Accommodation is usually one of the highlights of your holiday – it makes or breaks your trip, doesn’t it?
Imagine staying at a typical traditional accommodation, versus one that can give you the heartwarming experience of a homestay, where you get to befriend the locals and live like them.
Which would you choose?
If you’re keen to try out homestays like Airbnb, we tell you the best reasons why you should – here’s 7 cool experiences you might never get with a typical traditional accommodation booking, especially in Bali.
1. You save money
Why pay $100 for a night stay at a traditional lodging room when you can get your own private pool like the one at this beautiful villa/apartment for just half the price? (Yes, just $50!)
Plus if you’re travelling in a huge group, a large villa with private pool like this would be a perfect stay to save more dollars for shopping.
And it’s also a great opportunity for bonding time between friends or to hold a long weekend getaway party!
Gif credit: adventuregeekblog.tumblr
A friend of mine, Samuel, even shared how he booked a villa at only $250 for four nights – a great bargain for a budget trip with friends.
Some homestays even offer guests breakfast. Your personal chef you say? And that’s one less meal you have to spend on!
Image credit: Villa Levi2. You get to step into Wonderland – where anything is possible
We mean it. Anything.
Accommodations in Bali are the most random and most awesome, ever. No regulations pretty much mean that anyone can construct anything they can ever think of, as long as the structure doesn’t topple or risk being unstable.
Imagine spending a night in this amazing bamboo villa.
Or do you want to have a ‘back-to-basics’ camp stay, but don’t want to give up on comforts like hot water, huge comfy beds and clean rooms?
There’s even a glamping (glamorous camping) villa just for you!
And if you’re tired of living the high life, why not try out a traditional farmstay in a mountainous village? Your meals are delivered fresh from the organic crops, from coffee to banana to rice to a variety of vegetables.
Or if you’ve always wanted to stay in a zoo, your wish is almost granted! At one Airbnb villa, you can live amongst animals, and be greeted by a different one at your window every morning!
Or indulge in an African-themed hut with wood and copper furnishings from the continent itself. Perched on the edge of Sayan Valley in Ubud, you can watch the world go by in the paddy fields and take a dip in the natural pool.
Have we left you marvelling in wonder yet?
3. Everything is flexible
Unlike traditional accommodation with stipulated check-in and check-out timings, most hosts on Airbnb are flexible with such rules.
Some villas also have housekeeping staff who will check in to make sure that all is going well during your stay, while some hosts may even choose to leave their keys in a mailbox locked by a code that will be given to you – a very personal touch.
A few months ago, MehTheSheep team stayed with Airbnb at Looking Glass House. Due to their hectic schedule, they were unable to check in at a regular hour. But their host was okay with their driver collecting the keys on their behalf!
Image credit: Balibookingservices
Checking-out is also really convenient.
You can simply arrange with your host a check-out procedure and timing that you’re comfortable with, just as though you are staying in a friend’s house!
Believe it or not, some hosts even go the extra mile for guests, and provide drivers for airport transfers!
Image credit: ideamytrip.com
4. Honeymooners? Travelling with family? Solo adventurer? Your options are endless.
Visualise this: You’ve entered an apple orchard of accommodations and are presented with the luxury of amazing choices – regardless of whether you are going on a couple trip, family trip, holiday with buddies or solo backpacking adventure.
If you’re travelling with your soulmate and looking for a quiet little home with some privacy, you’ve come to the right place – Bali is one of the most romantic destinations in Asia.
How about this romantic villa where you can simply throw open the windows and be greeted by a wonderful view of the rice fields?
Or… Are you bringing the kids to Bali for a beach fun holiday?
This colourfully designed villa is definitely going to be their eye candy. What’s more, it’s kiddy-friendly with the availability of cots and a glass-fenced pool to prevent the little ones from accidentally toppling into the water.
If you’re bringing elderly parents as well as kids and want somewhere more luxurious, you loved ones won’t say no this villa with an amazing view. It’s even furnished with a private pool and a playroom filled with toys!
Bali is for anyone and everyone – you just need to hunt around for the best homestays that suit who you’re travelling with!
5. You get to Eat, Live and Breathe like a local
Come on, let’s get back to the basics – why did you want to do a homestay in the first place? Apart from getting unique accommodations, you’ll also get to live among the locals.
And when in Bali, you can live like the Balinese do.
Your host might also be nice enough bring you around town for a day or two, and share with you some of Bali’s best kept secrets and hidden gems.
Will and Putu (Image credit: Goingawesomeplaces)
Who else can offer better help with your itinerary, or teach you how to whip up some tasty Balinese cuisine?
Image credit: i-likelocal
When Singaporean blogger Jemma stayed with Airbnb, her host even gave her some tips on finding the best cafes and lunch places – those where the locals love to hang out.
What’s more, your host may also tell you more about the local culture and nuances, to ease you in, so you don’t get a culture shock!
It’s not easy, but this local immersion will definitely wean you off your tourist glasses, so you get to see and experience everything through Balinese eyes.
6. You get a taste of home
What can you get in homestays like Airbnb that you can’t get in a traditional accommodation?
A place you can call ‘home’ for the rest of your holiday.
Image credit: iamexpat.nl
Who wants to stay in a confined space in a room (or even a suite) in a traditional accommodation when you can experience something so much more?
Villa stays and Airbnb often provide you with your own kitchen.
And sometimes even your own private pool – and you have the whole place to yourself!
Definitely perfect for long term stays or days when you want to practise your culinary skills with fresh ingredients from the Balinese fields.
What’s more, you know that’s actually someone’s home – someone has invested so much love and thought into a place, and it’s cosy enough for him or her to spend the rest of his life there – and you get a taste of this experience.
Bathroom essentials are usually provided by hosts
The cleanly-washed smell of the bedsheets, the slight disorganisation of the books on the shelves, plates and utensils of various sizes littered on the rack, the little keyring hanging from the door… these are random nuances of a home that makes it feel like home.
So what’s the thing about your homestay? The human touch that far exceeds the luxury in five star accommodation.
7. You get to meet travellers with the same mindset
Are you a solo backpacker always seeking to meet new friends on your travels?
Airbnb has lodgings where you can share a room, very much like a dorm or a hostel.
The popularity of such accommodation has increased over the years, as it provides a great opportunity for you to expand your social circle and exchange stories.
You just might meet a new travelling buddy for your next trip out!
Image credit: Worldwinder
Another little tip from us – don’t forget to keep in touch with your hosts, because you’ll never know when you may bump into them again on your next adventure.
Jemma bumped into her host a few months down the road while on a trip in a different country, and guess what?
Her host actually went into “host mode” and even shared with her some travel tips for the place they were in!
So are you convinced yet? Here’s the deal, Airbnb is offering all MehTheSheep readers USD$25 travel credit to book your next holiday accommodation, valid worldwide.
If you haven’t signed up yet, simply click on this link and get USD$25 on your first booking! -> Sign up for $25 Airbnb travel credit