A freelance writer living on the Gold Coast, Anna loves all things travel and adventure.
Published April 23rd 2012
Imagine yourself whiling away the days on a picture perfect beach, discovering remote tropical rainforests or getting carried away in the hustle and bustle of a city's urban streets.
Planning a holiday or weekend getaway really is a joyful experience and involves the choosing of a destination, planning and research of activities and sights to see as well as booking the perfect accommodation to top it all off.
Once the holiday has begun and travellers have overcome the initial burst of raw excitement, they are however often disappointed to see themselves surrounded by flocks of tourists with only few locals to be seen. Speaking their native tongue, eating the usual hotel cuisine and visiting the regular tourist haunts, alongside thousands of other travellers, suddenly does not appear to quench the thirst for the exotic and unknown.
And, by the end of an eagerly awaited vacation the original anticipation of an intrepid travel experience has given way to feelings of frustration and discontent, as the realisation sinks in that you only managed to scrape the surface of an unknown and exotic place.
So, instead of treading the popular and well worn tourist path, why not dare to imagine yourself on the balcony of a quaint beach house, sunbathing on a luxury yacht, reconnecting with nature in an eco tree house, or being pampered in a cosy mountain manor?
Travelling as a local and staying where the locals stay is an easy, exciting and often more affordable alternative to the ordinary hotel room and enables you see and experience a place just as the locals do.
You can choose from a range of accommodation options otherwise not readily available, you'll have all the local tips and tricks provided by your host and best of all, you will spend an amazing vacation deeply immersed in your destination's culture and everyday life.
How to travel as a local and swap your house?
The web offers plenty of options enabling you to travel as a real local and I have listed only some of the amazing sites available.
Padbase: Padbase connects travellers with private hosts around the globe. On their website you can find your ideal base for short or even long-term accommodation and live like a local at your host's pad.
iStopOver: Another alternative to hotel stays, iStopOver offers a variety of holiday accommodation to suit every need and budget.
9flats: This website offers you the opportunity to browse and find countless dream home destinations for overnight stays.
Aussie House Swap: Aussie House Swap believes that house swapping domestically is a way for all homeowners to enjoy this exciting way to travel and save a lot on accommodation costs.
Home Exchange: Travelling with Home Exchange is a great and cheap way to travel with children, to take local and weekend trips, and to source friendships and cultural experiences not available with any other kind of vacation.
Go on and check it out, I'm pretty sure you will fall in love with the concept of travelling as a local. And with all the insider tips and knowledge at hand, you will never again feel like an outsider on your holiday!