When Sindhu first visited Coorg she was able to savor Bamboo shoot curry, a popular Coorg cuisine on the first day of her homestay. Not only that she was able to check out the remote terrains and unlisted yet beautiful places of Coorg, thanks to her hosts at a homestay. This is exactly why homestays while on vacations are popular. They are one of the best ways to absorb local culture, taste local cuisine and get complete information about the place.

So what exactly is a Homestay?

A homestay is where you, as a traveler stay, in a family home along with the family, or be accommodated in guest quarters, or cottages close to the host’s family. 

Benefits of Staying At Homestays:

Unique Experience:

“When we first planned a trip to Wayanad I did not know that the home was in the middle of tea, coffee and pepper fields”, says Sana, a mother of two who visited the place last year. “I truly enjoyed the stay being close to nature” she further adds.

So when you opt for home stays you could be staying in historical locations, mansions, or near pictorial locations like hills, tea estates, or waterfalls. Instead of a typical hotel service, you can definitely expect something more at home stays.

A Wealth of Information:

Local history, best places to visit and interesting tales is what you can expect at home stays. When Sana stayed in one of the Wayanad homestays she came across interesting tales of mysterious engravings of Edakkal caves, the haunted spot of Chain tree where a guide’s soul was resting, and the glorious Pakshipathalam of Wayand, which was a bird’s paradise. So she changed her trip to accommodate all these places.

Great Home Cooked Food:

If you are a family with kids, then homestays is one of the best options for stay at unknown locations. Not only will you get hygienic home cooked food, but you can also get extra things like milk, hot water, medicines etc for your kids. Often you can also watch local dishes being prepared, and learn some great recipes. At a Sakleshpur homestay, I got to see a rice rotti being prepared for the first time.  It was altogether an unforgettable experience.

Unique Activities:

You can indulge in different activities like nature walks, trek, safari, camps or just chill in the luxuries provided by homestays, like swimming pool, badminton court etc. You can always let your preferences known to your host, and they my arrange activities according to your interest. Bonding with other families, planning trip together, exchanging invaluable tips over a camp fire happens naturally at homestays, and can result in lifelong friendships as well.

Helpful Tips While Going For a Homestay:

When booking a room at a homestay, make sure you get complete information about the location. Check the map and see how far the home stay is from the places you plan to visit. Homestays at remote locations can hamper your trip, as these may not be well connected via roads.

Before booking, communicate your needs clearly to the host. Check out the internet connectivity, if you are planning to work. If you are planning to go with pets, check out whether you are allowed to, as most homestays do not allow pets.

Always read guest reviews before booking a homestay. Read about their service, bed and breakfast schemes, food and guide services before heading out for your holiday.