Sunday, 26 December 2010

GENERAL TRAVEL - Hospitality Clubs

Kevin & Ruths and our motorhome parked up in Mexico



When you travel for a number of years you may become slightly weary of all the tourist attractions and find yourself taking more interested in people culture.   On a number of occasions we have had chance meetings with local people who have invited us back to their place or offered to show us around, however you never know quite when or where this might happen.  If you join one of the hospitality clubs you may be able to pre arrange this kind of event

The groupls are based on travellers trying to help one another in any way they we can.  THEY ARE NOT GROUPS THAT YOU JOIN JUST TO GET FREE ACCOMMODATION. 

What you can offer other travellers can vary from help and advice about your town or country, giving them a tour around the local area, inviting them for dinner or even offering them a place to stay.  It is not a directly reciprocal scheme whereby A stays with B then B stays with A rather a big family circle.  A may give information to B who may invite C to stay with him who may give D a tour around his town and so on.   In fact there are a number of members who will probably never travel but just enjoy having visitors to chat to. 

When backpacking we try to stay with people as it is a much nicer atmosphere than some of the hostels and you learn more about the local way of life.  We have also parked on peoples’ property in our motorhome and during cruises been met at the port and shown around.  People often ask about our travels and we offer them as much help and advice as we can often enabling them to save a lot of money or inspiring them to travel more.

A classic example is the case of Kevin & Ruth, a young couple in their mid 40’s who invited us to park our motorhome on their drive in Ottawa.  They took us out to show us the city and we got on very well together during the 4 short days of our visit.  We could tell they were eager to travel and were happy to tell them a lot about our lifestyle.  It obviously worked because just 10 weeks later they had quit their jobs, sold the house, bought a motorhome and hit the road.  You can read more about their travels and story on Kevin’s blogs

There are new hospitality groups being started almost every month but some of the ones that have a good membership base are

Other friends have set up a RV / motorhomers welcome to park up group within Couchsurfing and have loads more stories on Ruths website

Many of the hospitality sites have groups listed by interests, countries, cities, lifestyle and joining this can further increase your chances of meeting like minded people.


TIP

If you are thinking of starting to travel and would like to use one of these groups it may be a good idea to enrol ahead of time and begin helping other travellers.  People generally leave you references and the more of those you have the easier it is to have your requests met.



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