Well, there are many pros and many cons for staying with family not native to that country whilst travelling the world. You have the fact you get to spend ‘quality’ time with them whilst not having to pay out for accommodation. Whilst on the other side of the coin you have the fact that you tend to not have the opportunity to embrace the local culture.
For us we stayed with my (Lee) family, so brother, sister and dad in the south of Spain for a month before the Christmas of 2015, this was great because we saved the best part of £300 on a months AirBnB which was used for the whole months stay eating out and going and doing some amazing things such as BENALMADENA CABLE CAR and CAVES OF NERJA. However, the big negative for us was the fact that they live like English Ex-Pats living in the south of Spain, and the whole thing for us was to embrace local cultures. This meant that in Spain we would be trying;
- Spanish tapas,
- Going out for meals with locals at 10.00pm,
- Visiting local festivals,
- Small villages where only Spanish was spoken
This would not have been possible just staying with family, however before we left we did enough research into local festivals and those small quaint villages in order that when we arrived and picked up our car hire (Yes, we would recommend hiring a car if you can, and can read our article giving you the benefits HERE)
Well, Australia we are staying with my (Lee) mum, sister and step-dad. Obviously, you cannot really go down under for just a month. So instead booked ourselves a 7 month trip to the other side of the world. This meant that we couldn’t live for FREE, which is understandable. You have food, bills and just the general additional costs incurred by being there.
The difference between Spain and Australia is that the lifestyle back in England is very similar. Meaning that the main language is English, the same food is generally eaten and they drive on the left (the correct side of the road, haha).
The only things that we really wanted to do in terms of embracing the Australia culture and way of life are the following;
- Eat many foods that are unique to Australia (Tina will tell you more about this in a separate article),
- Hold a Koala,
- Share a proper Aussie BBQ (well proper in our eyes),
- Snorkel the barrier reef, plus many more
Many of these are done by just going out and exploring the landscape (again we hired a car, costing us a small fortune. But so, so worth it). We have already experienced some of these, and you can see this by clicking on our Australia articles link HERE.
So in conclusion, if you have family around the world. You need to think, yes this might save me a few quid. But is it really worth the potential hassle with needing to be in at a certain time, live by there rules, or even maybe miss out on some unique opportunities to embrace cultures you would only get with staying with a local through let’s say CouchSurfing.
- Cheaper or even FREE accommodation
- Life in a familiar surrounding with family members
- Safety and security that you wellbeing and belongings are safe when you leave the house
- Having to abide by old family rules
- Not in our case, but maybe limited on the things you can do
- Cannot freely come and go as you please