Explore London

Why travellers should 'Live Like A Local'

Over the past few years, the term 'Live Like a Local' has entered the mainstream and is a familiar phrase in the short lets travel industry. It generally means to experience a destination as if you live there and connect in an authentic way with the community.

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You use local shops, small artisan bakeries, butchers and other food stores, eat in intimate family-run cafes and restaurants, seldom found around big hotels or city centres, where waiters treat you as an old friend rather than a customer. You pass the time of day with local market traders, commuters, neighbours, parents, and local tradesmen and get a true feel for life in the area. You ask local people where they go, where the best places are to visit, explore local landmarks and hidden gems you won't find in a guidebook.

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Living like a local satisfies the desire for a more bespoke, individual approach to travel. It's fun and enlightening to mix with locals in a friendly bar, enjoy the local tipple and delicacies, learn about their lifestyle, and pick up the language. Away from tourist hotspots, travellers become more adventurous and in control of the holiday they want. Living as a local means choosing the lifestyle and environment that suits you - just in a new place with a guarantee of an entirely different holiday experience every time.

If you decide you want to live like a local in the countryside or on the coast, you can sample fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce from the sea and nearby farms every day. By doing this you are not only enjoying the area's cuisine but are playing your part in the sharing economy - helping local businesses flourish and grow.

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The phrase was popularised by the short lets industry and if you want to live like a local, a short let is the one for you. You can opt for home comforts, space, a large kitchen or garden, way off the beaten track in a location of your choice. You could stay in an old hunting lodge, a room with a view of Kew Gardens, enjoy a house a stone's throw from the river or dine al fresco on your apartment's balcony without having to book. If you travel as a family or group of friends, you have freedom to spread out, come and go as you please, live life the way you want.

It's cheaper too, hotel bars and mini-bars are notoriously expensive! It's more private and in this Covid world, less contact with other people makes it safer.

It's rare and expensive to find a hotel room with a special view, let alone a garden or outside space. Many hotel rooms look and feel the same and are, as you would expect, tailored to tourists or business travellers. Home sweet home means wandering down a long corridor until you find the door with your number on it! There's nothing quite like having your own front door and making a cup of tea without waiting for room service.

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Our homes with an elegant outdoor area:

Flawless Fulham Home close to the River Thames

Stylish Family Home by Twickenham Stadium

Stunning Home near Earl\'s Court

Every parent knows that once you have children, everything changes. It's hard to keep noise levels down in hotels with playful, energetic kids, its harder still with babies that need feeding at odd hours and there is nowhere to warm their milk. Just imagine all this going on in one hotel room and if you're on a month long business trip, its not much fun looking at the same four walls every day or sitting on the edge of the bed at evenings or weekends!

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Obviously hotels have their place and are perfect for a flying visit or short business stays. If you enjoy room service, your bed turned down and want the security of knowing exactly what you've booked, it's the best option. But it doesn't compare to an authentic travel experience as a local or open your eyes to other ways of life.

From a homeowners perspective, travellers seeking to live like a local love homes with a difference, a bit of history, character, peculiarities or architectural quirks as well as home comforts.

In short living like a local has lots of advantages on both sides, so give it a go.

See our blogs - Our out of London Properties and The Best Walks to do in London