Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a budding tourist, you probably know that you’ll spend most of your travel budget on accommodations. Of course, not everyone is expected or obligated to book five-star accommodations. However, no matter how big or small your budget may be, you still want to stay somewhere clean and comfortable. This is why alternative options like Airbnb, hostels, and pension houses are becoming more popular with travellers on a budget.
Another great option to save on your accommodations cost is to choose a homestay. It’s essentially like a bed and breakfast, where you stay in the home of a resident of the place where you’re traveling. What’s great about homestays is that, unlike bed and breakfasts, you can stay longer than a night. But there are more benefits to choosing a homestay over a hotel than just cheaper prices. Here are some of them.
Feel at Home but Also Like a Traveller
A homestay gives you that perfect balance of feeling right at home but also that sense of being a traveller who’s ready to explore. When you stay with a host family, you can be better immersed and learn more about the place where you’re staying. You can also get insider information from the locals on the best places to shop, eat, and visit. If you’re the outgoing type, it’s also good to stay where there are friendly neighbours.
In addition, a homestay can put you very close to several destinations that may not be possible with some cheaper hotels that are located farther away from hotspots. For example, Kawali Homestay in Bali, Indonesia, is near Bali Blast Monument, Kuta Galeria Shopping Arcade, Museum Kain, Kuta Beach, and Seminyak Beach. Therefore, a homestay can also help you save up on transportation costs.
Experience Authentic Meals
This doesn’t mean to say that hotels don’t serve excellent meals. However, you’ll often find that local food in some of these establishments are modified to suit the tastes of foreign visitors. At homestays, you get the advantage of delicious, authentic home-cooked meals so you can really appreciate the local cuisine. The homeowner might even share with you some cooking secrets so you can recreate a dish or two on your own. You simply can’t get this level of authenticity in hotels.
Get Better at Communicating
If you’re staying in a place for an extended period, picking a homestay is a great idea not only for cost reasons. It can also help you improve your language skills so you can communicate with locals better. In addition, you also learn other nuances in communication like body language. Of course, you won’t be an expert within just a few days. Still, learning some new words and phrases can certainly help you the next time you’re traveling to the same city or country.
Meet New Friends
When you choose a homestay over a hotel, you get the exciting bonus of meeting new friends. You can be pleasantly surprised by your hosts. They could have a unique profession, for example, or they may also be a fellow traveller who’ve been to the farthest places. Homestay owners are most likely open to sharing their stories. After all, if they’re not “people persons,” then they probably won’t be opening their home to strangers in the first place. You’re practically guaranteed to have entertaining, educational conversations with them. Who knows, you might even find a new friend for life!
More Unique Value
Your money goes a long way at a homestay. And it’s not just because they’re considerably cheaper than hotels. Homestays can give you more value for money, for example, in terms of the level of personalised care and service that you get from your hosts. Moreover, as earlier mentioned, you’re also likely to get insider information from your hosts and their neighbours. This can lead to more delightful discoveries you simply can’t find on guided tours or maps. Peace and quiet are also huge bonuses, especially since homestays can’t accommodate too many guests at the same time. This is ideal if you’re looking forward to a truly relaxing, rejuvenating vacation.
Travelling can be a rewarding experience, but let’s face it: it can also be quite expensive. By choosing less cost-prohibitive options when it comes to your choice of accommodations, you can save more money. In turn, you can use it to invest in more meaningful experiences.