
Please see our HomeLink International section for more detail on this.
In the meantime, we bring this abbreviated newsletter to you as there are some items we believe you will find interesting and useful.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter and welcome any feedback you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karl & I wish all of you…
HomeLink USA News
Just a Reminder…
Send Requests to Members With Similar Preferences:
Since our last newsletter, a member of ours sent us the message below, so we wanted to present this very important reminder to you again.
“Aloha Karl & Katie,
We continue to get so many home exchange requests from people who pay no attention to our HomeLink listing. It clearly states that our home accommodates only two adults, [among other specific items]. …However, we] constantly get inquiries wanting accommodations for 3, 4, or more people.
If you could put something in your email Newsletter about people making sure they have carefully read the listing of the home with which they wish to exchange, it would save countless time for people like us.
Mahalo (thank you).
Please do not send home exchange requests based solely on a home’s location. It is very important to read the entire listing’s contents (Preferred Periods, Dates & Destinations, home details and descriptions, etc) of your potential exchange partners to make sure your basic details are a good match.
As always, this mutual respect for one another is essential for successful home exchanging and we appreciate your considered efforts when sending your exchange requests.
The article below was sent to us from Jon & Caroline, our HomeLink UK Colleagues.Â We hope you enjoy it!
New Office Hours…
To better serve our members, our new office hours are Monday – Thursday, 10:00am – 6:00pm Eastern Time. Our phone number: 800-638-3841
We would very much like to hear about your home exchange stories and include them in an upcoming HomeLink Connection newsletter. Please send your stories to HomeLink.US@gmail.com and let us know if it would be okay to include your name.
Fortunately, we continue receiving many stories from all of you. Therefore, we are unable to include all we have received. If you don’t see your story in this issue, we promise it will be in an upcoming edition of HomeLink Connection.
Thanks, again, to all of you for such a wonderful response to this section!
The HomeLinker Story below is from our dear and longtime members, J & L.
Thank you very much for sharing this “lovely” (sorry, couldn’t resist…) story and we are so happy for you in that you have forged such a long lasting friendship through home exchange. It is such a wonderful way of life!
Lasting Friendships Through Home Exchange
“We have enjoyed thirteen home exchanges to date, with another one planned in September. Most of these have been through HomeLink. We have travelled from Maine and Florida, to Australia, UK (many times), Scotland, France and Germany. We have a long list of countries we still hope to visit.
One couple who we exchanged with back in 2004 from England has become very good friends of ours. They exchanged with us when in Florida and bought an RV when in our home. They then revisited Florida and took off using their RV to explore America for several years. Almost every time they came we’d get together and enjoy our developing friendship.We visit England quite often and have stayed with them in their home. If that doesn’t work out, they bring their small camper to the area where we are staying and we get together for a meal or two, and a good chat.
These people, and so many others, have enriched our lives and allowed us to have incredible experiences we could never have had travelling in a group.
One other caveat – we always use public transport when we exchange, and find this adds to our pleasure and relaxation. Besides, it is how most other people travel, and that in itself is always an interesting and positive experience.
Happy travels to all.
J & L
How to Handle Accidents That Occur While on Home Exchange:
The link below is both a HomeLinker Story and a shining example of the true “Spirit of HomeLink“. The HomeLink USA members who contacted us with this asked to remain relatively anonymous so as not to give their potential Exchange Partners the wrong impression they are accident-prone.
Personally, Karl & I have just the opposite impression as their proactive and conscientious approach to resolving the issues at hand are a fine example for all of us as fellow home exchangers.
Of course we have respected their wish to remain anonymous, so have only included their initials.
Leave Sufficient Closet & Drawer Space:
Below is a recent post in our Discussion Forum regarding this matter.
It is a constant irritation that some home exchangers fail to clear out sufficient wardrobe space for visitors. This has happened on our last two exchanges despite it being agreed in advance. We always completely clear one wardrobe per 2 people and 2 drawers. Any ideas??”
This is certainly a subjective area, however HomeLink’s standard as stated under our “Ten International Principles for a Successful HomeLink Exchange” is as follows:
“Clear away enough of your personal belongings to leave space on shelves and in wardrobes and drawers so that your guests can empty their suitcases, arrange their things in bedrooms and bathrooms and feel at home.”
Leave a Welcome &/or Thank you Gift for Your Home Exchange Partner:
In response to our last newsletter that showed the beautiful wood carving our members, D & S leave for their exchange partners, HomeLinkers, G & P, sent a photo of the thoughtful and personalized gift they create for their lucky home exchange partners.
Thank you, G & P for providing us with such a wonderful gift idea!
Personalized Cutco Knife
Gary & Peggy write:
“I liked the gift that D & S showed us in the last newsletter. Very personal and their exchangers will remember them for a lifetime.
While traveling abroad, my wife and I opted for a different type of personalized gift.
With our last trip consisting of 3 hospitality exchanges and 1 non-simultaneous exchange to England, we took four very special knives (never in carry on) that are made by Cutco. Doesn’t seem like a personal gift until you have it monogrammed. These gifts travel well and are light.
The attached photo (which was difficult due to shininess of the blade) reads: Kristine’s Kitchen. We of course customize it for either the lady of the house or we use the couple’s last name. We have received very nice reviews and are often reminded of our gift.
Cutco has a very good reputation of high quality knives. Knives can be purchased at discount prices if a number are ordered.
If there are more questions or if someone wants to be put in touch with someone for ordering knives, let us know”
HomeLink International News
As I mentioned at the beginning of our newsletter, we are soon to launch an entirely new central website/database with state of the art search capability among many other wonderful new features.
The current launch date for member access is set for mid – late November. It is our understanding the site will go public after our members have had sufficient time to make any changes to their listing (at the new site) they deem necessary and appropriate.
It is also our understanding the majority of your current listings will transfer seamlessly to the new site. However, the fact that this is an entirely new database & website being launched, some information will not transfer due to formatting incompatibility issues. Therefore, a transition period has been scheduled where both the old and new sites will run in parallel in order to provide ample time for everyone to transfer what did not properly transfer to the new site.
Rest assured, we will be available to help you every step of the way during the transition period. We will be sending instructional emails to our members on how to proceed with the new site very soon and please don’t hesitate contacting us with any questions you might have.