15 Ways Tourists can Save Money in India

As a traveller, we are inclined towards saving money at times. And why not? Money is of course directly related to how smooth our journey is. Saving money does not always mean that you have to compromise on your comfort. You just need to know where and what exactly you need to take care of while on a trip.

In this aspect, India is a very affordable country. It has a variety of less expensive options for travellers without giving up on your comfort level. Below is a complete guide to how you can save money while on your trip to India.

  1. Plan a Group tour

Planning a group tour is the best thing you can do to cut down expenses. As a group, you can book cabs, rent cars, book entry tickets, and stay collectively which can, later on, be contributed among yourselves. As a solo traveller, you might be at the risk of being tricked quite often, whereas it would be very difficult in case you’re travelling with a group. And that itself saves you a lot of money that can later be utilized.

2. Prefer travelling in the offseason 

Hotel Rates are generally high during the peak “tourist season”. So it could be a great money-saving idea to visit India during the off-season when lesser tourists are visiting India. Try not to visit during or around the festive season like Diwali, New Year, and Christmas.

3. Utilize the backpacker’s hostel facilities

This could be a very helpful money-saving hack for solo travellers which is now trending. Although it is not quite popular in all Indian cities, it can be availed in all major tourist spots. No matter if you’re travelling solo or as a group, a backpacker’s hostel is the perfect fit for all. It even has private rooms if you’re not comfortable with the dorms, which are way cheaper than the hotel rooms. Alike hotels, hostels can also be booked in advance.

4. Go for transportation alternatives

You will need a couple of days or so to explore a certain area and for that, you might need to take a cab. A cost-saving alternative is, you can rent a car or a two-wheeler to do that as per requirement. If for some reason, it’s not available in your area you might go for public transport which would be a new experience along with saving a few bucks.

5. Experience Indian Railways 

If you need to travel a short distance of around 500 to 800 km to reach your next destination, taking a train would be a great pocket-friendly option. Indian railways are super affordable and will surely give you a memorable experience. Even the two-tier air-conditioned sleeper coaches would cost you around 1000 – 1500 INR (20 USD) which is not even half of what a flight would cost you! 

6. Book your hotel a little far away from the tourist place

Hotel rooms that are a little far from the main tourist spot are cheaper as compared to the irrelevantly high prices of those near to it. This is a kind of monopoly but you need not get trapped into it. Yes, reaching the tourist spot would cost you the same but only if you book private cabs. If you rent a car or a two-wheeler, it can save you a good amount of money. 

7. Grab the Referral discounts

This could be a very useful tip for travel bloggers/influencers. You need not have millions of people following you, a decent audience would be sufficient. You can personally talk to the manager and tell them about your blog or channel and how you can refer them to hundreds of people out there. Anyone would be glad to provide you services at a discount. You can apply this one at hotels, hostels, restaurants, cafes, etc.

8. Carry your back up while sightseeing ( food and water ) 

    You’re out sightseeing and you start running out of water or suddenly start feeling low On energy. You might have already faced this but in India, it’s going to happen more 

  Often, your body might not be able to tolerate the high temperature. If you buy 

 Something for yourself around a tourist spot will cost you more due to the monopoly of vendors. So make sure you carry a backup of these essentials while sightseeing to save a few bucks.

9. Carry your portable cooking equipment

It would be great if your hotel has breakfast included, but if not you should have arrangements for that instead of spending extra on breakfast. You can carry your own portable travel cooking equipment like an electric kettle, Thermos, or heating mug for boiling stuff like noodles, eggs, etc. It would save you a lot of money as well as give you a fulfilling meal for the day instead of applying hit and trial on Indian breakfast options.

10. Go for “the Indian Thaali” at a restaurant 

“The Indian Thaali” (platter) is the best pocket-friendly lunch option and also gives you an experience of the famous dishes in that area. A Thali would be sufficient for one or sometimes even two(if it’s a large one) and cost only around 100-300 INR. 

11. Do not buy outside of a monument 

You will surely find a wide range of stores and stalls around a monument which might lure you into shopping but most of the time, the prices are 10x the actual price to be charged for it. Moreover, they are not always premium quality products. Generally, these kinds of products can be found in other places of the city too, you just need to be with the right guide. Or, a simple trick that works is “the prices reduce as you move away from the main tourist spot”. 

12. Bargain!

You obviously won’t leave without grabbing some unique Indian handicrafts and clothes.

But, make sure you don’t get carried away. You’ll meet a lot of pushy salesmen along the way who can go on and on about the uniqueness of their product. The reality is that they charge foreigners more because they know you have the ability to pay more and you don’t know the actual price. So bargaining is a must-have skill before visiting India, at least the basics. You can check the blog on How to Build your bargaining power before visiting India.

13. Do not depend on the driver or your host for shopping

A guide is the one who can make your journey and exploration more fun and knowledge-packed, even the cab drivers sometimes. You can rely on them for certain things. But in the case of shopping and dining make your decision wisely, you should not blindly rely on them as they might already have a word with the local shop owners. They are paid a certain commission based on clients they bring so it’s quite obvious they’re going to show you the expensive options.

14. Explore the non-monetized beauty

India is filled with non-monetized beauty such as temples, beaches, art galleries, and heritage buildings. You need not always go for the monuments and known sites that charge high prices for foreigners.

15. Learn to ignore and beware 

Along your journey, you will get a lot of street hawkers calling you out to purchase some stuff and even beggars who might be a part of a scam. India is a beautiful country, but certain people might intend to trick you. You should learn to ignore these kinds of things and beware while travelling. You can also read the blog on “8 famous scams in India to beware of”

All the above-mentioned tips are listed just to educate you and not to scare you. India is a beautiful country with enormous history and culture. People in India are really welcoming with some great smiles on their faces and values rooted deep, as we believe in manifesting our tourism slogan “Atithi Devo Bhava” which translates as “the guest is God”. 

We help traveller’s to find their perfect boundless vacation with the pride and satisfaction of contributing towards a noble cause of empowering women in India.

You will experience an insightful understanding of the city’s rich history, culture, and lifestyle led by our friendly English-speaking female tour guide (who also is the brand ambassador of our organisation). 

To know more about us or our tours & experiences in Mumbai, kindly send us an enquiry.

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