There has been an increasing demand for Homestays over hotels and resorts among travellers in India.
Be it a solo traveller or a family, Homestays are being considered at the top of the priority list while on a vacation, mostly because of the domestic facilities and hosting advantages of the same.
As for me, I prefer Homestays over resorts and boutique hotels, because it gives me the luxury to enjoy experiential travel, without draining my resources.
I’ve booked Homestays in Sikkim, Pondicherry, Himachal Pradesh, Kolkata and Mussorie, and luckily, all my hosts were amazing. They provided me with itinerary advice and made my stay worthwhile by taking care of my specific needs and preferences.
As a patient of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, I’ve been following a complicated diet all my life, and the hotels have never been able to cater to my specific dietary needs properly.
However, when I started opting for Homestays, my hosts were careful enough to adhere to my diet chart. There are some other amazing benefits of Homestays over hotels, as I’ve experienced in my trips.
Interact with local people
When you book Homestays, you get to live with the locals, eat their food and share their lifestyle. To an experiential traveller, all these things are priceless.
You’re never going to experience the raw, local flavour of any place if you stay in expensive boutique hotels and holiday resorts.
If you have the habit of travelling alone, Homestays are not only good for an enriched experience but also lighter on your pockets. Further, you can live with a hospitable family, who are eager to take care of you during your stay.
You won’t feel lonely, especially if you’re staying with a local family and sharing their food. Imagine celebrating Christmas with strangers who don’t seem like strangers at all!
Learn the local dialect
If you’re staying for long, you may even get the chance to learn the local language of the people. Ask your host to help you out.
During my stay in Sikkim, my host was more than happy to teach me a bit of Nepali, and in Pondicherry, I learned how to communicate in Tamil, which is a widespread language in South India.
People like me, who have food restrictions, don’t feel comfortable staying in hotels, as the food there is spicy and the preparation methods are not always healthy.
As home-cooked food is considered best for my health, the Homestays have always proved worthwhile for me. My hosts provided me with customised care, especially with my diabetic diet.
Get out of the tourist zone
Homestays can help you feel like a native and not a tourist. You get to indulge in local activities, unlike the tourists, who have a set of limitations, when it comes to enjoying the ambience of a new place.
For example, I worked in a tea plantation in Sikkim with my host, who was more than happy to get an extra pair of hands helping him.
If you choose to stay with the locals, you’ll also be able to enjoy the local festivals with them. I booked a homestay in Jaipur, which helped me enjoy ‘Holi’, the festival of colours, with them, which was indeed an enchanting experience.
I also enjoyed ‘Diwali’ in Mussorie with the local folks, and ‘Durga Puja’ with an aristocratic family in Kolkata.
Homestays are pretty cool, especially if you’re looking for a home away from home. You can book Homestays from many online websites.
Make sure you have a talk with your host over the phone and fill him/her in on your details, needs and requirements before you set off on your vacation.