A house for a house is a good exchange for many travelers


October 11, 1992|By New York Times News Service

Q: I am trying to find organizations that facilitate international home exchanges.

A: Here are three services that publish lists of homes and apartments for exchange.

*Intervac U.S., P.O. Box 590504, San Francisco, Calif. 94159; (800) 756-4663. This company publishes directories in February, April and June of houses and apartments for exchange (and some for rent). The total number of listings is about 8,400, with 80 percent international. Subscribers pay $62 for three directories and a listing in one; for those 62 and older, $55.

*Vacation Exchange Club, P.O. Box 650, Key West, Fla. 33041; (800) 638-3841. This company publishes directories in January and March followed by monthly supplements, with a total of about 16,000 listings, about 60 percent of them international. The cost is $50 a year, including a listing in one of the directories.

*Trading Homes International, P.O. Box 787, Hermosa Beach, Calif. 90254; (800) 877-8723. This new service will publish two directories a year. It expects to have about 2,000 listings, 40 percent of them international, in its first directory this December; the second will appear in May. Membership is $65, which includes a listing in both directories.

There are companies that, for a fee, search for homes to exchange for yours. One is Better Homes and Travel, P.O. Box 10664, Marina del Rey, Calif. 90295; (310) 821-5500. Send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope if requesting material.

Q: Is there a charitable organization that solicits the foreign coins travelers have when returning to the United States?

A: There are sometimes receptacles at airports that solicit traveler's coins for various charities. Once you are home, there is an organization, called Change for Good, based in Washington, that accepts foreign coins. Operated by the Potomac Area Council of the American Youth Hostel, Change for Good collects coins (paper money is accepted too), which banks have agreed to convert into dollars without charging a commission. The money is used for community programs. For more information, or to send foreign money, contact American Youth Hostels Change for Good, 1108 K St. N.W., Washington 20005; (202) 783-0717.

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