Homestay means living in a local home when traveling in a different place. It is an accommodation in someone’s home , which has the concept similar to a bed & breakfast. Homestays are smaller and have few guestrooms within the home. Guests are either accommodated in the family home, or in separate quarters nearby. Nowadays, most homestays provide their guests with just as much comfort as a reputable hotel. The benefit here is to live together with locals and meet them.
Benefits of staying at Homestay.
1. Unique and distinctive experience :
Homestays offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the incredible diversity and charm of the place. Guests are treated as family and thus are invited to various family functions and local ceremonies. Homestays provide with a level of personal experience that will stay with you for very long as even you begin to promote this less flashy but wonderful practice.
2. More peace and quiet :
If you are travelling to get away from the noise and clutter of cities, this is a good choice. Because they are small, at any point you won’t have more than 10 people around at a homestay. This means peace and quiet and more quality time spent with yourself, or your family and friends. These properties also give you access to the more remote areas of that place and just being there is great as these unfrequented, less populated areas offer a restoring solitude.
3. Homemade local food :
Staying with a host family, you will be able to taste authentic home cooking. You can have a meal together with your host or maybe even try to cook with them together if you get the opportunity. Unlike staying isolated in a hotel, you can join the special Markets where you can get information about the Market’s history, basic local ingredients, fruits/vegetables and spices, taste them and also buy them for the local meal you want to learn with hosts family.
4. Culture :
You can get a deep insight into the local culture through your host which you cannot find in any book. When traveling abroad it can be a daunting thing when you’re exposed to new cultures, although it doesn’t have to be. To make the most out of your travel adventures, what better way to get to known the locals by going local yourself with a local. When you bond with the locals in your host country when traveling abroad will open up most hidden secrets of a new culture.
5. Personalized service :
Homestays usually have only a few rooms compared to hotels. The family living there manages it and acts as the owner. This ensures that the guest gets enough personal attention. You can spend as little time as possible on your host family. Some guests only choose to dine with them, while others spend hours chatting with them. Many guests and owners found that they were so connected to each other that they stayed in contact for a long time after the holidays.
6. Insider Tips, beyond the touristic path :
Travellers wants to go beyond the tourist hotspots and experience the colourful history, unique culture, and distinct tastes of a destination. A local can offer variety of insider tips that focus on special interests of yours like art, cuisine, weekly markets, off the beaten tracks and adventure. Such stays also provide travellers with non-traditional experiences such as enjoying a home-cooked local meal at a local family’s farmhouse, or volunteering at a community development project, singular experiences that would be hard to arrange on one’s own.
7. Unlikely friendships :
An ex-hunter, a reformed extremist, an old Naga lady, a recovering maharaja, you never know whom you encounter on your travels, whose home you end up staying at. Homestay owners tend to be chatty folk (people who don’t like to meet other people are unlikely to open up their home to strangers), so the conversations are entertaining and enlightening, and you might just form a new friendship for life. These people are as welcoming as some of your closest friends and are usually never hesitant in sharing their experiences with you too.
8. Cheaper price :
The most pragmatic reason to choose a homestay over a hotel is, of course, that it’s cheaper, often by half, and doesn’t come with hidden costs and a million types of taxes. Food is mostly included and your hosts can point to cheap eating options in the area. Your money goes for longer at a homestay, so you can afford that extra sightseeing excursion or trek that you might not have done if you were spending more on just accommodation. So yes, this is a great reason, but one hopes the others are more of a deciding factor for you.
9. Source of income for locals :
Homestays are simple establishments run by local families to augment their family income. These families tend to open their homes to locals for want of company or for the sheer passion for hospitality. While this is not a factor people usually consider before traveling, it is equally important to note that the money spent on these homestays is many a times utilised with the aim of making the women in the families more independent. By staying in these homestays, you contribute to their income.