How not to behave in a foster home, according to the owners themselves

Unlike hotels, homestays are often found in remote or rural areas, where the natural environment remains untouched. The communities in these areas have a certain way of life and as a guest this is something you need to be aware of. “Many guests don’t dress appropriately. I live in a rural part of Himachal Pradesh and you have to respect that,” says Hooda. “I give disclaimers saying it’s dark at night, there’s a village nearby, there are all kinds of bugs and the house is in a very natural setting,” explains Cardoz. But the customers don’t listen and then later they complain. “You have to know that when you go to a host family, you have to respect the local setting.”

Cardoz plans to give each guest biodegradable trash bags every time they go to the beach so they don’t litter the pristine shores. “They can bring back their waste and I’ll take care of it, that’s fine,” he says.

Don’t trash the house

“We can’t handle people coming in with this legitimate feeling that just because they pay, they can trash your house and someone else will clean up after them,” Hooda says. “People come here, throw their wet towels on the floor and step on them after a bath. It’s not a hotel, it’s a house. I don’t have a laundromat. Josse has another point: “I live in an area that has over 85% humidity. So if you smoke inside — and I’m pretty liberal about smoking — the smell is going to stick to my curtains, rugs, and blankets,” he says. “For a non-smoker, it’s hell and it’s not fair. I don’t have time to buy new laundry and I can’t even dry clean it. But customers don’t think that’s a big deal. Essentially, leave the house in the same condition that you entered it.

Mayascrest, Himachal Pradesh

Don’t be a bad drunk

While many homestay owners are liberal about guests drinking alcohol on-site, what no one agrees with is someone being sloppy or behaving hurt when he drank too much. “I especially hate it when men go potty pissing when they’re drunk,” Hooda says. Although she allows alcohol, to avoid unpleasant situations, Hooda and her daughter are selective with reservations and make sure to speak to every potential guest before confirming their stay. Others prefer to avoid the problem at all costs. “We haven’t asked and we never will ask for a liquor license,” Kudle said. “The moment I say I don’t serve alcohol, that automatically serves as a huge filter. If you’re staying with us and you know how to hold your booze and aren’t disturbing anyone else, we suggest you take your own booze and enjoy yourself.”

About Michael B. Billingsley

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