When planning a rural, farm-oriented vacation, one of the first decisions to make will be regarding shelter. There are usually two ways to do an agricultural vacation: by staying at a hotel but attending local farm tours, or by staying in an actual farm, i.e. a farm stay.
Ever since tourists started showing interest in spending their vacations getting in touch with the rural lifestyle and agritourism was born, farms have learnt to adapt and make the most of the situation. Nowadays it’s easy to find farms that have converted old silos or stables into luxurious rooms where visitors can stay right at the farm and learn about the lifestyle.
In places where agritourism is already popular, like the United States and Tuscany, there’s a farm stay for every need. Some are designed for adults, others can accommodate families with little kids, and all of them give you the opportunity to experience a countryside lifestyle. Generally, you will be able to get in touch with farm animals, witness how they make their products, and even participate in some of the everyday work that goes on in the farm.
Expect Guided Activities
Whether you’re expected to do actual hard work or just be a spectator will depend on the specific farm you use. But one certain thing, regardless of venue, is that every professional farm will have a defined set of activities that visitors can participate in. Most farms will design these activities around the kind of work that’s being done in the farm at any given time. It could be anything from learning how a particular crop is being harvested, or how to tend to livestock.
Many farms would rather not interrupt the workflow of the farm for guests. But when that’s the case, they still offer classes related to the work they do in the premises. So even if you don’t get to participate in the actual work being done, you’ll still be able to get to know their process and what they’re doing.
Before making a reservation, make sure to thoroughly research the farm you’ve chosen. Beware of places that don’t seem to have any specific activities planned out, and, above all, make sure you ask about what kind of work or involvement will be expected from you.
Tours to the Area
Most farms are a sight to see on their own, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know the surrounding areas. Farmers tend to be proud of the land they’re working on, so most farms would offer tours (either done by them or a friendly local) of the area. This usually involves a lot of hiking and getting up and personal with nature and the wildlife surrounding the area.
If you’re researching a farm for your next vacation, take this into consideration before making a decision. That way you can make sure to choose a farm near the kind of hikes you’d like to take or natural places you’d like to visit. Try to make the most of your visit.
Locally Sourced Food
One of the undeniable benefits of opting for a farm stay is the food. Though make sure to check in with your chosen farm how many meals they offer, as most only offer breakfast. But either way, farms are big on locally grown foods, which means most of what you’ll have will come from the land you’re in. It might even be something that you picked up yourself!