A cruise can be one of the best vacations for people of any age group or demographic. It provides a mixture of everything that people love in their vacations: entertainment, new faces, beautiful sights, delicious foods and lovely destinations. There’s something to be said about hopping on a ship and sailing into the sunset.
However, the best vacations combine the boisterous, exciting atmosphere of a cruise with a healthy dose of relaxation and exploration. Adding a short-term home rental, vacation rental or homestay to your plans rounds out the entire experience perfectly, giving you the best that both travel experiences have to offer.
The Best of Both Worlds
Many people combine their cruise with a local rental, such as an apartment, house or cabin, because they can mingle with the local people or enjoy a bit of quiet time and relaxation; a direct contrast to the always-bustling atmosphere of a cruise ship. Both homestays and rentals provide a variety of temporary vacation living arrangements, taking you off the tourist path and helping you see what life is really like in a particular place. This means of travel will turn your vacation into a purposeful and even life-altering experience. And some cruise lines give you the opportunity to book vacation rentals before, during or even after your cruise.
A Bit about Homestays
Many people love opening their homes to travelers, and there are websites that help you connect with those who enjoy hosting weary travelers. Staying in a local’s home is a rich cultural experience that creates lifelong memories. The most effective way to arrange to stay in a local’s home is via one of these websites, because they offer many features, including those that provide extra safety and security. Many sites take measures to validate the identity of their participants and offer ratings, references and support. If you are the adventurous type and don’t mind giving up a bit of privacy for a unique, authentic view of your destination, a homestay is for you.
Know the Details
Always make sure to find out all the details of the rental or homestay arrangements, so you know exactly what to expect. If you want peace and quiet, you probably want to avoid staying with a family of five, or renting an apartment in the heart of the city, for example. And if you plan to take advantage of the nightlife, you probably don’t want to stay with a family, or in a rental in a quiet community. Ask questions and do your homework before you leave for your vacation. The vacation rental/homestay website can answer many of your questions, and if they can’t they are more than happy to find the answers for you, so don’t hesitate to ask all the questions you need to make sure it’s a good match for everyone.
In addition, be mindful of your obligations. If you’re renting someone’s home, be sure to leave it as you found it. Treat it as if it was your own home. And if you are going to stay with someone, bring them a small gift from your country or treat them to a nice meal to show your appreciation. Be sure to learn and respect all of the local customs, laws and practices, too.
With this combination, you can combine both aspects of the vacation experience, the pampering of a cruise with the excitement of learning about how the local people live and celebrate their lives. You’ll spend ample time on land and at sea, with all the features and attractions that allow you to enjoy your special trip to the fullest. In addition, the world becomes a smaller place, because you’ll bring home the gift of long term friendships with warm, wonderful people around the globe.
Gemma Hobbs is a travel consultant. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and tips on travel blogs. Find out more about the benefits of cruise miles, visit the link.