Pocket Friendly Holiday Destinations in India
Most people think that resorts are cheap and they can afford the best. Sadly, that time has changed. Indian holidays are not coming to be at par with international holidays if not more. So for the average traveller who wishes to explore in a shoe-string budget has to think about a lot of things. But thankfully India is also one of the places where you can get cheap and throwaway price accommodations. The trick is that you have to work out a few things in advance. Like you can always fetch lower rates if you are traveling during the off season. Apart from this, there are a lot of other factors to consider like booking your air tickets months before the actual travel or even going the train route. If you want to go backpacking, then there are plenty of options here too. So here are some of the cheapest locations in India to enjoy a holiday, without breaking your bank!
The very name of Kovalam or the backwaters of India makes you think that the budget has to be extreme. But that is really not the case. In fact, the secret here is to go either off season or fetch some good deals from the home stays here. Kovalam is the heart of the Indian backwaters and it has beautiful canals, lakes and even remote islands here to enjoy a spectacular holiday. Yes some of these are only accessible by boat. So you have to use those old boat and canoes for reaching the areas. But these are so beautiful and so pristine that you would only wish to come back every year.
At some of these remote and yet exotic villages, you get the topic to stay at simple but luxurious home stays that offer you hot food, amazing service and of course a safe stay. The idea is that you make the travel more cheaper or economical for you. Hire a bike to ride around the villages. Take the local boats instead of hiring a luxurious boat stay here. Also, there is plenty of natural beauty to enjoy here. There are small canoe rides available that take you right to the local toddy shops and get some local alcohol. The journey in the evening is more beautiful as it offers you the perfect moonlit opening. You can get rooms here for as less as Rs.1200. This includes at least two meals in the house along with a perfectly clean and hygienic environment. These are places where you can also travel with your kids because it is rather safe and has plenty of activities to offer you.
Where To Stay:Sugerma Homestay
Vellar, Kovalam P.O
0484 3084235 (10am to 5pm) Mob:
07736 434405 | 09037 100505Email:
firstname.lastname@example.orgGraceful Home Stay
Pothujanam Road, Kumarapuram
Philip's Hill, PHRA 20-21
Trivandrum - 695011Ph:
0484 3084235 (10am to 5pm) Mob:
07736 434405 | 09037 100505Email:
The city of Jaipur is really full of surprises. On one end there are the plush and swanky reports here along with palatial stays that makes you want to come back for more and on the other hand there are these economical and budget friendly home stays, guests houses and small hotels that offer comfortable and clean stay, without burning a hole in your pocket. Now the first thing here is that reaching Jaipur on a budget is really easy. You can either take a train to the capital city of Delhi and then hire a car from there or take the bus to Jaipur. You can also opt for a direct train to Jaipur, which has accommodation for all kinds of budgets, including 3 tier ac. So you are sorted even during the warm summer months.
On reaching Jaipur, there is no dearth of 3 star hotels here along with quaint home stays and even simple guest houses. Thanks to this strict competition for hotels and resorts, prices here are really low. Once you settle on the hotel, you are sorted with your budget for staying. Of course, make sure that you are able to get a complimentary breakfast though. Next comes the food worries, but in Jaipur, you really don’t have to bother with that. There are plenty of small eateries and fast food joints here that offers spectacular food at throwaway prices. Hygiene is also maintained to its best. On a budget of about Rs400, you are able to get 3-4 delicious meals at small joints, along with desserts!
Sightseeing in Jaipur too is amazing. There are plenty of day-tours available that give you amazing rates for covering almost the entire city. You can check out all of the popular tourist spots like Amer fort, Jantar Mantar, etc. for barely Rs 500. If you want, you can also hire a car, especially when traveling in a group and negotiate with the driver for showing you around and covering popular hotspots of the area. Also, there is a lot of street shopping to do here, which is again very cheap as long as you bargain right. So don’t miss out on an economical trip to this amazing city. You can also hire cars or take buses to other friendly designations in the state of Rajasthan.
