If you haven’t caught on yet, I LOVE local travel. Eating local, travelling local, and staying with locals. When you are travelling abroad, accommodation costs are often the biggest financial burden. While there are various options to keep the costs down such as hostels or camping, these costs will still be exorbitant if you are on a two-month holiday. There is a really cool  website called staydu that functions like a social network for travellers. The website connects you with locals that are willing to host you in their homes for free.  It differs from Couchsurfing because some of these lovely hosts ask for work in exchange for your lodging.  This can be anything from babysitting to farm work, and is usually only for a couple of hours a day.  It is also possible to find hosts that are willing to rent out a room to lodgers for longer periods for a fee.

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Staydu was recommended by the NY Times last year as one of the ‘10 Travel Web Sites Worth Bookmarking

A neat site that matches hosts from around the world with travelers looking for unique local experiences. That can mean volunteering to teach English or doing farm work in exchange for lodging and meals, or simply paying a small fee to move in with a local resident. The site is not overly populated with opportunities yet, but shows a lot of potential.

Staydu represents over 80 countries, so you are likely to find a host in the countries you will be visiting. A two year membership costs 19 euros and enables you to contact an unlimited amount of hosts during that period. You can of course become a host yourself, and put your home up as a listing along with any work requirements or fees that would go along with it. (Or just throw out some good travel karma and host travellers for free!)

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I haven’t used the service yet, but I am all signed up to try it out on my next adventure. In full disclosure, I am now writing for the staydu website, but I think this only reinforces how I feel about the ‘stay with locals’ concept.  I am hoping to try out staydu on my travels around England this summer and I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Have you travelled with staydu before? Comment below and share your experiences!

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