Homestays in Kerala, Southern India

-This post is written by Dawn from 5 Lost Together

Kerala is a state in southern India and a great choice for first time visitors to India.  Unlike the north of India, Kerala offers a more laid back style with the beautiful Malabar coastline, rugged mountains and tea fields inland and sleepy backwater waterways.  Not to mention, delicious foods, unique festivals, exotic wildlife and friendly people.  Many tourists only spend a few days in the state quickly rushing through the major tourist attractions: Fort Kochi, spending a night on a rice barge on the Backwaters and visiting the tea fields of Munnar.  Consider spending a longer time in Kerala to truly acclimatise to this wonderful region.  Getting around the state will take much longer than you anticipate but there is a good train and bus network which is part of the experience of traveling in India.  You can also choose to hire a driver and vehicle at a very reasonable cost.

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
Kerala Backwaters

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
Tea fields Munnar

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
Chinese fishing nets Fort Kochi

Staying in Homestays

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India

What made our month in India so incredibly memorable were the lovely homestays we stayed in.  Homestays operate like Bed & Breakfasts and hosts generally have 1-4 rooms in their home that they rent out to visitors. It is an excellent way to ensure that your tourism dollars go directly towards people in the community.  Rest assured that you will have your privacy with a locked door, often in a separate building and your own bathroom.

Connect with Local People

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
One of our favorite homestay hosts with our kids

The biggest advantage of staying in homestays is the ability to connect with local people and learn more about local cultures and ways of life.  It allows you to see the country not just as a tourist, but as a visitor.  You get great recommendations and local knowledge for sightseeing and transport.  Often homestays are set in real neighborhoods, not tourist strips and so you really get to absorb the community you are visiting.

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
Homestay located on a coffee farm

Local Foods

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
A typical dinner

Generally when staying in a homestay, some of your meals are included.  This ensures you are truly trying the local foods of the area and your hosts will go out of their way to showcase the best foods of the region.  It did mean that we ate curry straight the whole time we were in India, but isn’t that the way it should be!?!  Meal times can also be a great opportunity to interact with other visitors as often food is served family style at one table.  One of the homestays we stayed it, we took a cooking class with the family in their own kitchen, which was the most authentic cooking class I have ever done while traveling.

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
Chai delivered right to your room

The Bottom Line

Staying in a homestay allowed us to have conversations that we would have never had otherwise.  It allowed for cross cultural exchange both ways as often our hosts were just as curious about our lives as we were of theirs.  You can stay in a modern, sterile hotel, but we encourage visitors to Kerala to consider staying in homestays.  You truly will be making a difference in the lives of families as you contribute to their business.  Most of all, your heart will be fuller and your mind richer from this wonderful cultural experience.

Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
Feeling at home at a homestay

Dawn Nicholson loves traveling and blogging about her adventures traveling and living overseas with her three kids at 5 Lost Together.  She has visited over 50 countries and believes strongly in traveling now with kids by whatever and any means possible – backpacking, sailing or living as expats overseas. You can follow her adventures and musing at: Facebook and Instagram.

Still need more reasons to visit Kerala? Check out these great photos of Kerala. If you are ready to start planning your trip check out these Alleppey Houseboats and Kerala Tour Packages.

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Homestays in Kerala State, Southern India
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  1. I spent 3 weeks in Kerala at the start of my trip to India. It was definitely the best decision we made and we stayed in so many amazing homestays! One of them in Thekkady even bought me a cake at breakfast when they realised it was my birthday! You can’t beat Indian hospitality

  2. Homestays look like such an awesome experience. The interactions with people are my favorite reason to travel.

  3. I was literally just watching a video about Kerala 3 minutes ago! Funny that I found this post. I am interestede in visiting “God’s Country” as they call it. I will bookmark this.

  4. I have never been in a home-stay and I love the privacy of hotels, but I can see the appeal of having the home stay and getting to know the people and culture in a more in-depth way.

  5. I definitely agree that homestays can be a much better experiences for getting to know a country and the people. Especially in places on the road less traveled!

  6. We have yet to visit India, but would love to someday in the near future. Having heard great things about Kerala, it’s definitely on the travel wish list. Homestays sounds like a great way to immerse yourself into the local culture. The cooking class experience is convincing alone!

  7. I agree with you that homestays in Kerala provide a different sight. It is a great way to feel at home in the new country.

  8. Very nice blogs Kerala is beautiful and natural places in India I would go there for my net journey

  9. This Homestays give travellers feel of home away from their home. Since Kerala is the beauty enriched place, homestays are the best way for travellers to get closer with nature.Thanks for sharing this post.

  10. Great place, I would like to stay here for some days. I think this is very affordable for travelers.

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