Q&A: Can I stay with a host family in Ireland?

homestayheartCan I stay with a host family in Ireland?  — Kerrie via email

Ireland has a long tradition of bed and breakfasts, so in essence you stay with a family when you’re there. However, most modern B&Bs are professionally run and the homes are purpose built. This makes for a quality experience, but can also keep a certain amount of separation between hosts and guests… not like the old days when you used the toilet down the hall and ate breakfast with granny and the rest of the family.

A new Irish company at www.homestay.com is working to connect travelers with families offering their extra rooms. In many cases hosts also offer local tours and pickup from town as part of the offer. With its emphasis on user reviews, Homestay.com is a bit of a hybrid of AirBnB, HomeAway, and Couchsurfing with its own twist.

Author: Corey

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  1. We stayed in self-catering cottages while visiting Ireland as a family this past year. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of contact that we had with the owners/hosts. The two places that we stayed had very active and present owners. They were around for help but also just to chat. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Tommy and having dessert with him. I know that other families that were renting townhomes had the same feelings. In my mind it was the best of both worlds…privacy when we wanted it and being treated like family!

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    • Amy,

      You’re absolutely right. Many self-catering properties offer the experience you mentioned. There are some self-catering places that are a bit more of pick-up-the-key-and-that’s-all sort of place, but those with great caretakers or with owners nearby can truly feel like home.

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      • Can you suggest resources for locating good self-catering cottages?

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        • I can only recommend the two that we stayed at. Coastguard Station in Clifden, Co. Galway and Croan Cottages in Co. Kilkenny. My family absolutely loved both of them. It was so much more convenient when traveling as a family of 5! We saved some money by cooking some of our meals. Plus the grocery stores were a source of entertainment for the kids.

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        • Hi Brian, sorry to butt in but one listings place you might try is Hogan’s Cottages. I’m heading off to stay in one of theirs in co Cork soon, and they’ve a wide variety across Ireland. Have a look at their site at Hogans
          irishcottages .com 🙂

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  2. I used Homestay in Clondalkin in September. The family was awesome. So great to meet locals right off the hop and have a safe place to return to at night. I was travelling solo for the first time. First international trip in 20+ yrs. I liked knowing someone was looking out for my return each day and giving great ideas of things to see and do.

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