Choose homestay for your travels
An informal space
A homestay is, very simply, part of someone’s home converted into a hotel. For first-time travellers especially, a homestay will feel less intimidating than a large impersonal hotel filled with other people and fixed rules. Staff members are friendlier and the service is more personalised, because they can afford to cater to the demands of their few guests, as opposed to a hotel that has to take care of hundreds of people.
The best dope on the place
No one knows a place better than the local residents, and by staying with someone local you have access to the best information on the place. You will not find this in those guides. Even online, most information on exploring a place is repetitive, as sites copy from each other, so trust your host to tell you where to go and what to do. Plus, homestay owners make it their business to know more about the local area so that they can point out shortcuts and scenic routes to their guests, making exploring all the more convenient.
The best local flavour
Menus at homestays are usually 100% local unless you are the annoying type of traveller who wants to eat chicken lasagna in Kerala. Yes, so your hosts might make chilly chicken or Maggi on demand but use this wonderful opportunity to try the local flavour of the place you are visiting. India has such a rich cuisine heritage--every five miles the taste and texture of the staple dish of the state changes--and this is your chance to try something new. I once had lauki soup in Ajmer, which I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole otherwise but couldn’t turn down out of politeness, and it turned out to be delicious. I then tried lauki halwa and that was amazing too. That homestay in Ajmer cured my lauki phobia.
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 the country, where infrastructure or a lack of vision has come in the way of building hotels, and just being there is great as these unfrequented, less populated areas offer a restoring solitude.