Why I like to stay with the locals on my solo trips
As a solo traveller, I am always keen to try new ways of staying on a budget that suits my solo travel needs. I love to stay in style at affordable prices. Last year I had my first experience staying with the locals in Australia. I booked my Airbnb private accommodation in Margaret River and on Phillip Island, and I liked it. This year on my 5th solo trip in Australia, I will try out a private stay in various locations throughout Australia so that I can experience different environments and enjoy the freedom of a break from hostels life.
Treat no. 1 – Be picked up at the airport in Cairns
Lynn and Toni were my hosts. Not only did they pick me up at the airport when I arrived, but they also took me for a short tour around Cairns before taking me home. I appreciated their kindness in making their time to show me around the place and give me tips on what to, where to eat and so on.
Stay with the locals in Cairns – Feeling the place.
The location was ideal for my stay. I only had two days and wanted to relax and get ready for my Solo Camping Adventure. The house was located 15 minutes drive from Cairns Centre, a short drive from the airport, and 10 minutes walk to the Botanic Gardens, Mt. Whitfield Walks and the centenary lakes precinct. So, I couldn’t have picked a better area for my two-days-home-stay in Cairns.
Matching location with the purpose of the stay
The comfortable room was beautifully decorated and connected to the central patio and pool area. My Hibiscus room had no ensuite bathroom, but that was okay for me.
I shared a large bathroom on the floor with another guest. The house was super clean and very well equipped to host travellers from different parts of the world. I appreciated the fact that I could have my breakfast outside. The kitchen facilities with two huge dining tables were located in the larger patio on the background of the house.
Stay with the locals – Meeting my hosts’ family.
On the first day, there had not been many occasions to speak, and my hosts were pretty busy getting things done and picking up other guests. This place seems to be booked out all the time.
They told me that in less than two years, they had over 200 guests staying with them. The following day at breakfast, I was introduced to the rest of the family. I met Sunny, the cockatiel, after meeting Kira, the dog, and Xena, the cat.
Stay with the locals – Getting to know my hosts.
On Sunday, when I returned home from my walk to Mt. Whitfield lookout and Rusty’s Markets in Cairns, I was happy to have the veranda for myself and chill out from the warm day.
Lynn and Toni were relaxing in front of the TV, watching the Rugby final between Cairns and Townsville. They love watching sports, and I got a lot of information about all the different kind of finals and matches going on.
More perks from my hosts – Treated to something special
There is nothing more rewarding than being surprised with a treat. My hosts invited me to a particular drive, and it was going to be a surprise! So, by the time we had arranged to leave the house, I went back to the living room but found my hosts fallen asleep in front of the TV. Bummer.
I thought, and now, what about my treatment? So, I went back to my room with a smile on my face. Fifteen minutes later, they both woke up from their evening nap and were fit again to drive me to the particular place. YAY
It was only 10 minutes drive from their home. But what a place, OMG. I would have never found out about it. It is a popular lookout among the locals, and many people were coming for taking pictures of the superb night view on Cairns.
One more perk from my hosts – A car lift into town
On Monday morning was the day of departure from the locals in Cairns. I had an early start as I had to pick my mini campervan. The bus service would have taken me to town but not directly to the place, which was 10 minutes walk away. I appreciated Lynn offering her help to drive me there. It saved me time and effort to move around with my stuff.
Creating connections beyond a two-day stay with the locals
On the way into town, I discovered Lynn’s upcoming birthday and the preparation for her birthday party. I quickly took notice of the date and promised to call.
This happened ten days later after I returned from my Solo Camping Adventure in North Tropical Queensland. We met up for coffee in Cairns and was happy to have a chat with these wonderful hosts. I am sure I am going to stay in touch with them for a long time.
This is why I love to stay with the locals, in the first place. It is all about getting to know people and creating connections. I am sure I am going to repeat this experience and book a new stay with Airbnb.