Be hosted in Europe

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1. Posted by maesawyer (First Time Poster 1 posts) 51w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone, I plan to travel alone in Europe next year. I'm not sure yet which countries to visit but I know I want to make a stop in France! Anyway, I'd rather stay with locals instead of booking a hotel. There are many homesharing platforms (Airbnb, Couchsurfing, Hospitality Club, La Voyageuse, Be Welcome) and I don't know which one is the best. Any advice??

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 545 posts) 51w 1 Star this if you like it!

The obvious (to me) difference between the options you mention is some are free (no fee to join or be vetted AND offer free board) and others require you pay for board or to use their service, or both. Does that make one better than the other? Free can be good, though...

May I ask if you are leaning toward one or the other? I understand you are faced with options, but do you like the sound of any one in particular?

Some of the options you mention only charge for background checks. Some offer no background checks at all and rely on member reviews of other members and homestays (like Be Welcome, which is also oddly open source - something else to consider). For some females, La Voyageuse may really appeal.

Since you are considering paying for board (you mention airbnb) consider bed and breakfasts. Not sure what these are like in Canada, where your profile states you're from, but many bed and breakfasts in some European countries are quite affordable and not really "fancy" like they are where I come from - there (in the US), bed and breakfast establishments are most often historical homes, marketed toward someone with a middle to upper-range budget seeking - aside from staying with (most often) the homeowner - a romantic, sumptuous and special occasion type of experience.

More luxurious bed and breakfasts can certainly be found in Europe, but many are really basic, in neighborhoods off the "tourist trail" and operated by people who can be a great source of information and provide the local insight and experience it sounds like you're looking for.

In my experience with bed and breakfasts - in the European countries I've been to - these have been quite economical and a great choice each time.

Look also at relevancy of the service, where exactly the stays are located based upon where you'd like to be, etc. Look at things like facebook groups regarding homestays in general - they may exist. There may even be a facebook group for people who actually use the same services you are considering. If so, hit them up to see what they have to say.

Just another option....

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Aug-2019, 16:56 GMT by road to roam ]

3. Posted by dfortunsan (Budding Member 4 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

If you want to live with locals, then - couchsurfing, airbnb is just an apartament rent platform.

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5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1602 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

I don't know about all of these, but we rented an AirBnB once and the owner lived in a completely different part of the country. If you want to meet people, try bed and breakfasts locally or even consider family-owned small hotels.

In France we use Gites de France that are vacation rentals and have become friends with several of the owners over the years. These tend to be rural and the owners are very helpful and friendly. You usually have to rent for at least a week although some accept stays as short as 3 days.

Also in France, you will find the Logis de France chain of small family-owned hotels. We love these, especially the cheaper ones in tiny out-of-the-way villages. They treat you like family. They usually have very good restaurants and often have good prices for half-board (includes either breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner). Most also have full board (all meals) but we're usually gone sightseeing during the day so don't do full board. If you stay there and eat there, you quickly get to know everyone. logishotels.com