The Hindi saying Athithi Devo Bhava, which means ‘the guest is God’, still holds a lot of truth in rural India and also other parts of the world. In a homestay, the guest are accommodated in the family house or in a separate guest room nearby. Homestays provide the traveller with an unforgettable experience!
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Here are five reasons why homestays are the best way to experience travel-
A homestay lets you experience the local way of living, be it sleeping under thousands of stars or in a rural cottage miles away from the next house. Homestays help the traveller better learn the local lifestyle as well as improves his or her language and communication ability. The backpacker stays with the family and helps them in their daily chores, thus becoming a part of the family during his or her visit and stay there.
Savour home-cooked food
The best part about homestays is the delicious home-cooked food which you cannot find at a hotel. At homestays, you can enjoy the authentic local food (much different from what is served in a restaurant or hotel) be it the fresh water fish or the desi murgi (local chicken). You can also learn the local ways of cooking, learn new recipes and even help and participate in the cooking process.
Hotels have become expensive and during peak season it could burn a hole in your pocket. A homestay is any day cheaper than renting a room in a hotel and since backpacking is all about experiencing more at lesser costs, the money saved through a homestay can be used for other activities. Money is saved on meals as meals in hotels and restaurants are comparatively expensive. Homestays also generates income for the locals.
In a homestay there are only a few rooms, the family staying there acts as the host and hence the focus is on you. The family will put a lot of effort to organise unique activities for you, be it picking strawberries straight out of a strawberry farm at Wai, going for an early morning bath to a river or taking cattle for grazing. Guests are often invited to attend weddings and other festivals going on. One feels like they are at a home away from home. The feeling of alienation never exits. It is like living with friends and family as not once does one feel out of place or too formal about their stay.
No travel guide or any amount of web research will be able to match the knowledge possessed by someone who was born and raised there. All you have to do is ask and the local will share his or her insight with you. Be it which bus to take, the best eateries around or opening and closing times of temples around. Most locals are delighted to show their guest around the place and give them interesting information which isn’t available in any guide book. The knowledge is first hand and unique which makes it feel like one is listening to an old grandmother’s tale on the place.
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