Make new friends, learn a new skill or delve into a new culture with these exciting alternative holiday options…
Home away from Home
If you’d like to experience another city from the comfort of a home, consider renting a spare room in someone’s home, or a cottage on their property. There are options to stay in the home while the owners play host, or rent out a whole apartment or house for complete privacy. Prepare food whenever you like, come and go as you please and experience the unique warmth you won’t find in any hotel.
What better way to get to know a city than being shown around by one of its people? Here, you’ll stay in a home with the hosts, and learn the area’s way of life directly from them. Opt for a simple couch, air bed or spare room to lay your head to rest at night, but keep in mind that this kind of holiday is really for those looking for a culturally-rich experience, and not five-star accommodation.
Escape city life and wake with the sun and the roosters on a farm stay. Many of the options are for working farms so you can get your hands dirty helping collect eggs in the morning, or bring the cows in at sunset, but there are also options for those who are more keen to indulge in roosterbrood baked fresh by the farmer’s wife, and relax in the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Also see this article from our sister magazine Country Life, 14 Favourite Farmstays.
If you worry about security issues with letting strangers stay in your home, just think that they’re trusting you with their own. Some home owners may even organise friendly neighbours or family to show you around, and what’s more, aside from an initial membership fee with a home swapping site, you pay nothing more than the flight ticket, your spending money, and any extra costs involved in organising your stay.