Frequently Asked Questions 

I’ve never had strangers come to stay in my home nor stayed with strangers. How would I cope?

Is the organisation motivated by religion or politics? 

How big is this organisation? 

What’s the typical cost of joining an outgoing trip? How would it compare to normal tourism?

What’s the attraction of this style of travel compared to my usual trips abroad?

What if I want to include more tourist related activities such as a guided tour or a holiday on the beach?

Who decides where my club will travel or whom they will host?

What if I don’t want to travel to my club’s selected destination?

My job keeps me busy most of the year. How would I find time to host?

How can I take part in hosting visitors if I don’t have any spare rooms?

I’m not much of a traveller these days, can I still join the club?

button I’ve never had strangers come to stay in my home nor stayed with strangers. How would I cope?

A home-stay is not the usual way for a traveller to find accommodation but it can be so much better than a hotel or B&B. Most of our members will have started out with similar concerns but once you’ve tried it, you’ll find out how easy and rewarding it is. In 2007 nearly 6,000 people enjoyed home-stays in clubs all over the world. We’re sure you will too!

button Is the organisation motivated by religion or politics?

No. This is strictly a non-political, non-religious and non-profit making organisation. We have member clubs in many different countries who have their many different cultures and ways of life. What we have in common is the desire to meet people, make friends, travel and get to know more about the world.

 button How big is this organisation?

There are around 350 clubs in 60 countries worldwide. The UK has 20 clubs. Clubs have around 30 to 200 members. Each club looks after its own affairs but there is a central administration office in Atlanta USA. Many countries also have national committees.

 button What’s the typical cost of joining an outgoing trip? How would it compare to normal tourism?

The main cost is usually the air-fare plus $250 USD to provide a programme of events during your visit and for admin fees. Each club arranges its own travel plans finding the best prices, usually from a single airline, although some members make their own travel arrangements or use air miles. Your trip will let you experience the real country and its culture, get to know its inhabitants and make friends. These things simply can’t be bought from a travel agent.

 button What’s the attraction of this style of travel compared to my usual trips abroad?

The simple answer is friendship. A typical tourist (especially a lone traveller) is unlikely to meet or get to know any of the local people during his or her trip. Time can be wasted trying to find out what to see and do and avoiding tourist traps. Getting about, ordering food and drink can be difficult in some countries but your host can make this very easy for you.

 button What if I want to include more tourist related activities such as a guided tour or a holiday on the beach?

It’s possible to do that too. Often our club members will plan extra time at the end of their home-stay. Now that they have immersed themselves in the local culture, picked up a few words of the language and got recommendations on what to see and do, they can enjoy their extra time without feeling like tourists.

 button Who decides where my club will travel or whom they will host?

The central office (FFI) in Atlanta USA plans the travel for all of the 350 clubs worldwide. Each club is asked for their preferences (These can be general or quite specific) and FFI tries to match clubs up to travel to their chosen destinations at the right season of the year.

 button What if I don’t want to travel to my club’s selected destination?

There are 20 clubs in the UK and you can request to join them on their trips. We usually have an “All UK” trip planned, which is designed to be filled by a few participants from each of the UK clubs. You can even take part in trips originating in other countries of the world.

 button My job keeps me busy most of the year. How would I find time to host?

Your club can usually assist in hosting by providing “day hosts” who will collect your guests and take them out for the day. Dinner hosts can help you and your guests in the evenings. You might decide to be a day host yourself, perhaps at the weekend or on a day off.

 button How can I take part in hosting visitors if I don’t have any spare rooms?

You can still take part as a day host, showing guests around your area, or as a dinner host and invite guests to your house for dinner. There are always lots of ways to help with hosting and make friends with your club’s visitors.

 button I'm not much of a traveller these days. Can I still join the club ? 

Yes, of course. Hosting people and showing them around your area is just as good a way to make friends as travelling and can be just as enjoyable. Most clubs have extra social activities for their club members throughout the year such as day trips, get-togethers, dinner parties and weekend visits to other UK clubs. You’ll make friends locally as well as internationally.