Living With Locals? Discover 10 Secrets to Successful Homestays

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Elizabeth is an experienced traveler and writer with bylines in several popular travel publications. She currently co-owns a small digital travel publication and spends her free time writing, taking photos, and traveling.

Imagine waking up to the sound of roosters crowing and the smell of fresh coffee brewing in a quaint village nestled amongst green hills and majestic mountains. This is the charm of a homestay, where travelers can experience the local way of life, cuisine, and culture while staying with a local family.

With the right tips and mindset, living with locals can be one of the most rewarding and authentic travel experiences.

Communicate Before You Arrive

Communicate Before You Arrive
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Before you book your homestay, it’s important to communicate with your potential host. Ask them about their lifestyle, house rules, dietary requirements, and anything else that may be important. Clear communication beforehand can help avoid any unexpected surprises when you arrive.

Learn Some Basic Language Skills

Learn Some Basic Language Skills
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Even if you don’t think you’ll become fluent overnight, learning a few basic words or phrases in the local language can make a big difference. Locals appreciate it when you make an effort to communicate with them in their native tongue, and it can help bridge any potential language barriers.

Respect the House Rules

House Rules
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Every household has a unique set of house rules, and it’s important to respect them. Ensure you understand what’s expected of you before you arrive, and do your best to follow the rules during your stay. You would, after all, want someone to do the same if they visited your home.

Embrace the Local Lifestyle

Local Lifestyle
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Living with locals gives you a chance to experience local life in a unique way. Embrace the opportunity to learn about the local culture, cuisine, and daily routines. Participate in local events and traditions, and be open to trying new things.

Help With Household Chores

Household Chores
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Your hosts are opening up their homes to you, so it’s always appreciated when you help out with household chores. Offer to help with cooking, cleaning, or anything else that needs to be done. It’s a great way to show your appreciation and respect for your hosts.

Get to Know Your Hosts

Know Your Hosts
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Take advantage of your homestay to get to know your hosts. Ask them about their lives, their families, and their interests. Share your own stories with them, and try to form a connection. Building a relationship with your hosts can make your homestay experience even more enjoyable. Who knows, you just might make some lifelong friends.

Be Open-Minded

Open minded
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If you’re somewhat introverted, living with locals can feel frightening and uncertain. But don’t let that stop you from immersing yourself in the experience. Be open-minded and embrace new customs, try new foods, and learn about the local way of life. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it!

Bring a Small Gift

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While not required, it’s always a nice gesture to bring a small gift for your hosts. It can be something as simple as a box of chocolates or a postcard from your hometown. This shows that you appreciate their hospitality and are grateful for the opportunity to stay with them.

Be Mindful of Cultural Differences

Cultural Differences
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When you’re living with locals, it’s important to be aware of any cultural differences. Be respectful of their customs, traditions, and beliefs, even if they’re different from your own. In fact, it’s even better to be curious about them!

Leave a Review

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After your homestay, leave a review of your experience, regardless of how it went. This can help future travelers decide if a particular homestay is right for them. Be honest and detailed in your review, and provide feedback to help your hosts improve their homestay experience.

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