One of the many great things about traveling is having the chance to experience and learn about another culture, but when you’re on a short trip it can be difficult to break down the traveler’s wall and truly become immersed. Planning your trip around homestays gives you the opportunity to instantly overcome that wall by living with locals in your destination and having a truly unique travel experience.
When doing a homestay abroad, you stay in a private home with an individual or family instead of a hotel or other similar accommodations. Hosts provide a room and meals, and as locals they can offer the best advice on what to do, how to get around the city, and how to find the best deals so you can get the most of out your trip. For the linguistically inclined, homestays also provide a great opportunity for language exchange. Even a short homestay provides a unique opportunity to communicate with native speakers of your target language freely in a home environment.
There are many services and organizations — for example, Responsibletravel.com — that can help you plan a trip to do a homestay in your destination city, but another great way to enjoy this experience — especially if you’re on a budget — is by finding your own hosts on sites that track reputations like Airbnb. No matter how you go about finding a host family to stay with during your travels, remember that mutual respect, honesty and open-mindedness are key to making any homestay trip a great experience.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline in Japan. With flights from the United States to Japan and all of Asia, it's the perfect airline to book your next trip with. From ANA's amazing in-flight food to its excellent customer service, it comes as no surprise ANA has been awarded five stars for its seventh consecutive year by the SKYTRAX World Airline Rating.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World is known for highlighting beautiful and unique boutique properties around the globe. Stay in one of the collection’s newest members on your next getaway.
Sleeping comes with difficulty for some travelers. Sleeping is a must when traveling, but especially for people with nausea, fear of flying, motion sickness, claustrophobia or anxiety. Sleeping helps some people cope better with the flight, too. There are some sleep aids that can help people with whatever the issue is, while some need to be prescribed, others are over-the-counter drugs that one can get without hassle.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
The 1985 song “One Night in Bangkok” mentions many of the overindulgences of this city. One of them is massage parlors. Today, however, a Thai massage is considered an activity that improves one’s physical and mental well-being. The city has shed its former reputation as a place of wild nightlife and decadence, over the past few decades emerging as a major center for international commerce, wellness initiatives and tourism.