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.
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