sitting has helped me live rent-free free in countries all
around the world, but this unique travel style also comes with
responsibilities. Though the free price tag can’t be beat, I pay in
the form of caring for pets and committing to staying in one location
for a set period of time—and these tasks don’t always align with
everyone’s idea of a perfect vacation.
In contrast, a homestay offers the optimum blend of an immersive
travel experience and travel freedom—pretty appealing for adventure
travelers looking to shake up their travel routine. Curious about
why—and how—to book a homestay? Here’s what I’ve learned in my
Meet Local People
One of the joys of travel is connecting with people from other
cultures. When you’re a guest at a homestay, you’ll not only meet the
hosts and their families, but also their friends and neighbors. This
will increase your own social circles and foster the chance to form
Experience Foreign Family Culture
Immersing yourself in the local culture of the destinations you
visit is a great way to see beyond the guidebook recommendations and
must-see attractions. When staying with your host family you may find
you have the opportunity to accompany them to local clubs and
societies, as well as social events like parties and festivals.
Enjoy the Comforts of Home
The most appealing aspect of a homestay for some is the fact that
you can enjoy time in a warm, homely environment when visiting an
unfamiliar location. Knowing that you have base fully equipped with
the little luxuries you’re used to, and a host on hand to share local
insight, can make a difference to your vacation experience.
Save Money on Accommodation
Traditionally, homestays are more
affordable than checking into a hotel, and they also offer better
value for money. Homestays offer the added value of cultural
immersion, and social and educational opportunities.
Homestay tip: Maximize your luggage space with the
help of a set of sturdy
packing cubes which not only help to organize your belongings
but act as a great way to separate dirty laundry from clean at the
end of your trip.
Practice a Foreign Language
For anyone with the desire to improve foreign language skills, a
homestay is the perfect place to practice. There’s nothing that helps
you build your language skills and confidence than surrounding
yourself with people who speak the language you’re learning. You’ll
find your confidence and vocabulary increases much faster than in the classroom.
Homestay tip: Keep a language dictionary and a
notepad tucked away in a waist
packwhen you’re out and about at the destination. This will
enable you to check vocab and note down new words when you’re
interacting with local people.
How to Book a Homestay
Booking a homestay is much like finding a house to sit or choosing a
hotel. There are a number of online platforms that will
connect you with hosts all over the world, however it is your
responsibility to ensure that the experience you choose is best suited
to your travel style and expectations.
Choose a Reputable Company
Start by perusing the listings on reputable homestay websites like
Airbnb and Homestay.com. You can also contact local tourism
authorities to inquire as to whether they have any on record that they
Thoroughly Read Host Listings
Each host creates a listing detailing what style of accommodation
they are able to offer their guests, take the time to read through
this information and make sure it aligns with your expectations. Every
home is different and each host has something unique to offer.
All online platforms offer a review system for hosts to help
travelers determine whether a homestay will suit their trip. Don’t be
tempted to take a listing at face value, read through a selection of
recent reviews to hear first-hand experiences from other guests who
have stayed with that host.
Research the Locale
Before making your selection, it’s important to research the
location of the homestay. Check the property is close to the
attractions or points of interest you’re planning to visit during your
stay, and ensure the locale suits your preferred travel style. This is
especially important if you don’t plan to have a car, as you may need
to budget for public transportation options or taxi charges.
Homestay tip: If you’re planning to use public
transport during your stay consider choosing a foldable,
rolling duffel as your main piece of luggage. Not only will it
flatten to store underneath a bed when you’re at the homestay, you
can also use it to carry groceries home from the store on the bus if required.
Once you’ve read the listing, read traveler reviews, and researched
the locale, you should then reach out to the host to discuss your
travel plans. Share with them the reasons for your visit and ask for
their advice regarding planning your itinerary for your stay.
Through this interaction with the host you will start to glean more
insight into what staying with them would be like; this can be helpful
when trying to decide which host to book with. Don’t worry if you feel
you have a lot of questions to ask about the property or locale, a
good host will be happy to assist you and set your mind at ease.
A homestay can offer travelers unique cultural insights into the
destinations they visit and afford them the opportunity to make new
friends. Where in the world would you like to experience life as a local?
Specter Tech Packing Cubes
Matter What Rolling Duffel
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Things to Know Before Embarking on Adventure Travel
to Save Money for Your Next Big Vacation
Sit and Stay for Free When You Travel in 2018