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Host Travel – Make New Friends Without Leaving Your Home

By Margaret Manning August 20, 2013 Travel

Women over 60 often love to travel and explore new cultures and make new friends – but what if you could do all of these things without leaving the comfort of your house? With the online tools that we have available today, it’s easier than ever before to connect with fellow travelers by opening your home to host people.

If you are willing to be a host to fellow travelers, you can make new friends, learn so much about new cultures and other parts of the world, and have some of the benefits of travel (expanding your mind and lifting your spirit), all without leaving your house. Here are a few great websites and ideas that make it possible to sign up to host visitors in your home – either for pay or as a volunteer:

This expression might sound familiar if you have a younger son or daughter who has ever “couchsurfed” while visiting friends, but the Couchsurfing website is an active online community that makes it possible for travelers to find lodging in private residences all over the world.

The site also has Safety advice and features built in so you can be confident that people are trustworthy before you commit to letting them stay at your home.

I’ve written before about how Airbnb is a great site to use to save money on travel and meet amazing people, and it’s also a great way for women over 60 to participate in the “share economy” by making some extra cash from renting out a spare room in your home.

Airbnb lets you convert your home into a temporary “bed and breakfast” to welcome travelers who need an affordable place to stay.

Sister Cities/Twin Towns

Check with your local “sister city” organization (known as “twin towns” in the UK) to find out if there are any exchange programs where you could volunteer to host visitors from your city’s sister cities in other countries. For example, many sister cities have school exchange programs where entire classes of students and their teachers come to visit for a short period of time.

Volunteering to host international visitors is a great way to build goodwill and make amazing new friends from all over the world.

Citizen Diplomacy

Another option for hosting travelers is to get involved with your local nonprofit organization that is dedicated to citizen diplomacy. Many cities have organizations like these that help host junkets of international visitors and government delegations from other countries. For example, other countries might send groups of diplomats, journalists, education officials or business leaders on short trips to do trade missions or cultural exchanges or otherwise learn more about life in your country.

This is a wonderful way to get involved in the important work of creating international understanding while meeting fascinating people from all over the world. On your next international trip, you might have a whole new list of friends to visit!

Women over 60 have so much to share with the world. Don’t be afraid to open your home and share your generosity and hospitality with new friends.

Have you ever hosted international visitors or rented out a spare room in your house? What was the experience like?

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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