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.
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