How to travel across India on a Backpacker’s budget

India is quite famously known for its incredible culture, varied audacious landscapes and exotic cuisine offers many immense opportunities for adventure enthusiastic people. The natural landscapes and scenic beauty of India are cogent enough to mesmerize any adventure lover, taking one to an ethereal level altogether!

India is often counted in the list of under $15 travel destinations (the per day cost can be as low as that- $15!). But India can be an expensive travel destination if you decide to shop spree in one of Mumbai’s designer showrooms or stay in a 5-star hotel in New Delhi – all that would cost no less than it would in Dubai (around $50/day)!
However, once you move away from these enclaves, the cost of living is drastically low! Everything in India is priced locally and is no doubt one of the most cheapest countries to visit in the world and arguably the best deal to make if you’re a budget traveler.

Do keep these below mentioned points in mind once you visit India(especially if you’re a budget traveler).

Keep your flight costs in check


Book your flight tickets in advance (atleast 30 days before) through an aggregator website instead of an airlines website or through an agent. This would definitely save some bucks. Also, avoid taking early morning flights as these tend to be priced a little higher. Another thing you should do is to check out coupon websites like Cuponation which give a plethora of coupon codes that can be applied on different online travel agent websites like makemytrip or cleartrip and you might be able to get a discount ranging from 300-500 bucks.

Stay in a budget hotel

If your sole intention while travelling to India is adventure and exploring different parts of India, then all you need is a place to rest at night. Hence, choosing a budget hotel over a luxury hotel would be a good decision and would save a good amount of money.
Also, reverse the rule number 1 i.e. instead of booking online, look for accommodation once you land in India.


homestay india local food

Food is not expensive in India, especially vegetarian food. But the price rises in case of non-vegetarian food. Avoid the costly restaurants as you’ll find all the Indian cuisines in even the road-side dhabas without any compromise with the taste.

Travel in off-peak season

Avoid travelling in peak season of May-June as all costs are higher during these months. For instance, the flight tickets may cost you 8-10% more in the peak season. Also, the cost of accommodation and food goes up. However, if you visit India in off-peak season, you would end up spending quite less besides getting to visit places with relatively lesser crowds.

Use public transport

Delhi Metro
Delhi Metro | Source

Use buses and metros as much as possible instead of taxis which can be a quite expensive option. Thus, travelling by buses and metros could significantly bring down your expenditure.

Shop judiciously

vintage store
Avoid buying vintage stuff

Avoid buying souvenirs and other things from tourist spots as they charge exorbitantly. Buy from local market instead where you get a higher value for money. You also get a lot more variety than you would get at a tourist hotspot.


Last but not the least- bargain in everything you buy. It may sound crazy at first but bargaining would save you a lot of money. Shopkeepers in India quote quite high prices first and especially so in case you’re a foreigner. This is a regular feature all over India. However, you can bring that price down in a significant manner if you have good bargaining skills.

Also, the peace and satisfaction one gets after getting a product at a bargained price is simply beyond description! Even Bill Gates confessed that he doesn’t shy away from bargaining. Polish your bargaining skills well before arriving in India.

And final point-

Take the services of a Padhaaro Greeter


We at Padhaaro connect greeters who are not those usual professional guides who charge exorbitantly high rates. It’s the inverse actually- our greeters help you in cutting down unnecessary costs. Our greeters would help you out in carrying out the above tips PRACTICALLY. It’s because, cutting down costs on your part won’t be that easy as you won’t have an idea of the prevailing local rates and secondly, most of the shopkeepers and service providers in India tend to charge higher from foreigners. This is where our services come in- offering affordable greeters who know the prevailing local rates of various goods and services.

For instance, a mahout was asking for a whopping 900 rupees form a tourist for an elephant ride in Amer Fort in Jaipur. However, when our greeter intervened, who was a local, the mahout agreed for the local rate which at that time was Rs. 30! Had he not, the tourist would have ended up paying just the square of the actual amount! Therefore, hire a Padhaaro greeter.

Happy Travelling 🙂 🙂

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