Unlike in the west, the home-stay experience has still to have to make its mark in India. Many travelers specifically look for homestays to make their stay unique and memorable. From classy tableware to the best taste of local delicacies. Home visits provide a much richer experience to the traveler than the mainstream resorts and hotels. Due to which people now prefer Homestays over Hotels.
“It was a small home stay in Ramgarh that I had my first home stay experience” recalls Vivek. Sunita (His Wife) has been very skeptic of the idea, “but I quite enjoyed the idea of staying with a local family and experiencing Kamauni culture and lifestyle first hand.” He adds “After spending an hour with our host, her warmth and her chatty nature made us feel home.” Since then Vivek and Sunita have lived in various home stays across India and a few in Nepal.
Churchill once sarcastically remarked, “India is no more a single country than the equator.” Although Churchill was very few times right about India, this time he has caught a nerve. To truly discover the diversity of India, one would be advised well to choose among the various mushrooming home stays around the country.
Homestays Over Hotels – Which One Should You Prefer?
Athithi Devo Bhava (Guest is Divine)
Traditionally guest in India are considered divine; many Indians feel it’s a tremendous honor to have a guest at home. There is nothing like the Indian Hospitality. If you end up staying in a hotel, you end up getting only a tip of true Indian Hospitality. This warmth and love at a home stay are much more authentic than at other lodging places.
2: Personalized Service
“I am very particular cleanliness and nutrition of my family. Even when we are out on vacation” says Sheela. Home stays host only one guest at a time. Host places an impeccable attention to details. You can customize your food timing, the quality, and the quantity.
Even it is entirely left with the guest on how much time the host spends with them. It is an experience in itself to be able to experience a lifestyle which is much different than yours. Often time visiting members end up taking a leaf or two from the lifestyle rituals of the residing family.
In villages, you are not only the guest of one family, but you also end up being the guest to the entire locality. They are more than willing to show you around.
“Vijay took us around the property introducing us to the various stages in the making jam in a household factory from fresh fruits,” says Rama who lived in a home stay in Mukteshwar. “I ended up learning bagpiper from Pandeyji, ” says.
This is an example of one of many activities include the day to day operations in that area. That includes working in the fields, nearby temple tours, picnics or traditional village task of herding the animals. If you are luck, you might end up attending a marriage or a local festival.
There is the wave of home stays, across the country, that work on a model of pay as you want. Homestays, in general, are more affordable than the hotels around the place. Hence now a days people are preferring Homestays over Hotels. During the peak tourist seasons, when hotels are packed, home stays can provide a different and welcome experience for the guests.
5: The Universe is made of stories
Every place has its stories. Especially in India, where mythology has woven itself in names of different locations. Your host will be your guide through these world of stories.
These stories might be philosophical antidotes, or of the famous personality from that area or simply a chit chat with the neighbors. Time flies when you are listening to these stories. Either way, you will have a bagful of stories to share with your friends when you go back.
6. Home stay is fruitful for locals
From my little experience in the hospitality and tourism sector, I have concluded that the significant chunk of the profit from mushrooming tourist places goes to the big builders and corporate. While the locals only get a few drops from the pound.
The home stay is an ideal way to change this. The money flows to the local through home stay tourism. Hence if tourists will start preferring homestays over hotels then automatically even the local people will start making profits.
7: Home away from home
Most of the visits to home stay end with adding a member into the family. The guest keeps in touch with the host and often return multiple times to the same place. A simple leisure trip often turns out so much more. If you think of it, how amazing it is to find a second home and make deep connections with the people from different culture and place.