Elle Magazine has named GoingLocalTravel.com as number three on its ‘hot list’ of ten websites that explore new trends in tourism, namely looking at ways travellers can stay in the homes of locals and bypass the traditional hotel.
The April issue (UK) has rather lovely double-page spread about the rise of the ‘unhotel’ – as pioneered by OneFineStay.com – along with a look at Couchsurfing, AirBnB, Crashpadder and other sites readers of this blog will know very well.
I particularly like this opening paragraph (written by freelance travel journalist Rhiannon Batten), which sums up how the hotel industry has taken a turn in recent years.
“Creating a situation where guests feel they are enjoying a home-away-from home is the holy grail of the hotel world. So eager are they to set themselves apart form the competition that hotels are offering increasingly personalised services to pander to guests yearning for home comforts, whether that is a mini-bar stocked with a list of pre-arranged goodies, a hot water bottle tucked between the sheets or a butler running you a bath.”
It goes on to explain that all of this can seem rather try-hard when an in-home experience is actually much easier to achieve via the websites and travel companies that are devoted to the idea.
There are lots of tips in the article, from advice on how to be a good host to a reminder that home insurance policies may become void if you accept paying guests.
I also gave some tips on staying in the home of someone you have contacted online. This is all pure common sense really, but it’s amazing how often such things get overlooked by time-poor internet users. “If you are staying with a host note that some may expect you to socialise with them, while others would rather you did your own thing. Be sure to read the person’s profile so you know what to expect.”
Thanks Elle magazine. This blog has taken a bit of a hiatus recently as a result of a series of trips I have taken, but the area of local travel certainly hasn’t stopped gathering momentum.