Accommodation with a local flavour for travellers tired of hotels

Increasingly tourists like to redefine themselves as "travellers". It's a subtle distinction but an important one for those visitors who prefer to absorb themselves in a foreign country or city rather than feel they have to tick off every sightseeing opportunity.

Peer to peer comfort

The biggest obstacle to this kind of experience may be the accommodation. Hotels understand tourists and treat them as such. From a formal five star to a grungy backpacker hostel, hotels are invariably tourist experiences, little enclaves cut off from the streets. However comfortable they may be, there's usually something missing: authenticity.

Which is where an alternative accommodation option like 9flats comes in. The company offers rather more than just nine flats (last count they had 96,949 accommodation options around the world), but the appeal is that these are local's homes or rooms, let out to visitors, offering great, affordable places to stay and the chance to take advantage of insider's tips and insights.

Many of the apartments on offer are in quiet residential neighbourhoods off the familiar tourist track, allowing visitors to experience local life, find restaurants that don't inflate their prices for tourists, generally get a more in-depth feel for a city. The company has sought out properties that are owned by locals, rather than the usual stereotyped holiday lets. The key advantage is a host who will provide guidance on the best way to experience their home city.

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