Grab your boxing gloves and choose your side. These two ways of travelling have prepared their most beautiful hooks for you.
Who do you think will win?
I'll take the bets... 3. 2. 1. GAME ON!
Round 1: Which will I save the most money with?
"The hotel attacks this first round with vigour:
It took you three weeks to find it, but you've booked your nights in the perfect hotel. Swimming pool, jacuzzi, all-you-can-eat buffet, everything is there for sure. On the other hand, half of your travel budget was spent on it... "Well, I'll discover a little less of the city and enjoy the swimming pool a little more". Children crying, a so-so buffet, yeah surely I’m having a blast... and on top of that you end up with an empty wallet for the rest of your stay. When you compare the price of the trip with the pleasure it will have brought you, it might not have been the best option. Afterwards, I agree, not all hotels are like that.
Let's see how homesharing will respond to its assailant:
Cheaper or even free accommodation and way more authentic. Discovering the underside of the city, parachuting for a view of the sky or a five-star restaurant with seafood tasting. You are no longer depriving yourself of anything and you are quite right, with the savings you have made on your accommodation what's the point! (Having said that, I recommend that you parachute jump BEFORE doing the oyster tasting...).
You are still mixed as to who should get the point. Here is a testimony from Katia about her stay in Morocco which should convince you: "After a rather badly managed organisation, I found myself without accommodation at a rather late hour. Of course, I didn't want to spend the night outside and I had noticed this person who was looking at me on the opposite pavement. He approached me and understanding my situation offered me a place to stay. When I went into his house I immediately noticed that he and his family lived quite modestly and that there were many of them. However, that didn't stop him from offering me a place to stay for the night and making room for me, no matter how many they were. I thought that was very thoughtful of him and it reinforced my belief that not all humans are as bad as they seem.“
And it's a three-point basket to homesharing... Uh no wrong match, excuse me, the hotel fell on this first round, but it got up ready to fight."
Ready for a second round?
Round 2: To be or not to be organised
"The hotel has just recovered from its first round and is already on the attack for the second round. There he goes again tightening his gloves, ready to fight, the tension is palpable in the ring!”
Who will strike the first blow?
On this point the hotel seems rather serene. A trip planned at the last minute? You will certainly find a hotel room available. A cancellation from your previous accommodation? Again there will be a hotel ready to welcome you. Searching for homesharing at the last minute becomes a little more complicated... Your host does not answer messages or does not connect to the platform on the weekends, it’s certain that, in terms of the level of organization we have seen better. Need a plan B in the emergency but no host is available to welcome you. Let's go on the Internet to find a good last-minute plan. Miracle, a hotel close to the centre will be delighted to welcome you!
Fabienne, a seasonal traveller present in the crowd, even shares her experience with us: "I know how it is at the last minute, I like to have the choice to be able to leave when I decide, even if it's the day before for the night. The problem with this system is that you always have to give at least a week's notice when you want to sleep over so that the host can make the necessary arrangements. This is quite understandable although restrictive. But if I am looking for a hotel, even during the day for the evening I am sure I will always find a place to sleep".
In this round no doubt the hotel wins by a landslide!
Round 3: What about interactions with others?
One point everywhere after this second round. The fight is tight so let's not delay any longer, here comes the third round!
It's here sleeping at the local people's house which starts with its praises sung by the public. The hotel takes a blow to morale and for good reason... it has never had so much interaction. On the other hand, he is far too overwhelmed and constantly in a rush to give time to his public.
When we stay at our host’s home, he/she wants us to feel at ease, his/her wish is to help us in our journey, to meet us, to be inspired by what we do and to share with us. Usually, it's a success, we feel that we can ask him/her all our questions about the region, the places to visit and that it's a pleasure for him to share with us his little anecdotes. He/she will certainly even take the time to show us the best spots to get off the usual track, or even accompany us there.