Where To Stay:
Atithi Guest House
1, Park House Scheme
Opposite All India Radio
Phone: 0141 237 8679
Hotel Sarang Palace
A- 40, Subhash Nagar Rd
Near Peetal Factory
Phone: 0141 228 1199
Hampi in Karnataka
The small town of Hampi is a delight for the tourist who loves to explore ruins and ancient temples. The town is really a reminder of the rich cultural heritage that we have. There are small little restaurants here surrounded by old style buildings, farms and swings in the trees. The town is also a UNESCO world heritage site so there is really a lot to see around. The best way to reach the village on a budget would be taking the buses operated by the state government. You can also take a bus form the Hubli airport which is the nearest airport. However, it makes more sense to take the train in case you are not getting the best of the air rates here.
On reaching Hampi, you can stay at either one of the government operated guest houses that offer throwaway rates, or you can head to one of the local guest houses and resorts that offer amazing rates too. The idea is to find a stay that fits your budget. Usually the prices here don’t go beyond Rs. 600-800. There are quaint little huts available here that take you back in time and these are perfect for staying, especially if you are traveling in a group. Even if you are alone then the huts offer you some peace as you lounge around in the verandahs and sit in the swings enjoying the amazing paddy fields. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian delights are available here. You can pick for a meal as low as Rs. 50.
The sightseeing destination here include the famous ruins of Hampi, especially the statue of Ganesha that is really famous here. It has the goddess with Lord Ganesha sitting on her lap, but it is visible only from a very close distance. Tourism and sightseeing here is really economical so you can be assured of that perfect holiday for a budget.
Where To Stay:Mowgli Guest house
+91 853 3287033F:
- 09448003606 || 09448217588Shanthi Guest House
Cross the River from Hampi
Virupapur Gaddi, Sanapur - 583234
Dist. Koppal, Karnataka, India.Phone no:
0091-8394-325352 Mobile no:
If you are looking for a serious place to party all night without a care in the world and of course not spending too much then Goa is the place to be. There are so many amazing beach houses here along with shacks and apartments at throwaway prices that it would really not be worth spending your money on a luxury hotel, especially when you plan to be out all day. The state of Goa has an airport in its main city Panjim. But one of the best ways to reach here would be via bus from Mumbai or even taking the train. The tickets to Goa are not really cheap and you can still find some lower rates during the off seasons or the rainy seasons. So make sure that you make sensible picks here. Goa is a great destination for those who love to backpack as it is really a carefree zone.
For those traveling with families, it is best to book apartments or the small home stays a little away from the beach. This way, you have access to the beach and yet are away from all that hustle and bustle. But if you are alone and just want to party with a group of friends, then there are plenty of shacks available right on the beach or just a bit away. You can hire a place that is a little away from the main beaches as it will fetch you lower rates. You can also consider cramming into an apartment and make your own arrangements.
Food wise, there is plenty on offer here so do not worry about not getting the best. Seafood here is really cheap so you can bag some awesome eating items for throwaway prices. There are hundreds of restaurants stuttered around the beach that give you amazing local delicacies ranging from breakfast to dinner and even at the oddest hours of the night, because Goa really doesn’t sleep. If you are tired of partying then you can head out to do some sightseeing. Goa has amazing churches and heritage buildings that are worth checking out. The easiest way to travel here would be hiring a motorcycle or a bike. If you don’t know how to ride either one then hire a car for a group. There are tourist guides available too for taking you on group tours.
Where To Stay:Bobby's Shack
Candolim Beach Road
00 91 98 22 182794Email:
Hodka in Gujurat
This little area in Gujarat is truly a part of the Kutch area of Gujarat. It is an off beat place that provides you with the best of locals and a cheap stay, whilst you enjoy nature at its best. The idea is to be in the midst of the rustic Gujarat. Reaching this area is quite easy. You can reach any one of the major cities and then take the train from there or even bus. Airfare to the main cities is pretty cheap too and you just have to bag the right rates. Remember that winter is the peak season here so for getting the best accommodation it is suggested that you book your tickets early.
Staying here is really fun because most resorts and guest houses here are actually a remake of rural life. They are huts and small cottages made the rustic way, but suited and fitted with some modern amenities too. There are colorful decors and comfortable tents available too. Apart from this, you can hang out in the desert at night and listen to folk music, watch the local dances and enjoy the hot and spicy food cooked right in earthen clay pots. You can find plenty of Gujarati local dishes here and though most of the food is vegetarian, there are some non vegetarians choices available too. It is also a great place to spot some rare birds here like the flamingos and endangered Asiatic wild ass. It is an eco friendly place where you can be close to nature and also ensure that you don't spend too much.
