The first letter you send to potential exchangers should express your tentative interest, pending further correspondence. The Gallants had a clever format: a succinct description of their house and area on one side of a piece of paper; on the reverse, color photocopies of the interior, grounds and nearby beaches.
- Introduce your family, the ages of your children, careers, hobbies and special interests. Especially when teens and kids are involved, including a family photo is a good idea.
- Outline the advantages of your home — i.e., its proximity to tourist attractions, shopping, safe and quiet neighborhood, climate.
- Provide a detailed description of the interior and exterior of your home, listing features like working fireplace, oriental carpets, antiques, childproofing, barbecue and outside eating area
- If offering a car, give the make, year and condition. An automatic makes driving on an unaccustomed side of the road much easier.
- Provide references if you are an experienced exchanger.
- List your preferred dates and length of exchange. The more flexible you are, the better your chances.
- Be honest. Your abode may be humbler than that villa in Tuscany where you’re hoping to go, but if the time and the place are right, your potential exchange partners would probably prefer your home to a hotel.