Homestays in India is not a very old concept. Some people are still hesitant to opt for it. Here’s a list of the reasons they give, most of which are misconceptions.
Many homestays are located in remote areas away from the crowd, reaching there can be tiresome. But living away from the crowd will surely be relaxing. Spending a few days disconnected from technology, embracing the genuine warmth of hosts and eating food from farm to table can take away all the tiredness of the city life. Also, not all homestays are far located. You can check beforehand if there is a proper road till the homestay or you will have to walk to reach the homestay and choose according to your preference.
Being in the industry we have checked kitchens in both, hotels and homestays, and can vouch for the cleanliness and hygiene of homestays especially if we compere from the kitchens of most of the hotel restaurants. Moreover food served in homestays is mostly prepared from homegrown vegetables and is cooked in the same kitchen in which they cook their own food, so you can expect the best.Also, there is good variety of food in homestays. As per the availability of non-vegetarian food, you must check with the host before booking if they serve non vegetarian or not and chose as per your preferences.
Safety can be an issue anywhere if you are not cautious so taking a few precautions will ensure your safety:Before booking a homestay ask the owner if it is a government approved homestay and ask for their license number. In Kerala, Himachal and many other states there are strict rules to get a license. The owner has to obtain police clearance from multiple channels before a license to run the homestay is obtained. These clearance and licensing rules are introduced to ensure the safety and security for the tourists. Alternatively, book it through a reference, a known person or a trusted platform.On the contrary to this myth, many also feel it’s much safer living in a homestay as the host can tell you which areas to avoid or go out with you to places where you might not be safe if you go on your own. They can be a sounding board for any issues you face and help you learn how to navigate a new location.
It is the most common myth that if it’s a homestay it will be cheaper than the hotels. No doubt you can chose to stay in low budget homestays if you are on a budget trip. But thinking that homestays are always a cheaper alternative to hotel is wrong. The fact is homestays are available in all ranges as is a hotel depending on the location, area and the facilities they provide. I have stayed in a homestay that charged me 2500 per night for bed and breakfast. And I think it’s totaly worth it. Tastefully done interiors, comfortable stay, personal attention, hospitality, cleanliness and most importantly fresh tasty organic food made from the produce of the kitchen garden and meticulously cooked by the host was all worth the money I paid. Which hotel could have given me this experience even in 5000/-… I wonder.