Low cost travel to India: 8 things to know

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Judit Llordés

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Eight practical tips for an adventurous and unique trip to India, eight tips to save with some tricks.

Are you dreaming of a trip to India but your budget is low? India is a country that allows you to travel, and indeed live, with a very advantageous cost of living. It is only necessary that you have a great spirit of adaptation and adventure and do not waste any more time to organize your low cost trip. 

India is not a destination for everyone. There are those who are afraid, those who feel it is too far away, those who believe they cannot bear hygienic conditions and poverty, and those who simply are not interested.

Travel to India, especially the first time, it can be frustrating and exhausting. At the same time, full of surprises, if you manage to welcome what you encounter on your way with a smile.

THEIndia offers a wide range of options, catering from the backpacker to the luxury traveler. The traveler with a medium-high budget, can enjoy stays in epochal residences, ancient palaces of the maharajas converted into accommodation facilities, restaurants with both Indian and international cuisine, fast travel by plane, as well as crossing from Delhi to Mumbai with the Maharaja's Express, the luxury train used in the ancient nineteenth century.

However, those who opt for a low-cost trip must have great adaptability, strong nerves and a lot of common sense. These eight tips will help you prepare for your low-cost trip and how optimize expenses.

1. Flight

Even if you are thinking of a long-term trip, with no plans defined for the return date, it is always cheaper to buy the return flight ticket. So book close to the expiry date of the visa and, if India has really fascinated you that you don't want to leave it anymore, you can comfortably go to nearby Thailand, Nepal or Sri Lanka, for the issue of the new visa, with much longer timing short of the Italian ones.

2. Accommodations

You can find accommodations starting from 2 euros per night, however, be aware of the poor hygiene and safety conditions. If you are embarking on a long journey, it is good to spend a few extra bucks, but make sure you have a structure that allows you to rest properly and put you at ease, as India will attack you throughout the day.

3. Volunteering

To save on food and accommodation in a safe way and with a social commitment, you can think of participating in a volunteer project at NGOs or eco-sustainable farms, which provide the coverage of the stay in exchange for help for their activities.

4. How to get around

Regarding travel, i government buses are the cheapest option, together with trains, which require reservations with well in advance. The trains are equipped with general class (the cheapest of all), second and first class, with a possible choice of air conditioning. In this case, the price goes up. The bus will allow you to travel cheaply but with very long travel times. If you are traveling in a group, you can consider renting a car.

5. How to pay

When taking a tuc-tuc, always ask to insert the taximeter upon departure. Usually in the evening or during monsoons, the drivers always ask for a few dozen extra rupees. In the city, consider using the Ola or Uber taxis. You can download the app and travel comfortably by paying the real price of the journey.

6. Spicy flavors

Get used to spicy flavors from before departure: in India you can fill yourself with 2 euros a day eating street food and in the dhaba, kiosks serving local dishes. Make sure you have a strong stomach, however, you will have the benefit of tasting the best Indian food. Imported products are very expensive due to taxes.

7. What to drink to save

The same goes for alcohol consumption: if you are on a low budget, you will have to give up that extra glass. Local beer and alcohol are the most affordable drinks. In Goa, however, you can refuel as alcoholic drinks arrive without tax, so that beer costs less than water, 50 rupees (about 70 cents) a bottle. The states of Kerala, Guajarat and Nagaland, are dry states, which means they have introduced laws to prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

8. Negotiate

The key word in India is to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Always! When you want to buy something, keep in mind that the price offered by the trader is at least three times higher than what you should pay. Don't be scrupulous and always try to get a price that is more or less at the level of that of a local, especially in order to avoid inflated prices for the population. Although a few cents make no difference to us, for thousands of people it corresponds to a day's work.

After a trip to India you will never be the same again. India will put you in front of constant challenges, but thanks to its severity, you will acquire a great confidence in yourself and the ability to face every obstacle. To then look back with a smile.

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