I do radio talk show once in a while on All India Radio (AIR). I have always wanted to be an RJ. I usually do talk-shows on travel only since it’s the subject which I love to talk about, I do love to talk about music, philosophy, anthropology, culture, science, politics and everything that interests me. So, recently I got a call and was asked to come on 3rd November to go live with my talk show on AIR. But the same day, I got to know there were some schedule related issues so I was asked to come on 12th November. Since, I had to leave Delhi, so I told my concern and I was called to record it and live would be on 12th November. I had to record on show on the rising popularity of homestays. I stayed in a homestay during my visit to Kasol. I was totally mesmerized by the beauty of that homestay. So, here’s the talk show.
The Rising Popularity of Homestays
The last weekend I was sitting with a good friend of mine and we were having a discussion about homestays. I told her that we can explore the places by staying with the local people; it’s not only fun but adventurous as well.
“Oh! Is that even possible?”
“Yes, that’s possible and that has become a new trend these days. Homestays are the new ways of accommodation. Most of the famous tourist spots in India have got homestays and the tourists are crazy about these home stays be it Indian tourists or outsiders, homestays are now the first choice of everyone. Better than traditional hotels, homestays are actually homes away from homes in true sense.
We all want to travel. But travelling often comes with its own challenges. One has to always look for finding better deals on bookings to manage the expenses. Since the main motive behind traveling to any place is to explore and know that place. And the best way to explore any place is by living in that place like a local.
Homestays are houses which are generally outside of the town or the city. People have transformed their farm houses into hill cottages or homestays with scenic views for visitors. The travellers can stay here and can get to enjoy completely home environment. Also, it allows them to interact with the local people. This way, one can explore the cuisine, the lifestyle and the place far better than any other way. The concept of homestays is becoming very popular among the travellers and adventure lovers. This new experiment is welcomed by travellers. It is easy. It is pocket friendly and it is full of happy memories. I got to stay at Mannat Homestays on my trip to Kasol.
Homestays are run by the family living there and they are the host. Homestays these days are seen as more comfortable than hotels. You can even get to stay in houseboats in Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala. According to Indian Government, one homestay can only have 5 rooms. To find a homestay for your next trip, there are several online portals such as airbnb.com, homestay.in, OYO rooms etc. Even the government also offers such accommodation. Incredible India Bed & Breakfast is a scheme run in 11 states of homestay establishment is by Ministry of Tourism.”
I finished my coffee. She was still sipping. She looked at me and said,
“Wow, this is awesome! I am super excited to stay in a homestay now.”
“Yeah! And also in homestays, you get homely comfort, personal care, you get to make new friends and mingle with new people, you also get to learn new things. So, no more worry about the expenses of staying in a hotel anymore. There are homestays within the village, outside the village or if you are visiting beaches, you can even find nearby, it purely depends on the place you are visiting. Tourist attractions in Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh are famous for some of the most beautiful homestays.”
“That means homestays are really fun. So tell me about some of the famous home stays in India?”
“Well, since, homestays are new concept and they aren’t available in every location, so that can be a little challenge for travellers to find a homestay nearby their place of visit. The one in Jaipur, Vikram and Paaro Ranawant’s homestay will truly give a royal treatment. It is open, airy and spacious with marble flooring, private lounge and garden. Mr and Mrs Mehra’s homestay in Dehradun will mesmerize you with its beauty and ambience. Old Delhi’s Sirohi House is the former home of Maharaja of Sirohi and is famous among the travellers. The Spiti Homestays in Himachal Pradesh are spread across 6 high altitude villages and are 14 in number. People love this concept and it benefits both the host and the guest. The host gets to earn out of it and the guest in return gets unmatched experience of hospitality. It’s the best way to add very legitimate sociocultural richness to the experience of any traveller.”
She finished her coffee and also our conversation on homestays.