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How to Live Like a Local Abroad

by Sage McHugh

Aug 27, 2014

© Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime

Top Trends

Book a Homestay

A homestay is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and divert from the  guidebook. Many tour companies specializing in adventure travel offer homestay options. The length of the stay will vary based on preference, but usually ranges from several days to several weeks. Host families typically provide home-cooked meals and basic accommodations. They might also accompany guests on sightseeing trips and take them to community events.


Try Couchsurfing

Another way to stay with locals while traveling is by couchsurfing. Couchsurfing.com has more than 8 million members in 120,000 cities around the world. Once you register, you can search by city, browse potential hosts and send out a couch request. What’s more, couchsurfing is completely free. Since there is no monetary exchange, the concept of couchsurfing relies on generosity and the possibility of reciprocity. Hosts receive no compensation for offering up their couch to guests. However, hosts and guests build up a profile based on reviews.


Dine with Locals in a Private Home

If a homestay or couch surfing experience is too far out of your comfort zone, a new website called EatWith.com may offer an alternative. EatWith.com offers travelers the opportunity to dine in a local home and enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by the host. There is a fee per guest. Users have the opportunity to sort by region, cuisine and price range. In-home dining provides an intimate cultural and gastronomical exchange without the commitment of an overnight or long-term stay.


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