From Staycations to Stay-with-Family


Home Away from Home: Creating Memories in Familiar Spaces Image: Shutterstock/ pikselstock

DURING the COVID years the word staycation popped up and it seemed like everyone was either planning, taking, or recommending the perfect place for a staycation. The perfect solution to those dark days when we couldn’t travel sometimes not even to our neighbouring region depending on where we lived. The popularity of the staycation soared to the point where it seemed like every influencer was promoting some kind of wooden cabin with a bathtub on a deck that had views over rolling hills on every social media platform.

Three years down the line, the pandemic is gradually receding into the recesses of our minds, travelling is back on the cards, and covid tests and paperwork are just a distant memory. The world of travel is accessible again but, now we have a new problem the war, and the effects it is having on the world. Rising inflation, a spike in energy prices, and food shortages are all taking their toll. Mortgages have increased, bills and the weekly shop have all skyrocketed making a holiday a luxury that most of us can’t afford. Unless you have a friend or family who has a property abroad!

A Low-Cost Holiday

While out chatting to holidaymakers along the Costa Cálida and the Costa Blanca a prevailing trend caught my attention: a significant number of them had chosen to stay in family-owned holiday homes. What became evident from these conversations was that this particular style of vacationing has evolved into the contemporary version of a staycation. By opting for an economical flight through a budget-friendly airline and then covering only the in-country expenses, holidaymakers could create a fantastic and cost-effective sun-soaked getaway. With an increase in this type of holiday, we have put together some top tips based on the suggestions made by holidaymakers and homeowners!

Top tips

  1. Communication is key: This is even more important if the homeowners and the guests are both at the property at the same time. Discuss plans and any arrangements for the stay.
  2. Respect the property: Treat the holiday home just as you would your own home. Remember it is a personal space with items of sentimental value.
  3. Offer Contribution: While staying in a family member’s home might involve a nominal fee or contribution, it’s a gesture of goodwill to offer to cover some expenses like utilities or groceries. This showcases your appreciation for their hospitality.
  4. Keep it Clean: Keep the property tidy during your stay. Clean up after yourself, do your dishes, and maintain the cleanliness of common areas. Leaving the place in good condition is a considerate way to say thank you.
  5. Follow House Rules: Adhere to any house rules or guidelines set by the family member. Whether it’s about noise levels, smoking, or pet policies, respecting their rules demonstrates your gratitude and consideration.
  6. Be Mindful of Utilities: Keep an eye on utility usage like water, electricity, and heating/cooling. Use resources responsibly to avoid unnecessary costs and conserve energy.
  7. Explore Local Culture: Take advantage of your host’s local knowledge. Ask for recommendations on dining, attractions, and activities. This can lead to authentic experiences you might not find in guidebooks.
  8. Express Gratitude: At the end of your stay, express your gratitude to your family member. A thank-you note or a small token of appreciation can go a long way in showing your appreciation for their generosity.

Have you any more tips, let us know. Have you stayed in a family-owned property abroad and how was the experience?

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!