On the contrary if we go to the hotel, people have other things to do than explaining the history of the city in detail and taking us by the hand to walk us through the region.
It's quite a blow that we've just dealt to our opponent by homesharing, but it's not over yet.
He continues with a great anecdote from Clarisse, a great adventurer and a fervent fan of Nordic cities: "When I left for Norway, I was staying with a native of the region and I really felt this notion of sharing. She took me to a small street that didn't seem very well known or touristy and started to explain to me her story, the story of the town and the story of the little café that was there. She told me that this café was her favourite because of the kindness of the people who ran it and the delicious croissants they made there. I only wanted to go there to taste their speciality! By sharing this with me, I felt that I was discovering the city in a more intimate way and I felt close to my host who I saw more as a friend than as a simple hostess. Looking back, this is something I would never have discovered on my own when I went to the classic tourist places that hotels or the tourist office would have offered me.”
Well that said, in terms of level of tranquility or independence we’ve seen better. What is sure when you go to a hotel is that you decide what you do and you are really alone in your room sharing your meal with no one else but yourself if you want to. Too tired to talk? If you sleep in a private home, your host will certainly want you to share your day with him or her. Yeah home sharing also means respecting commandmants. At the hotel at least you can collapse on your bed as soon as you get home and eat your meals alone.
It's an in-between for this round, even the audience seems doubtful. Rather sharing and conviviality even if it means having too much attention or solitude and time for yourself?
It's a tie on this round, who will win the next one? The suspense is at its peak...
Round 4: An authentic or touristic stay?
The crowd is in delirium in front of this most fearsome fight as the fourth round is announced. The hotel allows itself a last little break to regain its strength before going into the ring determined to win this round.
The hotel attacks, convinced that it is going to deliver a lightning blow to its opponent:
With him you are sure to discover the best places in town, or at least the most touristic ones. You're advised on fabulous sites or paths to explore. You program your alarm clock at 7 am and it leaves to go to make a round of the city by bus to discover the tourist spots.
Homesharing is a revival, ready to double his bet (sorry my poker game still in my mind) I meant, here he goes on with a strong argument:
Deciding to sleep in a local's house is the choice to turn to a more authentic journey. We base ourselves on the lifestyle of our host and we discover how this person lives. Their habits, specific to them or to the region, their style of decoration that stands out in the different rooms of the house, we really enter into the intimacy of this person who has decided to give us a small part of himself without even knowing us.
This is where the connection between the host and us as a traveller is created.
If we go on an expedition for a day and come back in the evening, there will be someone to welcome us and ask us how it went, give us advice for the next time or direct us for our future escapades.
Somewhere it is very reassuring to know that someone is there for us in case we need this city, or even this country, which we don't know and this is what I find totally different from the experience we can have when we choose to sleep in a hotel. We totally miss this human and reassuring aspect, where we feel safe.
"What was funny when I shared the meal with my hosts was that it was a typical dish for me that I wasn't used to eating. I was very excited about what I was tasting, which was so different from my usual food and I noticed that it made them smile. In fact, I realised that these dishes that seemed new and incredible to me were for them a very usual cuisine and it delighted them to see that other people could enjoy their specialities. That's when I realised that this trip was a way for me to open up to others but also for my hosts to open up to me and potentially to other regions and countries they don't know. In the end, it is enriching for everyone."Corinne. Difficult to get up for the hotel, he gave everything he had but can no longer hold on...
Ding ding ding... it's the end of this epic fight. Thank you all for attending and thank you to the hotel and to the homesharing for this memorable show. As you will have understood, I have a preference for homesharing who wins here, but the hotel still fought well and can be very useful depending on the type of trip you wish to make or the kind of adventurer you are.
Homesharing is cool, but after taking so many hits maybe you'd better sleep in a hotel to recover ;-)
05 Octobre 2020
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Whether you are an avid traveller or a first-time adventurer, all NomadSister editors are passionate about travel. They share their advice and experiences with the desire to give you wings!