Travelling with SERVAS

How to become a SERVAS traveller

You need to register in advance at JOIN SERVAS (at least 2 weeks before departure)
Fix an appointment for a personal interview. Choose one of the hosts from the list of interviewers that you have received from
Fill out the letter of introduction (LI)
Pay the required amount
The LI will be authenticated online with the stamp of SERVAS Switzerland.
You will then receive the access to SERVAS Online.

Learn more

Costs - Fees

Why costs?
All SERVAS employees work voluntarily. Nevertheless, there are still costs that need to be covered, e.g. printing of host lists, phone calls, postage, office material, etc.
Furthermore, a part of the income is sent on to SERVAS International, in order to foster international contacts and to support the SERVAS representations that are in the process of being planned.

Contribution towards costs for travellers

The annual fee of Fr. 30.-- per host family includes the "Letters of Introduction" (LI) for all members of the host family. LI's are given out upon request only. They are valid for 1 year from the date of delivery.

Everyone else:
Travelling up to 12 months: Fr. 80.-- per person.

Before you travel with SERVAS

Each host list contains an introduction. Please read it thoroughly. SERVAS takes it for granted that the individual conditions expressed by the hosts in the list are maintained (e.g. written application or over the phone, application deadlines, sleeping bag, etc.). Please take note of the "WMT" (= want more travellers) option, too.
Please consult the chosen hosts directly. Notwithstanding the enclosed answer note, you cannot always rely on a reply to your written application.
A couple of days before your arrival, be sure to contact your hosts on the phone in order to confirm your stay and/or to receive an answer to your application.
Should you be unable to keep to your schedule or should you change your trip, please inform your hosts immediately.
While planning your trip, consider that you don’t only get to know people and their country in touristic centres. Choose hosts off the beaten track too, they are the ones who get fewer travellers. Check the WMT option.
Day Hosts are also keen to meet travellers. They cannot offer accommodation in that case, but they might have time for a walk through town or a shared meal.
SERVAS should in no case be understood as a cheap opportunity for travel. Most hosts invest time in conversation and discussion and expect the same from you!

Internationally valid SERVAS rules

The following internationally valid SERVAS rules must be kept to absolutely:

Show the Original Letter of Introduction (LI) immediately upon arrival. A lot of hosts appreciate a copy of it. Hosts are instructed to refuse travellers without a valid LI.
You are considered a member of the family – do not let others serve you! Just make yourself at home.
In general, you may stay for two days unless agreed upon otherwise. Do not ask to stay longer and remember that a lot of hosts do not appreciate a «land and run» attitude!
Full board isn’t obligatory – it often depends on the hosts’ financial situation. Be attentive – you might want to prepare a meal once or help out with some shopping for your host.
Never use your hosts’ telephone without prior consent and pay for the phone call immediately. This is one of the hosts’ most frequent complaints!
Most hosts appreciate a small gift. The minimum should be a «thank you» note after your stay.

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