Are homestays in Kerala safe for tourists to stay?

Homestays offer cheaper alternatives for your stay in exotic tourist destinations. However, it comes with its own risks and concerns. Read this article to learn more about some important safety concerns of staying in homestays.

Every time we tried to book a homestay for our vacations, we changed our mind in the last minute. There are lot of concerns on homestay accommodation. My wife is primarily worried about the hygiene and safety but I'm more concerned about accessibility and location of them. In a lot of places, the homestays are located very far from the attractions and towns, which we will not realize at the time of booking. I have heard some horror stories from friends about not being able to reach the homestays in Munnar due to the inaccessibility of the location.

In one case, there was not even a proper road for cars and the only option was to sit behind the bike of the house owner and ride through the narrow country roads. I wonder how they would get a license to run such a homestay without a proper road leading to the home.

See: Homestays in Kerala


Safety tips for homestay accommodation

If you choose to book a homestay, check a few things before you book to ensure a safe stay.

1. Ask the owner if it is a government approved homestay. Ask for their license number. In Kerala, there are strict rules to get a license. The owner has to obtain police clearance from multiple channels before a license to run the homestay is obtained. These clearance and licensing rules are introduced to ensure the safety and security for the tourists. However, I was told there are lot of homestays, especially in Munnar, operated without license. Such homestays do not display any signboard and will not advertise in the locality. Instead, they tie up with online tourism portals or agencies to get clients who will never realize that the said homestay is operated without a license. Mr. Johny, owner of LizMerry Homestay in Munnar talked in detail about the difficulties he had to go through to obtain a license.

Find the list of government approved homestays in Kerala.

2. Check the accessibility and roads. Ask the owner if the car can reach all the way up to the home, without the help of a local driver.

3. Power backup – power cuts are common in Kerala and make sure they have inverter/power backup. It wouldn't be fun to stay in Munnar without electricity.

4. Location: Ask how far is it from your destination and the places of attractions. Even if they have proper roads, you may not want to stay several kilometers away from your destination and places of attraction.

Recommended: Important tourist attractions and places to see in Munnar

5. Neighborhood: It may be fun to stay in a resort which is close to the wild. But when you are in a homestay, you may not want to be too deep into the wild due to safety concerns. Check with the owner if there are other houses nearby.

6. Don't be shy to ask about toilets and other facilities. Check if they have attached bathrooms in your room. In some places, toilets are separated from the bedrooms and it may not be safe to access such bathrooms especially in the nights.

7. If you are planning to stay multiple days, ask if there is a washing machine within the house. You may not want to spend all your time washing your cloths or looking for a washing place.

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Guest Author: Vikram Sinha26 Mar 2015

Kerala is a safe place for tourists. I wonder how come you came up with an article like this, which gives a wrong information to the tourists to your state. Are there any crimes reported associated with the homestays in Kerala? Government gives license to run a homestay only after doing many rounds on background checking.

Author: Tony John26 Mar 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3


No where in this article I've said the homestays in Kerala are unsafe. I have given some safety tips for tourists to make their stay in the homestays more safe and comfortable. And also, I've indicated how they could get cheated by unauthorized homestays. Many people are coming to Kerala and they pre-book their accommodation through internet. It is difficult to check legal licenses etc when someone book a homestay online.

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