For all those travelers who want to live the authentic experience of a new culture, the best alternative is to use homestay accommodation through a reliable website. Traditionally, this type of stay was more popular among students, but nowadays, it is an ideal solution for many tourists. Besides offering better costs, Homestay also provides the opportunity to be closer to the cultural hotspots at your destination.
With this alternative, you will stay in a more family type of environment without leaving security and comfort aside. Remote tourist destinations also give you more proximity to the forests, mountains, or places far away from the main urban centers. We will talk about what Homestays are and the best online alternatives to book one.
What is a Homestay, and how can we choose one?
The concept of Homestay refers to the fact that you can stay in a country being a guest of someone who lives there. However, this idea can be expanded as we learn more about the services and types of Homestays available. You may think of the first alternative is to stay in a hotel because of the comfort and amenities included. However, Homestays have not lagged, and as long as you can afford it, you will have the same comfort of a hotel. Add firsthand experience of the local customs and way of life.
Now understanding more the idea of choosing what type of Homestay you want will depend a lot on what you are looking for during your visit. If your trip is for business, you can choose a more private option where you will have your own space without so much interaction. On the other hand, if you are a tourist interested in getting to know the destination country, you can opt for a more homely alternative where you will be considered a member of the family in the host’s house.
As the interaction between the host and visitor is important in the Homestay abroad, you can select people with certain interests and hobbies similar to yours to make the experience even more comfortable.
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Is Homestay Travel Safe?
This is one of the main unknowns tourists have when considering the Homestay for their stay. The truth is that families and houses that can host visitors undergo a selection process before receiving a traveler. Websites that oversee this service work as intermediaries and regulators between the client and the host. In addition, these sites have a referral system where you can read about the experiences of previous residents.
Normally, the idea of staying abroad with people you do not know causes uncertainty. For this reason, some providers allow you to talk to the people who will receive you before you arrive. You have to keep in mind that interaction is important. It will not only be a person providing a service. The main attraction of Homestay is also to experience the local culture firsthand. Remember that you may find it difficult to take this alternative if you do not like to interact with others.
One last recommendation we can give you is to ask if the government certifies Homestays at your destination. At this point, when you are talking to your host, ask for their license number. You will be able to confirm if they are locally certified. In many destinations around the world, this license is easy to verify, and reviews from other visitors will help you feel more confident during your experience.
Best websites offering Homestay in the USA
Beginnings of Homestay were common among exchange students who traveled from their country to live abroad for a cultural experience. In this sense, the USA was one of the most visited countries by students from all over the world. This has led to the emergence of websites where you can search for your Homestay and not only for students. These websites are even used by US residents when they want to try out living in another city. Whatever the reason, if you would like to spend time in the USA using a Homestay, we recommend these sites.
This site is focused on all types of stays and offers a catalog of ready-to-live places which have nightly rentals and even monthly rentals. Included in the costs are payments for utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water. Some others may also offer menu services, laundry and internet.
This type of homestay does not include a family experience because most of the furnishings are ready to live in, but you will be on your own. When you choose a city and a place you are interested in, you will be able to see all the information in the location’s post or ad, from the number of bathrooms or bedrooms, services, photos of the place, and even a 3D walk-through of the house in some of the cases.
Another website that allows you to connect hosts with interested guests is Homestay In. Here you can select a category USA and other countries in the world. After that, you will be able to see in the results, all the available places from which you can select.
In this type of Homestay, you will have the opportunity to live with a local family, and the amenities you can get depend on the type of service and its cost. Once you select where to stay, you will be able to see information about the host, contact numbers, reviews from other users, and some policies about where you stay.
By this, we mean that some hosts have rules and conditions such as no smoking, no pets, or some other restrictions to which you have to adjust. For this reason, we recommend you look for a site that interests you and try to connect with the preferences of the host.
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Home to go
Another website recognized worldwide is Home to Go, which since 2014, offers vacation rental services for all types of interested travelers. This is one of the most diverse websites, and you can find vacation homes, cabins, beach houses, apartments, and condos.
With these Homestays, you will not be living with a local family either; they are generally vacation rentals and ready to live in. The website is quite simple to use. You choose a destination, a period of stay, and the age range of the people who will be staying. After that, you will see the list of available places, and you can filter your search by cost, type of housing, and so on.
