Etiquette When Staying in an Indian Home

Never been a guest before in an Indian family home? Well here are some ‘Homestay etiquette’ tips, to make your stay pleasant and memorable…

Most Homestay owners are not professionals trained in the hospitality industry. As guests, respect their warm welcome in the way they do it even if you are unaccustomed to it. Homestays can be an enriching experience. Being an extension of someone’s house, often Homestay owners dine with their guests, accompany you for treks and show you a facet of their culture up close and personal. However you need not feel compelled to spend your entire holiday with the family. Feel free to explore the destination on your own. Of course tips from them will only come handy.

Facilities, restrictions and any special instructions
A Homestay is in many ways like a regular household – there are some do’s and dont’s that hosts expect their guests to follow. It is best to find out about rules and facilities available is in advance when booking through

If you’re stepping out and are going to be returning late, inform your hosts. Also ask them if there is a curfew time.

Almost all Homestays serve home-cooked food. Seeing guests from other parts of the country, or from abroad, the hosts may serve ‘continental’ breakfast to meet the taste of their guests. But it’s best to request them for local cuisine. There isn’t a better way of knowing the food of the land. And you can rest assured that it’s fresh, clean and hygienic. What they eat is what they serve.

Please ask before clicking any photos. Though most people do not have any issue with you clicking snaps, it’s polite to ask since you’re staying at their home.

Footwear and laundry
Do ask the hosts if they are okay with you wearing your shoes inside the house/ bedroom, just as you would when you visit a friend. Some Homestay owners have a laundry service, other don’t. Do not assume that it’s done in all places. When in doubt, ask, politely.

Always ask your hosts if they are okay with you tipping any domestic help that was made available to you.

Voicing your grievance
While a Homestay can be a wonderful experience, in case you wish to bring something to the notice of the hosts, something that you’re not happy with, don’t hold back. But do so as though you were telling someone you know rather than instructing hotel staff. Often it could be an oversight. Most Homestay owners will try and act upon it immediately.

For a richer experience, ask them about things like where you can shop, hidden places off the tourist map. They usually know best and will often lead you to hidden gems!

So the next time you’re planning your holiday, explore the option of staying at a Homestay.

It’ll be worth it!

Related Posts

1. Why homestays are the perfect choice for the whole family? 

2. Homestays offer responsible tourism in India

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