Just because you think there are buzzing flies on the garbage pile every 200 meters away here in India, truth is not going to change my friend. You need to get over the misconception that India is all about Slumdog Millionaire. You might as well think you don’t need to budget your trip to India, let me get this very clear overconfidence only gets you in trouble.
I won’t do too much of talking and come straight to the point: how to budget your trip to India.
1. Hostels are great, but you might not find them everywhere
This, especially if you are a solo female traveler visiting India, is a crucial point to keep in mind. Undoubtedly this is the best way to interact and make new friends on your travels. One big drawback about backpackers’ hostels in India is that you may not find them everywhere. But the good news is, most popular tourist destinations of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Rajasthan have some of the best travelers’ hostels in India.
So, yeah. Choose to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel. Zostel Hostel, Moustache Hostels and Stop Hostels are among the most popular hostel chains in India. Accommodation in most of Indian backpacker hostels would cost between INR 200 to INR 500. Some could even be cheaper than INR 200.
But if you are good to spend INR 1500-2500 for privacy and comfort, you can find a hotel; like I did, on my trip to Jaipur. Hotel Shalimar charged merely INR 2500 for three-person occupancy (including breakfast) (extra charges for internet after half an hour).
2. Eat budget food, but hygienic
Street food is always the best option for a budget traveler but if you are in India, your bowel would hate you for the decision. There is no dearth of vendors serving food with the finger they just dug their nose with, but there also is no dearth of budget restaurants or dhabas. It is not that difficult to find hygienic food in India; simply head to McDonalds, Dominos, 34 Choranghee Lane, Sukhdev Da Dhaba, Sandwizza; you have several options and I only named a few.
3. Shop in flea markets and don’t hesitate to bargain
This is saddening because in flea markets foreigners are offered thrice the price of a product’s original worth. Just don’t hesitate to bargain. Just drop the piece and walk away; the seller might approach you with heavier price drop as you move forth and if he doesn’t there are other fishes in the sea. And you should be smart enough to know when to bargain, where to bargain and how much to bargain.
Shopping in flea markets in India is fun and a great way to save funds, ’til you have your shit together and have kept an eye on your belongings. Believe me your bargaining wasn’t worth it if you let someone pickpocket you.
4. Safety is the priority
Mostly to save a buck we get our lives in danger. Make sure you don’t get in trouble and do your research. Always make sure the hotel or hostel you are planning to stay in is located in safe area.