Best websites offering Homestay in the United Kingdom
The UK is one of the most attractive destinations in Europe for people from all over the world. Students, tourists, or business travelers can consider a Homestay to live in while they are in the country. There are also some websites that make it easy for you to find a place to stay and provide you with all the information you need. Some of the most popular sites in the country are.
It is one of the pioneers in this type of service in the United Kingdom. Before you can make book a stay, they will ask you to fill out a form with your personal information. Once you do this, the website will send you information about all the available places in the area and the special requests you entered in the form.
With this Homestay, you will also be living with a host family in the UK. The sites are always located close to bus routes, which will make transportation easier for you. All rentals also guarantee safety, comfort, and hygiene standards.
In case of any inconvenience, you can always contact UK Homestay customer service, who will assist you immediately. The costs of homestay services are very competitive without neglecting the quality of care and connection offered with the hosts.
Host family stay
This website is relatively new, has been up and running since 2015, and was initially focused on students. Nowadays, it is easy to find places for all kinds of travelers. Even small groups can be accommodated. As in other cases, you will have to fill out a form with your information and preferences before you can book.
You will be staying with a local family, and the website guarantees that all their hosts are certified under British Council guidelines. You will be able to see the types of rooms and services they offer before choosing a homestay that interests you. Costs vary according to the area of the residence, but in all cases, you will be close to transportation routes to get around the city.
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Best websites offering Homestay in Australia
Australia is one of the countries with a long list of places to explore and adventure in the world; despite how far away it can be, it is one of the favorite countries for tourists. We have all heard of the vast nature that can be found there, and a homestay is an alternative that will allow you to be closer to the flora and fauna. As it happens for other destinations, we have websites that can help us locate an ideal place.
This is one of the main web options for finding homestay sites in the country. On Flatmates, you can find rooms, and you can also create your own profile if you are a person looking for accommodation. This way, you can put personal information and a range of available budgets so that hosts can see your information and offer you a place.
With Flatmates, rooms and rentals are shared with families or people who have extra room in the country. You will be able to contact your host first and ask for the information you need to make your decision. This step of the process is free of charge, and you can write to them without any commitment. You must sign up and fill out your profile on the web before you can make a booking.
Another option you have, to look for a place to stay in the country is Homestay Australia. With this alternative, the process is quite simple. You can fill out a form with your information and interests so that the website can better filter your search. Even if you don’t, you can search for hosts by area, budget range, booking dates, and some other options.
When you choose a site, you will see a kind of host profile, where in addition to the contact information, you will find what services they offer, such as meals or airport pick up. The website also classifies the hosts as families, students, couples, etc.
You will also find a section with a description of the property, popular places to visit in the vicinity, important transportation routes, and a list of interests and hobbies of the hosts. Please note that in some cases, there will be a minimum length of stay which can be a restriction when choosing.
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Are there other alternatives to Homestay?
If you are not a person interested in a foreign culture and in getting to know the locals, you can consider other alternatives. Traditionally while traveling, we tend to use hotels, which offer a standard and more Westernized accommodation service. They usually include meals, room service, gym, or pool service. Another option you can evaluate is to rent an apartment or residence, but these tend to have more tedious registration processes and are also more expensive. None of the other alternatives offer as much cultural immersion as using a homestay service for your next trip.
Stay connected while you are traveling abroad!
If you are traveling internationally, you should have a cellular internet connection, so you will be able to use Google Maps, WhatsApp, and Social Media without worries. For this, we recommend acquiring an International eSIM for travel.
FAQ about homestay for tourists
Yes, the hosts, as well as the guests, go through a selection process where they are asked for personal information. They also usually have local certificates that prove them as hosts before the authorities of the country. If necessary, you should request this information before choosing a place.
We already know that homestays are an excellent accommodation alternative for travelers from all over the world. The websites are a great help that allows you to connect with the host before arriving, besides being able to see previous guests’ experiences. Finally, they are a mediator between the parties and give a higher sense of security for travelers looking for a place.
Not all websites have categories for homestays. But in general, we can consider three types, the basic ones that may or may not include meals and general services. The comfort ones are where there are other services such as laundry, meals, and even pick up at the airport. The luxury ones are usually houses at the guest’s disposal with all the possible comforts.
Yes, Airbnb is a website and app that allows you to rent rooms, mini homes, and all types of real estate that can be considered as a homestay. The site focuses more on the housing service than on the cultural and host interaction. You may or may not have to share with another person the place where you stay.