Home-Stay Clubs — Our Preferred Way to Travel
Posted January 19, 2015on:
Today we’re hosting a couple of bikers from Washington state. Tomorrow we’re staying with folks near Sacramento. We get our own room, usually a private bath and a lovely breakfast for $20.
The real beauty of home-stay clubs is that we meet some terrific folks and have several hours of stimulating conversation. For us this arrangement embodies one of the Life Standards of Living More with Less — “Nurture People.”
We grew comfortable with the idea of staying in homes instead of motels on our speaking tours for Alternatives a decade ago. We were introduced to Mennonite Your Way when our car was totaled in Pennsylvania! (Read about it at Post #193.) That club is only for Christians but it’s for all ages. It welcomes families. We’ve hosted a family of six from Switzerland, for example. MYW now has its host directory online.
Two other clubs we’ve joined are only for “seniors,” 50+ — Evergreen and Affordable Travel Club (ATC). Both of their directories are online. We both joined Evergreen and found a place to stay in San Francisco in 20 minutes!
Although some hosts will make “last minute” arrangements, most guests ask for a room at least a week in advance. So, traveling with home stays takes a bit of planning.
Here’s how they work. Pay an annual membership fee, usually about $75. Then as you plan your itinerary, contact hosts along the way by phone or email. Some clubs require you to be a host if you want to be a guest, others don’t. You can always decline a request.
We’ve also been members of Educators’ Bed and Breakfast. In that case you make reservations through the home office, which can cause delays.
Of the dozens of hosts, we’ve only had one whom we would not recommend or choose to stay with again.
ATC also has many international hosts. In all cases you can stay several nights if the host agrees.
If you need the privacy of a motel room and want to “crash” in front of the TV, home stays may not work for you. Home stays are so much more than a bargain!
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