Planning to travel to India on a tight budget? The good news is you can actually travel on a very small budget like $50 per day! Unbelievable! But the fact is – India is considered one of the least expensive countries to travel in – especially if you are a lone traveller, a hunk or are a group of young travellers!
Here are some facts which will make for a good budget travel:
- If you are travelling in the low budget then you can go for Dormitory beds costing INR 100 – 200 for a decent night stay. Double rooms in the budget can cost INR 500 – 1000 for a day. Local eating shops which are not so clean can cost anything between INR 150 – 200/-. Travel by local bus and Sleeper Class ticket can cost INR 500 – 1000/-. But this is going to cost you dearer in terms of uncosy sleep, not – so clean rooms, no toiletries, ok sorts of food and out – of – bound experiences. This type of travel stays is not really recommended for LONE women travellers.
- If you can expand your budget a little more; go for mid – range which INR 2000 on the daily basis with hotel room costing INR 1000 – 2000/- and quality food by shelling out 1000 – 1500/- on daily meals in – house hotel restaurants. This budget gives you cleaner rooms with mid – range room service and cosy sleepy nights after the long day touring.
- For travellers on a very low budget like $15 per day; it’s a very good idea to order “INDIAN THALIS” which are wholesome and nutritious too. You can also make for the day by eating light Indian snacks like samosas, pakoras, lassis, momos, idli, dosa, chicken tandoori, mutter paneer/Green peas with Indian cheese, dal/lentils and rice, egg sandwich, bananas, oranges. All of these will not cost you more than INR 150 for a single time meal in the budget hotel. Of course, all the budget hotels are not that bad; the only thing as a traveller you need is – a good appetite and a really good stomach to digest the spices of India!
- If you consider India to a country where most of the people travel by flights; then you will be proved wrong. While A and B Class cities are well connected by flights; yet it can actually pinch a budget travellers pocket. On the other hand; to travel to real tourist destinations you have to either reach by cab, taxi, a private carrier or by bus/coach. Bookings for all these can be done online. For taxis, one can see the number online and call them to check the rates. Generally, it is INR 15 – 20/- per kilometre for private cabs/taxis. If you are going to hire these; it’s good to take only registered ones and always remember the Emergency Police Number 100 which is common in entire India.
- Most of the destinations especially historical monuments cost anything between INR 500 – 1500/- for a day tour. You can either take a guided tour or see the monument on your own. Another best way to see the entire city is to take tour buses by state governments. Like in Delhi, it is HOHO BUS for Delhi Darshan or Sightseeing. In Mumbai, it is MTDC Open Air Bus Tours. This kind of bus not only takes tourists around historical monuments but also latest ones, takes you for souvenir shopping and gives half an hour for lunch at specific locations and an evening tea break for 15 minutes. This can actually be the best option for a budget traveller in India.
- The Internet is a much-required necessity while travelling in any country around the globe and India is no exception. Take a good roaming package if you are travelling to different locations within India. Always keep your GPRS and LOCATION in the ON MODE as it can be really helpful in emergency cases. Now in India, you can buy local SIM from Indian operators as TRAI has made it easy for foreigners to buy an SIM. The only thing you need to do is give a xerox of your ID card/Passport and get on the go! Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Matrix and Idea are some of the most reliable mobile service operators in India. It is good to take an SIM from any of these for a hassle free mobile roaming. Getting rupees 500 recharge is good enough to go for 2 weeks stay including Wi – Fi connectivity. It’s better than going to a creepy cybercafe whose each visit can cost you anything between INR 20 / – to INR 50/-.
- Taking out money at night time even from ATM’s in smaller or B – TIER cities can be frustrating. So, try to keep a small backup with you. In smaller cities even INR 3000 / – is enough for emergency cases. Currency conversion is good in INDIAN BANKS like SBI (State Bank of India), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Bank of India. These offer currency change at good rates. To transfer money WESTERN UNION is the most reliable one with its branches even in smaller C-Class cities!
- Lastly, always try to get a good guide for your trip. You can always get a good tour operator; even if a local one. They can be really of great help. Plus never give alms, always drink bottled mineral water (India has Bisleri, Kinley, Coca-Cola, PureLife, Aquafina) and eat from little-crowded hotels or where food is still being prepared. It is definitely more hygienic than the ones where knobs are not yet hot! You can always bargain when buying from local stores; in fact, it is always a good idea to bargain. Use a bank card or travellers card to make payments in most of the places; but also keep small changes like INR 10/-, 20/-, 50/- and 100/-. These are very handy in smaller cities and locations like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur where most of the transactions and shopping are done in smaller denominations. And don’t take food from strangers, keep a travel guide book in hand, learn some HINDI language words (like haan – yes, Kya – what, Kitna – how much, Kitne – how many and kitna door – how many kilometres away) always buy travel insurance and stay safe. Be feel, travel safe and take back sweet budget memories back home!