Do you know why this website is called The Social Travel Experiment?
No? Then let me tell you!
The original idea behind this website, and my trip around the world is my wish to meet locals while traveling and to teach other people how to do the same. While planning for my RTW trip I found different ways to travel the world more socially, the best one in my opinion is to stay with locals.
In this section I am sharing all my experiences meeting and staying with locals during my travels, including tips on where you can find locals to stay with, and what to do once you have found a willing host.
My number one resource on the Stay with Locals Blog is a list of 14 websites that let you stay with locals all over the world. There are not only the websites you might be thinking off, like Couchsurfing where you can stay with locals for free, but also websites that offer an exchange of labor for accommodation, which is a great opportunity to get to know how people in a country work and live. And of course, there are also paid opportunities such as Airbnb.
I had one of the most authentic and unique homestay experiences staying with a Kyoto lady while I was attending a language school. In my blog post How to Have a Authentic and Unique Homstay in Japan I share with you what you need to do to have an amazing homestay experience anywhere in the world.
Probably the most famous hospitality exchange network is Couchsurfing. It was also the first website I learned off, where it is possible to stay with locals. I tried Couchsurfing as a host first in Japan, and then as a guest in Taiwan. I wrote about both experiences and have much more information to share with you. Have a look at how to stay with locals using Couchsurfing.
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Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks.
I assume almost everyone on the internet has heard about Airbnb by now. There has been a lot of negative news over the years because so many apartments are now used exclusively to welcome Airbnb guests. But in my opinion that is not how you should be using Airbnb anyways. I only book Airbnbs where I can stay in them home of someone. Usually in a private room of someones house or apartment.
Even if the interaction is usually less than when I stay with someone using Couchsurfing or Servas, it is still great to have a local person close by to ask questions and to get recommendations from.
My posts about Airbnb will teach you how I stay with locals using the website, and how I find these real locals using the search function.
Servas is a hospitality network I found just before I started on my round the world trip. And I love it so much. It is way better than Couchsurfing in many aspects. The following post contains all the information you need to decide whether Servas is for you or not. And if you decide you want to sign up I have all the information how to do it.
Below you can find the posts that might help you after you have found your first host through whatever network. The titles all say Couchsurfing, but I think the below three posts are applicable for any hospitality exchange network and even if you stay with locals through other websites.
When I have a particularly interesting experience staying with a local I usually write about it in my newsletter. For news of my travels, travel tips and updates on new posts I publish, sign up to my mailing list by clicking ‘Subscribe me!’ below.
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None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been paid for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
This post might contain affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by buying products through my links!
Disclaimer: I am following the philosophy of Couchsurfing as it is taught in the Values of the website, namely to share my life with strangers, create connection and offer kindness to others. My interpretation of these values is connecting and sharing my culture with strangers and learning from them about theirs. For me it is […]
Are you using Couchsurfing to get to know locals (or travelers from all over the world) and to share cultural experiences with them? Do you want to further intercultural understanding by providing an authentic place to stay for people interested in you and your country, and not just your couch? But you are getting tired […]
I have stayed with a host family in Japan twice. My first homestay in Japan was for 6 weeks in Tokyo, the first time I ever came here. The second time was for 3 months in Kyoto. While the first time was an overall pleasant experience my second time was one of the best 3 […]
Authors Note: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by purchasing products through my links! If you always feel like you forget something when you go on a short weekend getaway or if you […]
There is nothing better than staying with locals while traveling around the world. And surprisingly there are more options than you think. You can stay with locals for free, in exchange for work or in exchange for money. Read on to find out about all your options.
Some people might say the things I describe in this post are common sense and just good upbringing. But we still sometimes forget about some things that should be common sense. So, no matter if it is your first time being a Couchsurfing guest or your 100th time I recommend you go through my list […]
When using Couchsurfing (or any other hospitality exchange) as a guest where the stay itself is without monetary compensation, you should consider bringing (or creating) a little thank you for your host, to show them that you appreciate them. This doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, in my mind it is the thought […]
It was about time. After having really nice experiences while hosting some lovely people using Couchsurfing we finally had our first experience being on the receiving end of Couchsurfing hospitality. We were guests at a fellow Couchsurfers place. And I would like to share with you how it works and what to expect. If you […]
If you came here after hearing about Couchsurfing for the very first time and wanted to find out what Couchsurfing is, you have come to the right place. But also if you have a rough idea but have never used it there is a lot of information for you here to find. Let’s jump right […]
I am a big fan of Couchsurfing, as you might have already guessed if you follow my blog. If you don’t know yet what Couchsurfing is and how it works read this post. And our mission for today is to convince you to try it also. How are we going to do that? Simple, we asked […]