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Welcome to our Fall 2012 edition of HomeLink Connection!
We hope you enjoyed your summer and are looking ahead to your next HomeLink adventure.
October is already upon us as we prepare for the coming months filled with holiday celebration and family gatherings.
Once again, we encourage you to consider home swapping for your family gatherings as so many of us travel great distances to be together during the holiday season. Having the opportunity to stay in a welcoming home instead of an impersonal hotel room goes a long way toward optimizing your warm holiday cheer.
HomeLink USA is featured in a new blog series from our own HomeLinker and HomeExchangeExpert, Shelley Miller. Please see our “Member Blog Sites” section for the direct link to our interview.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter and, as always, welcome any feedback you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karl & I wish you a warm and wonderful holiday season!
HomeLink USA News
Just a Reminder…
Complete our Exchange Evaluation Forms…
These forms serve as a useful reference for your future exchanges. Be sure to request your exchange partner also completes the form.
Update Your Listing Online…
Please take this time to view your listing online to make sure your information is current. Pay special attention to your Preferred Dates & Destinations section and any reference to your travel preferences in the descriptive text portion of your listing.
You can always view your listing online by clicking the “Show my Listing” link found under “Member Options” at the left of our Database Main Page after logging in.
HomeLink Internet Technology…
Please visit our new social networking pages (www.facebook.com/homelinkusa , www.twitter.com/homelinkusa), where we encourage you to post comments about home exchanging, any advice or special exchange requests you might have…anything of interest to the home swap community. We hope these pages develop into a useful forum for all of us!
Some of you may have experienced an extended downtime of our website earlier this week and we want to assure you this was a necessary step for improving your HomeLink experience. The main improvement with this latest system maintenance is a quicker response time, which we hope you are enjoying.
Member Blog Sites…
Shelley Miller, a fellow HomeLinker and Blogger extraordinaire on the topic of home swapping, recently interviewed Karl & I on…you guessed it...the wonderful world of home exchanging and has posted the interview at her Blog. You can view this at Shelley’s Blog, http://www.HomeExchangeExpert.com , at our media articles archive or at our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Author, Lydie Thomas, has referenced HomeLink in her latest (and previous) books on travel.
Below is her email explaining this.
“Hi Karl and Katie,
I am pleased to let you know that HomeLink is included in the chapter ‘Free Lodging’ of my new guidebook ‘Your Guide to Visit San Francisco for Free’.
My travel book lists all the free things visitors and locals can enjoy without spending a dime. It is available for sale on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle…
We would very much like to hear about your home swapping 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.
We have actually received so many stories over the past few months, that we were unable to include them all in this newsletter, but promise they will be included eventually. Thanks, again, to all of you for such a wonderful response to this section!
Also, per multiple requests we have received from our members, we are now including the lengthier member stories through a hyperlink to the story. Simply click on the corresponding link to enjoy reading about their wonderful home swap experiences.
Our first story is an amusing tale of a goat, a boy and a boot. It was sent in from longtime HomeLinkers, Linda & Jere. They have been with HomeLink since 1977 and have enjoyed over 107 exchanges to date!
Thank you very much for sharing this with us. I laugh out loud every time I read it. (click on link, “Rufus” to read)
Our second story, was sent to us from longtime HomeLinkers, Steve & Susan. They have been with us since 1995!
Their experience is a great illustration of how nice it is to offer hospitality to fellow HomeLinkers even when no exchange is in place. Thanks for sending this to us and showing one of the many benefits enjoyed through HomeLink membership.
“Dear Katie and Karl:
Thanks again for all the interesting travel experiences that HomeLink has enabled us to create. My husband and I have just returned from a six-week trip to France. While we were not able to find a suitable home exchange this time because we began planning late, we did make a lot of nice connections with the families we communicated with while searching for home exchange partners.
Quite a few people said that they could not do a home exchange, but that they would be happy to provide us with hospitality while we were in their area. So, we met up with several families that way--for drinks, dinner, or overnight home hospitality--and had a wonderful time.
We've returned home now with new friends that we met through HomeLink, even though our efforts to arrange a home exchange didn't work out. In fact, it might have been more fun because we got to know the people better this way.”
Below is an example of the many pleasant surprises we all have experienced through HomeLink.
A USA HomeLinker became ill while staying at their UK exchange partner’s home. Her exchange partner had left information on the local healthcare clinic, which she used directly.
Upon arrival at the clinic, she was asked if her name was on the ‘national healthcare registry’. Of course it wasn’t, explaining she was staying at her friend’s home in the area. She was then asked for the name of her friend (who was on the registry) and was immediately provided free healthcare! Further, the actual physician who provided the healthcare personally greeted her in the waiting room.
She is doing just fine now and is still amazed at the care received! Her and her husband jokingly discussed between themselves if there were any other ailments they might have looked at while there…
HomeLink Search Function:
While searching our database for potential exchanges, you can narrow your search results by searching on a particular city of interest.
To do so:
1. Log in
2. Click on the country for your preferred destination at our Database Main Page
Once you are at the search page for that particular country (or region of the country, depending on the country you choose).
3. Enter the destination city in the text field titled, “Your preferred city or town”. This field is found at the top of the various search parameters directly to the left of the map graphic.
4. Click the “Search” button found directly below the map.
Server Time out Issues:
Our website is programmed to ‘time-out’ after an extended time of non-action by the user of the site (i.e. saving text, sending a message, etc).
Therefore, to eliminate the risk of losing lengthy text you have entered, we recommend creating a text document outside our system and then copy/paste your text into the appropriate area of our website and save or send the text directly.
HomeLink International News
The members included in the link to this section (below) have contacted their respective HomeLink Organizer, asking for their help in finding an exchange or were chosen by us from our Short Notice List.
We will certainly include any of our USA members who have been unable to find a US exchange after an exhaustive search. Just let us know.
Further, if any of you have been unsuccessful in finding an exchange abroad, we would be happy to forward your situation and preferences to our corresponding HomeLink Representative. After all, we are here to help all of our members in anyway we can.
Seeking USA Exchanges
Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your trip to our 4th Annual HomeLink International/10th Annual HomeLink Italia Luncheon! The main luncheon is set for June 9, 2013 in the beautiful town of Cingoli, Italy.
Of course, Annalisa, our HomeLink Italy colleague is at the helm, organizing the event and this year, her son, Giovanni, joins her as our newest HomeLink Representative.
They have created a lovely invitation for our HomeLinkers worldwide, which can be viewed through the links below.
If you have any questions about this event, please direct them to HomeLink USA, email@example.com, as Annalisa & Giovanni are quite busy making the arrangements presently.
HomeLink Italy Invitation:
Annalisa's Personal Invitation via YouTube
Invitation via HomeLink Italy Website (please scroll to bottom of invitation for the English version)
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