Choose homestay over hotels if…

With change in travel trends, more and more travellers are looking for home away from home experiences. Over the last few months, we have been having conversations with travellers from India about what inspires them to choose a homestay over hotels. All those interactions led us to believe even more in what we are doing at Gratstays.

So here’s why you should choose a homestay over hotels!

...If you travel to experience the place!

Since the concept of travel has tremendously evolved over the years. While you’d like to visit the famous tourist spots in Kullu, you’d perhaps also like to hike along the trails of Deohari, a small village in Sainj valley (GHNP) that doesn’t feature in tourist guides. With the little time that we all allow ourselves to squeeze into our lives for travel, amidst the very busy WFH schedules it is only important that we make the most of it. A Homestay lets you do just that. When you live with a local, you are exposed to local flavours, cultures and heritage. A brochure you pick at the hotel reception or information you find on google will never compare to this!

...If you are finicky about safety.

It's only natural to be fussy about safety, especially since these COVID days. Since homestays are largely run by families or a staff personally appointed by them, it's safer than most hotels. Whether it be a secluded hut in Shangarh or an exquisite two bedroom in Naggar, the hosts personally take care of everything. It is in their own interest to ensure that theirs is a safe place for travellers to have a pleasant stay in. While living with a family gives you company and makes you feel safe, hosts also ensure that you have enough privacy by letting out rooms in a separate floor from where they reside or an adjacent building most times. Both safety and privacy are ensured here.

...If you seek pleasure in local food delicacies

With no second thoughts, the best part about staying in a homestay is undoubtedly the delicious home-cooked food. It lets you understand local cuisine and even learn about the ingredients, time and effort that goes into the preparation as most hosts willingly share secret recipes with you. A lot of homestays in Himachal, for example, enjoy serving food to their guests. Without the effort of hunting for local restaurants, you can indulge in delicious Walnut Siddu, farm fresh Rajma Chawal and the ever amazing Madra followed by chestnut halwa for dessert. No In-room dining menu can compete with this hospitality!

…if you'd rather a local bhaiji or didiji accompany you on treks.

Nobody knows a place better than someone who was born and raised there. Google is great and all but the “walk” section of google maps ends up making me go round and round! So if you are someone like me, all you would want to do is ask, and your homestay host will share his local insight and vast network with you in minutes. Whether it be the contact number of a reliable taxi driver, best time to visit a local hidden waterfall or the timing of a special event in the village, the best route to hike in the forest without getting lost or the best spot to enjoy the best view or the dishes you should try on your short trip – you’ll get this information from no one but a local bhaiji or didiji and your homestay host is the best person to rely on. Personal experience!

...If you are a responsible traveller

Generally in rural India, homestays are simple establishments run by local farmer families to augment their family income. These families tend to open their homes to travellers for want of company or for the sheer passion for hospitality. We at Gratstays are associated with a number of homestays helping families with an alternate source of income and thus a better lifestyle. By staying in these homestays, you contribute to their income.

...if you are passionate about cultural exchange

Staying in homestays gives you an opportunity to meet and interact with locals, travellers and like minded people from different walks of life on a more personal level. You have a better chance to understand the local culture and tradition.The unending stories of elderly Daddus makes time stop! In many instances people who meet as strangers, end up making relations for a lifetime at the end of these conversations! Isn't that cool?!

...if you want to go easy on your pockets

The simplest reason to choose a homestay over a hotel is that it's cheap! Now who would not want to save on a few bucks? Hotels in peak seasons cost you a kidney. On the other hand homestays offer clean affordable stays with a way better experience. While you may end up paying similar prices at some homestays, you are paying for the service and personalised hospitality that the homestay offers in return.

...If you feel homesick even a day away from home

While we travel to get away from the sick feeling of being trapped at home - courtesy to our beloved COVID! We still end up feeling homesick a few days away from home, mostly coz we miss the comfort of home at hotels. But how amazing would it be to find second homes and make new connections with people that become like family by the end of our trip! We believe that in this busy, chaotic world, where people have no time for each other, travel should leave you with an experience like that. By staying in a homestay, be rest assured you’ll never be away from home.

Now that you know why! Book a homestay for your next trip with us<3