- Unique experience
- Learn the local language & culture
- Help support the local community
- Having your own tour guide.
- The amount of happiness I experience living with a family has got to be the main reason.
Couch surfing, camping and hostels are one of the best ways to save money. But it’s not for everyone and you can't guarantee the conditions of the accommodation and if you are looking for a good night's sleep this sometimes may be hard to find.
- Living with families as part of a home stay when studying Spanish, when I was travelling in Mexico & Guatemala. Staying and travelling with my Bolivian friend Juan, who took me with him when he returned to Bolivia to see his family. Also been WWOOFing in New Zealand and working on a kibbutz in Israel. Also view Workaway
- By making friends with the locals when I was travelling in Mexico and Colombia, then when returning being invited to stay.
- Having a large group of Latino friends living in England has always given me the chance to stay with their families back home when I am travelling.
- There are websites that offer such a network service to stay with family's other than volunteer type projects or learn a language abroad. The websites that can make this happen is Stay for free, Global Free Loaders and Hospitality Club.
- I have been meeting people on-line; (The modern day pen pal, do use common sense and caution when searching) such as Plenty Of Fish.com and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree. And using Facebook and Skype to stay in contact, has worked for me. I have stayed in Mexico , Peru and Romania with people I have meet on plenty of fish and on the Thorn Tree forum, I have now become great friends and looking forward to returning again.
- When I am staying with families of my Latino friends that live in England, there are no real worries for me when visiting their families in Latin America, apart from wanting to stay. But staying anywhere in the world even in your own country, you will need to use your instincts and take care of your belongings.
- Meeting someone you have met on-line could be very risky. You need to tell someone exactly what you are doing and where you are going.
- It's always best to arrange this first.
- Apart from the home stays, I have offered to pay by doing the food shopping. This works out for the family and for me, as it gives me the chance to join in with the day to day living. Shop at the supermarket, local markets and the chance to see how they cook all that delicious food.
- Different cultures can mean different things when it comes to sightseeing. For example I asked if we could visit the plaza, thinking this would be the main squire, Spanish colonial buildings and church. No! I was taken to the new shopping centre, best to show photos when asking to be taken somewhere, as they may take you where they think you like to visit. Remember shopping malls and McDonald's are new and different to many people in other parts of the world.
- I have stayed with poor and very rich families and everyone have made me feel at home just like one of the family.
- It's always hard when it is time to leave, as you are given lots of love and you miss them and hope one day to return.