The Thoughtful Travel Podcast: Episode 3 – Stay With Locals

In Episode 3, I talk with several travel lovers about their experiences staying with locals. The most common way I’ve stayed with locals on my travels is in homestays across Russia, and I’d love to do more of it – although I feel kind of awkward staying with strangers while my son is young, so I might wait a couple more years.

Thanks to the internet in particular there are so many different ways you can stay with locals when you travel these days, from sites like Airbnb through various homestay possibilites to volunteering opportunities like WWOOFing and more. I so believe that you get an amazingly better experience if you get the chance to interact with local people and learn way more from them about the destination than you learn just from hitting the sightseeing hotspots.

I’d love to hear how you’ve stayed with locals on your travels, so do let me know in the comments below.

Show notes for Episode 3 – Stay With Locals

Episode 3 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast is all about different ways to stay with locals on your travels and some of the many bonuses that come with meeting local people. It is definitely a different experience to staying in a hotel in the main tourist zone!

I start off this episode chatting with Kerstin Pilz about her many experiences staying with locals, such as the time she went to Cuba “accidentally alone” and ended up being put up by a whole extended family wherever she travelled. I also chat to Linda and Craig Martin who have used Couchsurfing many times with great success, and made lifelong friends as well as having a roof over their heads. Finally, travel writer Tim Leffel has some good tips about staying out in the suburbs to really get a good feel for a place.


The Thoughtful Travel Podcast Episode 3 - Staying with Locals

Thanks so much everybody for your fabulous support of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast and my launch last week. It’s been really exciting to have my podcast out in the world and to hear from people who’ve been listening to it. My favourite response so far came on Twitter:

This is exactly what I’m after – not a destination podcast, not just for full-time travellers – but a podcast for everyone who loves travelling and has stories to share. Great to know that I am on track!


  1. HI Amanda, I’ve just found your podcast/blog, and am bingeing…
    I love the topic-based concept and it is great to have an Australian perspective. I have a question regarding WWOOF, and Willing workers type schemes.
    Are they considered “working” in terms of visas? As I am too “old” for a working visa, I would be interested in finding out if this type of arrangement is considered exempt from the prohibition on working.
    Thanks for the podcast, really enjoying your work.

    • Hi Rosa, great to hear you’re bingeing!! Enjoy. Re WWOOF etc – I’m not quite sure but I think that it just falls under volunteer i.e. non-working arrangements. I know I have an “older” friend who’s done lots of volunteer work of that type in various spots around the world and it’s covered just as tourism. Good luck!

  2. Hi, I’ve just found your podcasts and have downloaded them all to listen to over the coming weeks. I must say (without having listened to this podcast admittedly), I don’t like staying with strangers. I also don’t like staying with people I know! I really like my space, so I need to go back to my own hotel room, away from everyone else at the end of the day. I’m such an introvert!! Anyway, looking forward to listening to your podcasts.

    • Thanks so much Shona and I hope you enjoy them! And though I’m not even an introvert there are times when I really want to stay on my own so I do get what you mean – sometimes it can be quite a risk to stay with strangers (not from a safety point of view, just whether or not you’ll get along) – although it is often really rewarding, too. Happy listening!

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