Traveling is the new cool these days. The very first thing we do while planning a trip is booking a place to stay. There are plethora of options and websites for booking hotels or homestays but which is better?
Here, find out as our bloggers fight it out!
Before moving on, FlippED is An ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.
“Homestays are better as they actually let you bond with a place!” ~
Blogger Nivedyta Khanna’s perspective
I think that homestays are better than hotels because they offer all types of travelers an affordable place to stay. It is similar in concept to that of a bed and breakfast and guests are either accommodated in the family home or in separate quarters nearby.
Recently, I went to Amritsar and we decided to stay at a homestay. I had never been to Amritsar and I didn’t really know the local places. It turned out that it was not only cheaper but we got to live with the locals. They provided us the typical Punjabi Lassi and Paranthas for breakfast.
The homestays provide you with delicious home-cooked food, often made using local produce. I didn’t know that we would get so lucky. The owner even helped us with the tourist destinations.
They are worth it because moving to a new destination is both daunting and exciting. So if you stay in a homestay and straight away you’ll have met some local people, who will quickly help you to feel more comfortable and secure.
The other reason why I like homestays is that in a homestay you will be able to visit the hidden secrets that only the locals know about.
One can read about the customs and cultures of a place but homestays actually make you experience a destination’s cultures and customs. The host will share with you an insight into local life that other forms of accommodation simply can’t offer.
There are certain homestays that even plan unique activities for the people. It is true that the hosts are typically very accommodating and will put a great deal of effort into arranging activities that are of interest to you.
These activities will vary depending on location like exploring a coffee plantation in Coorg, watching a polo match in Rajasthan, herding animals in remote northern India, village visits, picnics, and temple tours are just some of the examples.
I think that staying at a homestay is all about gathering rare memories and experiences. It is living at a homestay that can really connect you to a place and introduce you to the tea-shop in the neighbourhood which sells super delicious samosas as well.
“I think hotels are better than homestays because they provide better services and wider options.”
~ Blogger Yogita Rathore’s perspective
Travel is something people do to relax and unwind. In such a case, it is always better to stay in a hotel instead of a homestay. Why you ask? It is because hotels give you that privacy you need to unwind from your regular hectic life.
I mean not everybody travels to experience local culture and heritage all the time. Sometimes people travel to pamper themselves and have some ‘me time’ without getting disturbed.
Hotels also provide better services and wider options for recreation. Gym, sports, activity rooms, sauna and spa, swimming pool; most good hotels provide all of these facilities, unlike homestays.
Also, there is a dedicated staff to take care of all your needs in hotels while homestays usually have one host who usually disappears during times of emergencies.
In simple words, homestays try to provide whatever facility the modest little home of a family can provide while hotels make sure that their service is beyond plausible. Moreover, if all of us just start staying in homestays on all our travels, we’ll directly affect lakhs of people employed in the hotel management industry.
Also, homestays these days are run by startups or middlemen which takes away the authenticity from a homestay and makes it almost similar to a low-scale hotel.
Speaking of food and assistance on city tours, most hotels have better quality local cuisine made by experienced chefs and dedicated hotel management staff to assist tourists with city tours. Certain hotels even provide cab and guide services in their packages.
With the internet on an all-time full bloom, I don’t think there is much difference between homestays and hotels in terms of affordability. There are so many 4-5 star hotels that provide early-bird and seasonal discounts on rooms which make their prices almost similar to what a homestay costs!
So I think one can experience the best food, culture and city life by staying at a hotel on their travel as much as he/she can by staying at a homestay.
In fact, exploring the hidden nook and corners of a city depends on the kind of traveler one is and not on the person’s place of stay! If you want to explore the unexplored you will irrespective of where you stay when visiting a brand new city, state or country.
Which is your choice while traveling? Let us know in the comments below.
Picture Credits: Google Images