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10 things to remember when staying at a Homestay property in India

- By Poornima Poojary, 8th of January 2015, , Views: 888

It's a fast growing travel fad to book homestays and cottages for holidays rather than the usual hotels. This trend will absolutely teach us to be humble.

Humble? Yes...you read right. Dealing with hotels is: hiring a room and later on complaining about things which are were not right about services and accommodation provided. A routine I must say, for most travelers!

Homestays are a welcome change. Here, you deal with the property owner who has taken extra care to make his second home or extra room as comfortable and soothing as possible. He will gladly show you around and share stories about the surroundings and his family. He will also see to it that the food which you are served is authentic and as per your taste. So much homliness for a stranger!

But follow a few things listed below when you book a homestay / cottage for your holiday next time:

'Smile Please!' - Be Courteous:
Homestay owners are usually educated people who provide travelers with accommodation while on holiday. Being courteous will lead you to receiving excellent service and an experience to cherish!



'My Home, My Rules!' - Adhere to Terms: It is not easy to run a homestay property. Most of the hosts have had bad experiences with guests and hence have their own terms so as to make it easy for them to handle situations which go out of control.

'Travel Wardrobe' - Dress code: If you are staying at a remote place, it is always a good idea to dress decently and respect the dignity of your host. Even if it is not a remote place, traditional Indian families admire well dressed guests and do not appreciate people wearing revealing clothes.



'Give and Take Relationship' - Respect for tradition:
Be it in any part of the world and any tiny place not on the global map, one must respect the traditions and cultures of every society, even if you don't agree to it. Patrons will welcome you to their hearts and will be equally warm to the travelers who visit them later on. However, if the traditions are mentally disturbing to you and you are not comfortable at all, it would be wise to check out the following day if it is late already or the same day but with due respect and without showing any disgust. You may cook up a realistic story, but do not give the actual reason for checking out.

'How I wonder what you are!'- Unfriendly host:
It is not that only hosts receive irate guests. It may also be the other way round. Sometimes, the host must have had bad experience in the past with guests and hence may not be very friendly. But since it is bread and butter for most homestay owners, they tone down so as to receive good review about their services and better future prospects.



'Fine Dine' - Dining with the host: If you happen to be dining with the host and his family, follow table mannerisms. It is also a good idea to ask the host about their traditional cuisine and anything in particular which they follow while dining or in general. It is always a happy feeling for the host when guests want to know more about their tradition and culture.

'Party all Night' - Late Nights: If you plan to be out till late at night, make sure you inform the host well in advance. If it is unplanned till the end, it is a good idea to have the host's phone number in such cases.

'Show me the way' - Host as a Guide: The host would be your best guide when it comes to knowing the geography, local transportation, good places to wander or eat nearby, how to bargain while shopping, etc. Now, this is a great advantage while you are staying at a homestay property since hotels will not provide any such service! Some hosts may gladly accompany you to places if you want and it is not a service, but something which they will go out of the way and do for you.

'Gratitude' - Parting Gift: It would be great to gift a memento to express gratitude and appreciation to your host for bearing with you and assisting you throughout your stay with them. And most of the hosts do the same for their guests. Pretty emotional and priceless moments!



'Never say Good-bye' - Keep in touch: Wouldn't it be nice to stay in touch with your host and give a testimony about your stay with them so that many more travelers like you, get to experience similar holiday moments? Isn't that how we make friends across the world?

Make the most out of your holiday by booking a homestay property and have an experience to cherish for a lifetime!

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