23 Aug 5 things to consider when choosing a homestay
I’m a frequent traveller for both business and leisure. I like staying in homes, thanks to its more affordable price, larger space to accommodate bigger crowd and I’m able to cook in the well-equipped kitchen. I believe you guys feel the same too.
My past experience is a mix of pleasant and unpleasant experiences. While I was in France, I had the pleasure to stay in the loveliest and coziest apartment with a welcoming host. On the other hand, I experienced some unforgettable incidents like a broken door or lost keys. Luckily the hosts were kind enough to help in times of emergency!
So how’s your experience staying in a homestay or vacation home? What are the things that you should pay attention to or expect? Based on my previous experience, here are 5 things to consider when choosing a homestay.
Cleanliness is my top priority. I prefer a clean and minimal interior, with bright windows and light-coloured sheets. A sparkling clean bathroom is also a necessity for taking a relaxing bath. Some hosts will even go the extra mile to disinfect their pillow cases and towels.
Tip: Do discuss with your host earlier if you have special requests, for example some people might be sensitive to fragrance or alcohol.
Before I make a booking, I’ll usually browse through the amenity list carefully to understand what the host has to offer. The basic amenities are air conditioning, free parking and Wifi connection. If I’m travelling with my families, I’ll look out for kettle, cooking utensils, detergents and iron.
Tip: Most of the homes in apartments, especially in Kuala Lumpur, offer you access to the gym, swimming pool, sauna, barbecue area or children playground. Be sure to check with your host if you can access to these areas FOR FREE.
Friendly and responsible homestay owner
Having a superhost might be more important than you think, especially in times of emergency.
When I was travelling to Ipoh with my family, the host kindly shared with us a complete guide to hunt for good food and explore hidden places in the town. Knowing that I’m bringing my parents over, she added extra blankets and towels for us. How sweet is that!
Another incident where I really appreciated my homestay host happened after we went to a birthday party. The key broke inside the lock. We’re struggling to remove the broken key for nearly an hour. Luckily our host came to the rescue!
Tip: Always keep your host’s contact on hand and ask for help in times of emergency. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling abroad.
Safety and privacy
Who wants to stay in a home with a flimsy lock in an unsafe neighbourhood? Not me. When I was young (and broke), I used to stay in a cheap apartment facing a back lane with lots of passersby. The experience was pretty unpleasant.
Aside of price and cleanliness, your safety should be one of your top priority to consider when choosing a homestay.when considering a homestay. Is it located in a gated-guarded area? How’s the reputation of the neighbourhood? Who are the other residents in this area?
Tip: Read reviews about this property and look out for praises or complaints regarding the safety issue. Better be careful than sorry!
Accessibility to public transport
Most of the homes and hotel will clearly indicate their locations and distance from major attractions. For example, if you’re heading to Kuala Lumpur, ideally you’d want to stay in a homestay which is in close proximity to a LRT or MRT station. Not only you’ll get to save money on hiring taxi or Grab, you’ll get to save energy and time as well!
I travelled to Melaka last year and we couldn’t be happier for staying near to Jonker Street. The hotel was literally a stone’s throw away from the famous local stalls and cafes!
Tip: Use Google Maps to see the locations of your key destinations first, before making your homestay reservation. Understanding the area and local public transport system will give you a better idea on which location you want to stay.