Where To Stay:Hodka Village Tourism Committee
(Hodka Village Community Owned & Managed)
Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort
Endogenous Tourism Project
Hodka Village, Banni
Bhuj (Kutch) – GujaratPIN
– 370 510Email :
Riding a camel is not really one of the things that might be comfortable, but after a few hours you realize that is really not that bad. There are tent and campaign arrangements in the dunes of Rajasthan, which ensure cheap accommodation right in the middle of the desert. Sure they are not anything like the comfortable air-conditioned luxurious tents that come with bathrooms. But you get these tents for a fraction of the price. Reaching these dunes is not tough as you can easily take the bus from the main town of Jaisalmer or Jodhpur. You can also reach the city by train and then take a bus or auto ride to the near dunes. From there, you can get on the camels and reach the interiors to explore some quaint and quite dunes in the desert.
Accommodation here is ideal for the adventurous soul who loves to experiment for economical areas. The food provided here is simple but hot and fresh, cooked right in front of you. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes are available here, including rare meats like camel and deer. There are outdoor fires set outside the camps as local dancers perform and you listen to folk songs. The bed and lodging here is simple but comfortable. Portable toilets are arranged for hygiene purposes and so you don’t have to worry about just using the desert. But of course, there are arrangements for that too! Tents and camps on sharing basis start at just Rs 400.
Where To Stay:Desert Camp Jaisalmer
Sam Sand Dunes
Near Sam Village
09212461776 , 7838348955
When it comes to visiting somewhere that you get cheap food and accommodation without spending a fortune, Darjeeling is the place to be. Not only do you get amazing climate, decent stay and plenty of activities to do, it is also an ideal family holiday destination on a budget. Reaching the city is pretty easy though you have to be prepared for spending some extra time here. Of course, there is no one complaining as long as you are on a holiday. Reach Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri by train from Calcutta. Then from here you can either take a bus, shared jeep or even the toy train to Darjeeling. The toy train really works out cheap but it takes double the time to reach here.
On reaching darjeeling, you can find plenty of small stay resorts, guests houses and even budget friendly home stays. The city is always bustling with activities and most of the popular tourist spots are reachable in walking distance. For far off destinations, just hire a jeep or take a shared car. Find accommodation just off the mall road so that your food needs are sorted. Cheap but delicious local food here comes for as less as Rs 100. Be it the hot chicken or lamb moms or something like a bag of hot popcorn with coffee for snacks. There are many free activities to enjoy here too like hitting the tea gardens or simply checking out the mall road and old heritage buildings on your own. You can also go kayaking, rafting, trekking or hit the borders of Nepal for some shopping.
Where To Stay:Hotel Broadway
4, Cooch Behar Road
Adjacent to Darjeeling Telephone Exchange
+91 354 225 3248Hotel North Star
11, HD Lama Road
Darjeeling, India Phone:
+91 354 225 2248
The state of Meghalaya is another wonderful destination for hanging out economically and yet enjoying nature at its full glory. There is no doubt that Meghalaya is the wettest place in India. But it is also a completely beautiful and pristine state that takes you back to older times. Not only is it perfect for backpackers, it suits the budgets of families and even honeymoon couples. You can start off by visiting the main city of Shillong that gives you the view to some of the most mesmerizing waterfalls like Elephant falls. Then there is the crystal clear lakes here along with deep caves and trekking places. You can enjoy some amazing root bridges and check out the national sanctuaries here.
Ideally, you should take or seek accommodation in home stays or small hotels here, but there are many government operated guest houses too in the upper cities. Being a small state, it is possible for you to cover more than what you expected on a smaller budget. So you get the option of an extended holiday without spending too much. You can reach the main city via air or even take a bus or car from Guwhait. Food here includes some exotic locale delicacies that satiates the taste buds of non vegetarians. However, for vegetarians, there are some food restrictions in the smaller towns. But you can always get the amazing rice and bamboo preparations with vegetables that are yummy and light on the palette too.
Where To Stay:Café Shillong Bed & Breakfast
31, Upper Lachumiere
+91 8974066089; +91 364 2501532Email :
email@example.comPine Hill Homestay
Lovely Residence, Mawnianglah,
Near Elephant Falls
Upper Shillong, 7th Mile -
MeghalayaPh. No :