Monday, 29 May 2017

Sticking to Budget while travelling in India

We all love vacations. But once we come back and do a total of all the expenses that we did on a vacation, it always turns out that we have spend much more than we expected. Now with so many years of travelling I have somehow learned how to keep our expenses well within the budget.

Before I give tips and tricks, let me tell you I am essentially an Indian traveler. I travel frequently along with my husband and we are essentially value for money type of travelers but not the ones on shoe-string budget. We do spend wherever it is required so that the vacation is smooth and comfortable but do not over indulge.

I know there will be hundreds of sites and blogs that talk about tips on vacation savings. My blog will be more focused on saving tips in India. So here we go.

1. Flight tickets in India costs pretty high. It is advisable that you set a fare alert or do part of the journey by plane and train. Trains in India are extensive, but the process of booking tickets is quite daunting. During the peak seasons one must book train tickets in advance of 120 days else tickets gets sold off.Once you get reserved tickets, your rides are pretty smooth.

2. Travel light. It not only helps in roaming conveniently,but also saves you from paying extra at airports for extra luggage. When we both travel together we make sure that our luggage count is no more than one big suitcase and two hand luggage.

3. There are a wide range of hotels in most tourist places in India, so unless you are not going during the peak season it is absolutely fine not to pre-book. If you can physically negotiate with the hotel manager before check-in ( off seasons) the chances are more that you will get better discounts than what is listed on hotel booking sites. Believe me, haggling pays.

The same applies for booking cabs as well.

But yes, if you are going in some peak season always pre-book hotel and then go.

4. Eat local. This can really save you a big amount. Wherever you travel in India always try to eat local. Not only you will get to eat the local fresh produce but also your food costs will be very nominal. Push away fine dining or 3 star restaurants. There are numerous simple yet clean eateries that you can find. Also if you make a  habit of refilling a few bottles of water before you start from your hotel, you can make some good savings at the end of your trip.

5. Shared and local transport is damn cheap. If possible try to form a small group of fellow travellers willing to travel from point A to point B. Bus and rail travel is cheap but not always comfortable so I really do not recommend either of them too much, else the entire fun in a vacation gets spoilt.

6. It is okay not to see each and every places of interest. Most tourist places have these things in common - several view points, religious places, botanical gardens and parks, zoos. While it is important that one does not miss the main attractions of the place, but some extras can always be trimmed. It will save you time, energy, entry costs, parking costs and some miscellaneous costs.

7. Not do too much of shopping. While I also buy souvenir whenever I visit a new place, but I always limit it to one and something that is truly locally made  so that it helps the local economy. Avoid buying unnecessary accessories or clothes on the go, they generally becomes another dump once they reach your home.

These are some tips from me. I will keep on appending as and when something comes up. You can also let me know if you have any more ideas that we can share. Who doesn't love to save a few bucks so that it gets added to the next trip's fund..

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